I think it’s a tie between Louis J Horvitz, 60 (pic above) and Walter C Miller (pic below). These two guys are responsible for directing the world’s most prestigious live TV shows, year in and year out. Horvitz has directed the last 11 Annual Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) show and Miller has directed the last 8 Annual Grammy Awards show.
And in the world of live TV, few are more high profile (and hence, high pressure) than these shows.
Take for example Mr Horvitz’s work. He watches the Academy Awards show on 85 screens at once. Not inside the Kodak Theatre, but back in the parking lot, inside a truck that controls the television operations. With the 85 monitors, his team of 6 people, crammed into a rather tight space, hence can see everything inside the theater.
Horvitz and his people hence are responsible for deciding what millions of people around the world see on TV. Sure, there are more than 90 million people watching Super Bowl live, but not very many watch it from outside the US, while the Oscars are worldwide favourites.
Horvitz communicates with his stage managers via a headset with his eyes on the 19 cameras on the show inside. He shouts out which shots should be shown on TV to technical director John Field, who then manipulates the console which then shows the selected video images to the whole world. Every few seconds, this communique happens all through the 210-minute show. Not unlike what happens in a Formula One race.
The Oscars are his biggest projects, taking more than 2 months of his time. Other shows only take at most 2 weeks to do.
He could also be the most powerful guy at the Oscars, for he can cut off the acceptance speech of an A-list, 20-million dollar per movie actor, if he thinks it’s getting long-winded.
One drawback to his job is that for all his experience, he has never seen an Oscar show from INSIDE the theater.
That perhaps can come later, after he’s retired.