:10 Seconds to Air: My Life in the Director's Chair

Don Mischer

Enter the world of director and producer Don Mischer, who has notched a lifetime of history-making moments with Beyoncé and Baryshnikov, Willie Nelson and Muhammad Ali, Olympic flames, inaugurations, and Prince in the rain.

Don Mischer’s :10 Seconds to Air is a captivating look behind the curtain at the creation of some of television’s most celebrated live events. Mischer’s personal story is an unlikely journey, but a very American one. From a modest South Texas upbringing to directing Super Bowl halftime shows and Olympics opening ceremonies, :10 Seconds to Air is an homage to America’s vibrant, richly diverse culture, as reflected through television. 

Equal parts anecdotal memoir and history-in-the-making, :10 Seconds to Air anchors itself to Mischer’s formative experience as a college student in Austin, learning of JFK’s assassination as he awaits the arrival of the President from Dallas. Watching the diligence of the reporters who worked on that developing story convinces him to change course and pursue a career in television. This leads Mischer to New York City, and involvement in many historic moments, from joining Barbara Walter for her interview in Tehran with the Shah, to Prince’s epic, rain-soaked Super Bowl halftime performance.

:10 Seconds to Air brings us alongside Mischer to witness first-hand what it is like to collaborate with iconic talents like Mohammad Ali, Michael Jackson, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, among many others. The job? Navigating countless unknowns and logistical challenges in real time to orchestrate hundreds of people before the eyes of millions of viewers. The result is a fascinating portrait of an individual behind many, many cameras, striving to capture history.

Praise for :10 Seconds to Air: My Life in the Director's Chair

"Few, if any, have been part of as many big television events and unforgettable moments as Don Mischer. When you work with Don, you are working with the Master."
Bob Costas,

"Don Mischer is the best-of-the-best when it comes to producing and directing a BIG show. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in how live television really comes to life, and the behind-the-scenes moments that made them memorable."
Quincy Jones,

"After 9/11, Don Mischer played a critical role in helping our city and nation heal. It was not an easy task to speak to the broken heart of the country on the first anniversary of the attacks, but his insights, ideas and know-how enabled us to create a powerful, moving, and unifying ceremony that still lives on today."
Michael R. Bloomberg,

"Don’s a great producer and now it turns out he’s a great storyteller—with stories to spare!"
Willie Nelson,