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Television crew keeps Tallgrass Creek in focus

Created date

September 20th, 2010

Question: What do an electrical engineer, pharmacist, financial services district manager, and psychologist have in common other than they all live at Tallgrass Creek? [caption id="attachment_14548" align="alignright" width="280" caption="The camera crew at Tallgrass Creek includes John Hall, Davis Ross, Dave Maze, and Dick Knapp. (Photo by Mary Bush)"][/caption] Answer: The four residents who retired from these professions are the eyes and ears of the community, also known as the Television Production Committee. One more thing we have in common, laughs former pharmacist Davis Ross, we knew next to nothing about television work when we started this several years ago. Bulletin board bytes Ross, along with fellow committee members Dick Knapp (electrical engineer), Dave Maze (financial services district manager), and John Hall (psychologist), gather Monday and Thursday mornings for several hours in the community s television studio located on the main floor. They flip on a computer loaded with an electronic bulletin board program and get to work designing slides about 20 a week that showcase upcoming activities, menus, and announcements for the televised bulletin boards positioned around the community. The bulletin board can also be accessed on residents home televisions and includes the daily crawl information that runs continuously across the bottom of the screen. We re a regular CNN, notes Maze. Camera crew and film editor In addition to keeping the bulletin boards current, the group films some of the social and educational events at Tallgrass Creek. Knapp, Maze, and Ross, the designated camera crew, recently filmed events such as the community s first fashion show, talent show, town hall meetings, resident presentations, and anniversary activities. The team is in high demand as evidenced by the never-empty box in the office where residents and staff put requests for the group s services. We re usually behind the camera several times a month, says Knapp. There s always something happening. The camera crew turns their film over to Hall who formats live DVDs that are also broadcast on the community s televisions and accessed on residents home sets. He usually splices several events together so viewers can enjoy many of the community s recent happenings and activities. Hall uses the same Macintosh program, Final Cut Pro, that many animated film studios such as Walt Disney s Pixar also use. I really enjoy the creative process, says Hall. I take what these guys film throughout the month and sometimes work ten hours straight for a couple days, piecing it together. On-site mentors The group gives a big high five to Daniel Stapf, Tallgrass Creek s senior facilities manager and Jill Cline, community resources coordinator. Stapf, who came from Maryland s Charlestown campus two years ago, has a degree in television production and worked extensively in Charlestown s television studio. Stapf recently trained the group to film their first live town hall meeting so residents not attending could view it at home. It s been great working with these guys, he says. They re dedicated and always open to trying something new. In addition to her other duties, Jill Cline serves as the television station coordinator and works closely with the group to ensure the bulletin boards are updated. She also schedules the camera crew. These men are unsung heroes, she says. Their work is all done behind the scenes and it affects every resident here. Charter members The television production committee is one of the longest running committees at Tallgrass Creek. The four members are all from Kansas or Missouri except Knapp, who moved from Massachusetts. They are the original committee members and have all lived at Tallgrass Creek for about three years. In addition to providing a valuable service at Tallgrass Creek, the group enjoys being the community s local television gurus. We ve learned about all this together, says Ross. It was kind of a trial and error thing. It also helps that we don t mind a laugh or two, adds Maze.