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Lights, camera, action!

TV studio expands horizons for Ann’s Choice neighbors

Created date

July 24th, 2012
Ann s Choiceresident Gary Hattal never dreamed he would be a television producer, but at Erickson Living s community in Bucks County, Pa., that s what happened. I learned to operate the camera, did some audio, and it graduated from there, he says. With help from staff at Channel 5, the community s resident-driven, in-house TV station, Gary parlayed his music collection into a documentary calledThe History of Rock and Roll: The Early Years. I could never have done it on my own, he says. The show proved such a hit that he s now producing a sequel. During baseball season, he s also a regular on the resident-created panel showLet s Talk Sports.

A world of possibilities

Opportunities abound at Channel 5, says Ann s Choice Community Television Coordinator Jay Holmes. And no experience is required. Volunteers first learn camera and audio work. Next might come directing, then creating and producing their own shows. They can work behind or in front of the camera for in-studio or on-location projects. They can also create videos of their photographs to air in the Movie Makers segment of Channel 5 s flagship daily showAnn s Choice Today. Al Tribble s rich and mellow voice seems made for the airwaves. He started at Channel 5 after he strolled by and saw its control room; it reminded him of amateur radio stations he d been involved with. He mastered off-camera skills, then began scripting his own occasional documentary series C.R.E.P.S. It explores organizations, societies, and individuals in light of their culture, religion, education, politics, and social impact. Al frequently hostsAnn s Choice Today. What keeps me going is interest in and recognition of my work, he says, and Channel 5 gives me the opportunity to make mistakes and not suffer the consequences. Absolutely, says Holmes. From concept through editing, aspiring producers receive step-by-step guidance. We take the scariness out of turning an idea into a show, Holmes says. And programs are taped, not live, which removes that fear factor as well.