It’s Now Coffee, Celluloid, and the Tube

Posted on October 5, 2007

I’m now the General Manager of my school’s Student Broadcast Center (SBC). It’s a Bureau funded by the Student Government that controls two channels available to on-campus residents (not me). I should clarify that, though. We have the ability to control two channels, but only one is up right now since there isn’t enough content for two.

The running one, channel 16, is a movie channel. We have a contract with a distribution company to receive 15 movies monthly for 10 months. Between the films are student submitted announcements and awful (but free) PSAs including Laundry 101. There was a time when original programming was aired, but it’s been stopped (hopefully temporarily) due to misuse of funds, bad management, and a trip to Peru. ((The position was also abused by people trying to boost their resume to get into the Film School, something that doesn’t apply to me.))

Here’s the state of things when I took my first tour of the SBC last week. For the past few months the station has been run by the Student Government webmaster (adult employee) and a student volunteer. It’s kind of been an after thought to both of them, lacking a dedicated manager.

The schedule is sporadic, with movies starting at 1:36 or 10:23. Locked in a store room are 2 Canon XL2s and a Sony HDV cam, and I’m sure many other goodies. There’s a small studio (locked) and a nice Adobe CS3 editing suite currently being used to create static text announcements.

I’ve also entered the bureaucratic ‘real world’ full of negativity and laziness. Every idea I come up with seems to be shot down with an immediate ‘no, can’t be done,’ even though I know it can.

The reason I’m subjecting myself to this, besides the executive five hour weekly salary at minimum wage, is because I feel it has potential. I just have to take little baby steps to prove original programing can be done effectively. This would mean more documentary and filming opportunities and more chances to gain experience. I’ve already recruited a fellow Film Schooler to apply for the Assistant Director job. My goal is to start filling the bureau with positive, can-do, creative people, and reclaim the Student Broadcast Center.

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