The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 29, 2008


Calling TV producers: CCTV needs new programs

A Concord-Carlisle Television crew produces a community program at the studio at Concord-Carlisle High School. (Courtesy photo)

If you are one of the 1,500 Comcast cable subscribers in Carlisle, you have probably watched a Carlisle School Committee or Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Channel 9, which is devoted to government and municipal programming. Perhaps you tune in to Channel 8 to see some of the regularly scheduled community programs, such as Jazzercise, Authors’ Outlet or the Council on Aging (COA) series. And maybe you have thought of producing a program yourself. The opportunities have never been better, thanks to new energy at Concord-Carlisle Television (CCTV).

CCTV, whose studio and offices are located behind Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS), provides Carlisle and Concord residents with access to the public access channels, 8, 9 and soon-to-be 10. It has been operating as a non-profit organization since 2004, and is totally independent of Comcast, although the cable company covers a portion of CCTV’s operating CCTV provides TV production training for all ages


CCTV is governed by a volunteer board of directors representing a cross-section of community leadership. Carlisle board members are Selectman William Tice and Gleason Public Library Director Angela Mollet. They have been the active voices who promote Carlisle’s interests in monthly board meetings that strategize on the current and future growth of the organization.

Compact, well-equipped

TV studio

From the outside it is hard to recognize the CCTV office at CCHS; it is tucked in next to a huge trailer. Once inside the visitor sees that the space is well laid out. The TV studio, with its professional cameras and lighting tracks, occupies the largest room, and adjacent rooms house up-to-date scheduling and editing equipment.

Programs at CCTV are produced either in this studio or in the field with portable equipment borrowed by producers who have been certified by the organization. Carlisle resident Dave Ives, who was recently named CCTV’s Producer of the Year, was singled out by Paige as “the most prolific Carlisle TV producer. He has done an excellent job learning all about field production, editing, and is now so self-sufficient that he has bought some of his own equipment.”

Mollet is also grateful for the support the library has received from Ives. He has taped several of the series that originated in the Hollis Room —“ notably the Opera and Jazz series. Using CCTV’s field camera and sound equipment, Ives records the programs onto a DVD and edits at home using his own iMac system. The edited program is aired by CCTV and is also available at the Gleason Library.

Carlisle-based programming

Some of Ives’s regular “gigs” include a monthly program for the COA, seen on Channel 8, and live broadcasts of the Board of Selectmen’s meetings from the Clark Room at Town Hall, aired on Channel 9. The Clark Room is equipped with a robotic studio —“ Ives sits at a console and directs and switches the cameras. He notes that “all meetings related to the town legally cannot be edited;” they are either aired live or broadcast later using the DVD that is recorded simultaneously. Ives was trained in video production at CCTV and volunteers his time as a producer for Carlisle-based programming.

The path to becoming a producer

Like Ives, any Carlisle resident can sponsor or produce a program at CCTV by:

• Providing proof of residency and becoming a member. $15 for individual, $25 for family, $5 for student or senior.

• Attending introductory and certification classes at CCTV to become eligible to produce programs if you lack TV production experience.

• Setting up a meeting with CCTV staff to complete a program proposal and establish a production schedule.

• Creating your program at the studio or in the field, or bringing in your pre-taped program on a DVD.

• Completing the “Request for Cablecast” form (If CCTV accepts your program), which holds the producer responsible for content.

• Confirming the time slot when your program will be shown. Telling your friends to watch!

The training curriculum includes field production, studio production and editing. The fee varies from $20 to $100, based on the extent of the material covered. Paige is enthusiastic about having more volunteers trained: “Part of our mission is to tailor your training, to fit your needs,” he says. “We do this by spending some time, investigating your areas of interest. We can accommodate one-on-one sessions as well, if you cannot attend scheduled class time.” To date Carlisle’s contribution to CCTV programming is about 20%, leaving many opportunities to create more town-based programs.

Channel 10 will debut

Producer-of-the-Year Dave Ives (right) discusses production details with Professor John Clark of Connecticut College, who presented the four-program series, “Jammin’ the Blues,” last May at the Gleason Public Library. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

The announcement last month that Carlisle will soon receive Channel 10, devoted to educational programming, creates even more opportunities for local programming. Selectman Tice paved the way for CCTV to transmit Channel 10 to Carlisle; activation awaits review of a good-faith memorandum between Comcast and the town, according to Comcast spokesman Marc Goodman.

Since the new channel will offer educational programming, Paige is encouraging Carlisle students to start producing programs. “The opportunities are endless,” he says. “They could start with public service announcements (PSAs) to speak to a subject of their interest or perhaps take on the cause of a non-profit organization, like Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Or the Carlisle School could generate programs as part of the earth study or other visual programs.”

After-school production program

The Carlisle Public School has already started laying the foundation for training students in television production. Cyd McCann, the school’s technology integration coordinator, and CCTV Operations Manager Sophie Burke put together a grant proposal for an after-school production program. The proposal was submitted to the T3 (Teachers/Teens/Together) organization in December 2007 and requested $1,050 for hardware and a stipend of $1,300 for after-school teachers.

When she was teaching at Concord’s Thoreau Elementary School, McCann and other teachers produced “Thoreau Kids Television” for CCTV. She brings experience and creativity to the proposed program, and says, “Our plan is to start with something as simple as covering the news around town.”

An experienced team

Burke brings technological expertise and the team of two is well equipped to run an enjoyable and educational program for about 10 students. McCann is anxiously waiting for the grant approval, saying, “The window of opportunity is small, and it would be nice to have the children acquainted with this program before the [school] year ends.”

Burke looks forward to kicking off the program. “Video is such a great way to learn because it teaches you to how to communicate on so many different levels, from scriptwriting to cinematography to sound direction. So for CCTV to work with the Carlisle Public School to bring this technology to students is a natural partnership.”

Burke will be holding youth video production workshops this summer called “LiveWire Production team” for students entering the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. She explains, “In these workshops, kids will work on several stories of their own creation, from commercials to news to a mini-movie, and they will write, shoot and edit their footage. At the end of the week, each participant will have a DVD of the group’s work to take home.” The first workshop will be in Carlisle from June 30 to July 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. The second will be the week of August 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the CCTV studio. For the Carlisle location and workshop fees, please contact the CCTV office at 1-978-369-5038.

Sharing special moments


Wouldn’t you be proud if your personal videos of cherished family memories looked and sounded as if they were produced by a professional video company? And if they did, would you like to share the video with the rest of the community?

If so, then“Video Keepsakes” at the CCTV studio on March 4 and 6, from 7 to 8 p.m. is for you. Burke explains that this workshop “is geared towards families who want to preserve their loved one’s special moments through the medium of video, and also share them with the community through public access television. Participants will learn how to use video production equipment to videotape and edit sporting events, recitals and more.” The class is limited to eight; the fee is $20 plus the CCTV membership fee.

Paige, Burke and the CCTV staff have kept the process of production simple and are there to help producers. They are enthusiastic about incorporating more artistic, recreational and educational programming ideas from the Carlisle community. To learn more about the organization and the support it offers, visit

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito