ALLEN, TEXAS—Allen City Television (ACTV) is a small, five-time Emmy Award-winning municipal cable channel here. Our three-person staff of three is dedicated and passionate in providing the latest news and events that are important to the city's 89,000-plus population.
Shannon Oliver, ACTV on-air hostess, poses with the Matthews DC -Slider. Typically, when you mention "city cable channel," most people think of city council meetings or static talk shows. The ACTV staff takes an "out of the box" approach with our programming, and always looks for ways to raise the bar when it comes to production values.
We produce an annual year-in-review program where we showcase projects and events from the past year, highlighting these for our viewers. This year we took the opportunity to employ the newest and most valuable tool in our arsenal—the Matthews Studio Equipment's DC-Slider. When we shot scenes with our on-air hostess, Shannon Oliver, we were able to breathe life into her dialog by quickly moving the camera both with and around her. And during the shooting of other program segments we could create high-production value shots with this simple and affordable tool.
With the DC-Slider we were able to quickly get set up and obtain shots without the long assembly times associated with traditional track and dolly systems or with cranes. I got the DC-Slider working effortlessly in three or four steps. If I wanted to change the setup from vertical to horizontal it only took seconds to make the change.
While we're not using the DC-Slider to shoot everything we do, we're certainly putting it to the test. Recently, we took our audience on a tour of our new police and fire dispatch center. The DC-Slider was invaluable for capturing a variety of aspects of the operation. We were able to set up for horizontal and vertical camera movement and also used the device as a mini-jib for certain shots. We even tried the six-foot tower and tripod setup.
LABOR NON-INTENSIVE TOOL
This was all accomplished with a production crew of one, and without the need for a conventional track and dolly setup. Having several crewmembers to assist with a simple tracking move is no longer a requirement.
With construction in full swing in our region, the DC-Slider's multi-functionality has been very useful. Its fast and easy adjustability has allowed us to get "up close and personal," without impeding the construction workers or putting our staff in harm's way.
We're now planning stages a variety of other coverage including the grand opening of a new wakeboarding park and a number of fall events being held at our parks. We're also finding that normal interviews can be energized with the DC-Slider's capabilities to give our audiences the high production value we demand.
Mark Kaufmann has been executive producer for The City of Allen public and media relations office for the past 11 years. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information, contact Matthews Studio Equipment at 800-237-8263 or visit www.msegrip.com
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