“Palomar Live,” the newest program from Palomar College Television, is giving students the opportunity to get front-line practice in the field of television production.
The idea for the show, that can be watched live every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on Channels 16 for Cox/Time Warner and 99 for AT&T;, began last semester when students involved in the Emmy Award-winning Digital Broadcast Arts program voiced their interest in creating a morning variety TV show.
“Students were interested in getting more on-air live experience both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes,” said Lisa Faas, professor and executive producer of “Palomar Live.” “We held a pre-production meeting and finalized plans for the show during a summer workshop then hit the ground running with the start of the fall semester.”
With segments ranging from in-studio musical performances to having dogs from the Rancho Coastal Humane Society on set to raise awareness about adoption, the show is student-made and run. Producers like Cerissa Farin, who has aspirations for a career in the entertainment industry after school, generate topics for the show.
“Producers pull from their resources, sometimes it’s a cold call or it could be people we know.” Farin said. “We’re in charge of finding the content and putting it together until it goes live, then we’re hands off and it’s onto the director and the rest of the crew.”
In the first episode of the show, guest Jim McKechnie discussed ALS and his experiences with the disease that had taken the lives of his father-in-law and son. Getting choked up during the interview, McKechnie’s story provided viewers with personal insight on what the disease can do and how to be aware of symptoms.
“That was a great moment for TV, as sad as that was. He cheered up a bit when he got to pour ice on our producer Jay Brown,” Roger Al-Chaikh, director of episode five, said.
Students involved in the show get to volunteer and work in various positions around the set. Hosting, writing, working with audio and visual aspects gives the students very valuable experience before entering the field.
“It’s nice that we’re getting a chance for people to play different roles,” Al-Chaikh said. “That’s the beauty of this show. Lisa (Faas) is very democratic and gives us a chance to sign up for anything we want to try.”
In the production room to the side of the set, Faas works with the director and producers, occasionally giving out instructions. The equipment that the show has available is similar to professional sets, giving students key hands-on training. The atmosphere around the show is lively while still being informative.
“Everybody involved does their part and works as a team,” producer Carolina Ramos, said. “A lot of us here didn’t have prior experience so we are learning more and getting better.”
“We are only in show six but it feels like we’ve been doing this for years,” Farin said.
Each week, the students improve and gaining new knowledge and experience.
“I’ve seen improvements in writing for the screen, interactions with guests on-air and camera work,” Faas said.
The crew tries to emulate other major San Diego morning shows. Being the only show of its kind for North County San Diego community colleges, it gives “Palomar Live” the opportunity to get exclusive coverage of the arts and lifestyle of the area, students said.
“If this season is a success, and it appears to be so far, then we will talk about continuing this live format in future classes (DBA 220),” Faas said.
“Our hope for the show is to fine-tune and get better each episode. We want an Emmy, I think we can do it,” Al-Chaikh said.
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