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Orion television finds new home at Orion Center

by Trevor Keiser

April 11, 2012

Joe Velez is working hard in the new control room where 32" monitors help keep everything in scope. Photo by T. Keiser
Joe Velez is working hard in the new control room where 32" monitors help keep everything in scope. Photo by T. Keiser
Orion Neighborhood Television (ONTV) is back into full production mode since moving into their new location at the Orion Center at 1349 Joslyn Road.

"We just moved in here and officially opened April 2," said ONTV Executive Director Diane Griffiths. "We've done two studio shoots already and we're getting ready to order some new field cameras."

With the new place they have a lot more room too, she said.

Before, we had one room that was a control room for the studio, both production coordinators and both editing suites were in there," she said. Now, we're all separated which is nice."

They also have a brand new control room.

"You wouldn't even recognize it if you saw the old control room," said Griffiths.

In addition to broadcasting the usual government meetings such as Orion township board, township planning commission, Orion Village Council and Lake Orion School Board, Griffiths would like to add a monthly program on the library, and do something with the "seniors' right next door."

"We want to do a show where they produce it and do topics of interest for seniors," she said. "We've talked to Lisa (Sokol, community programs director) about this already, so we're going to get that going really soon."

They would also like to get back into doing oral histories, which is something they've gotten away from for a while, added Griffiths.

"Some of the older residents in Orion have wonderful stories to tell," she said. "We don't want to lose those."

She hopes by bringing summer camp back for middle school students (sixth through eight grade) to get some kids involved in public access as well. The summer camp, she said, is a week long camp that usually involves a field trip of some sort. In the past they've visited Detroit Public TV, the Palace of Auburn Hills and even an ice cream store.

"The deal is the kids go there, they shoot the footage and do a story on it, so in that week they've completed a program and they have a lot of fun doing it," added Griffiths. "We still have a couple kids who are in high school and college who came through camp and they're still active."

Those interested in getting involved in public access can attend the free orientation at ONTV on April 16. After orientation patrons can sign up for field classes or studio classes for just $10 for each round. According to Griffiths field classes are three weeks long of two hour sessions.

"Once you've completed that you're able to check out all the field equipment at no charge, do a program, turn it in and edit here or at home," she said.

Those who take the four week studio class get the opportunity to try all the different positions such as director, technical director, camera operator, and on-screen talent. The class will also include a final project of making their own program, noted Griffiths.

"Editing is a little part of both of the classes, but you really don't learn editing until you sit down one-on-one with somebody and do that," she said. "We just want people to start taking classes again and get involved."

Check out the new station at 1349 Joslyn Road or for more information call (248) 693-3377 or visit orionneighborhoodtelevision.org

"It's been a goal of the cable commission for about 20 years to have our own place," Griffiths said. "Finally the dream has come true."