It’s interesting to look back on one’s life and discover the threads of continuity . . .
the interests that lead to a goal. I have been tracing those threads a lot lately. I can
see a pattern that led me to become an independent video producer living on the
beautiful Oregon coast. I would never have imagined my present life when I was in
school back in Norfolk, NE (proud hometown of Johnny Carson). I loved journalism,
worked on our school paper and was editor of the yearbook. Majoring in
journalism, college continued my interest in all things political and I wanted to
document the history we were living.
Then life turned to marriage and children. While home with children I hooked up our
black & white TV to my reel-to-reel audio tape recorder and today I still have tapes
of such events as the first moon landing, the ’68 Democratic Convention, RFK
funeral, etc. etc. The thread was still there. It should be noted that I am only
following the “thread” - there were many life experiences between the lines.
Life changed and in my new life I developed a passion for photography. . I took
many classes, loved taking photographs and could spend endless hours in the
darkroom. I was falling in love with life through the viewfinder.
Another life change included the grand adventure of moving to Portland, Oregon. In the mid 80’s I was exposed to
video production for the first time and became total obsessed. Cable was new and the cable companies were
promising cities the moon to gain the franchise to serve their community. Cable was a creative promised land with
endless possibilities. In Portland, cable access was generously funded with complete studios, edit suites, staff,
classes and portable equipment - all of which was available to the public to create programming which was played on
any of the 5 public access channels provided in the agreement with the city. I took every class available plus many
workshops and classes offered by the NW Film & Video Center. I shot video of everything and like my experience
with the dark room, I spent hours and hours in the edit room. I was obsessed! I was hired by Portland Cable Access
where I taught some classes and did manual playback of the video programming. This seems primitive now but it
provided great experience. It was like being an invisible DJ. . Cueing up programming, switching to psa’s and
station ID’s . . keeping it all on schedule. I also became very proficient in creating graphic information pages for the
channel. At this time the cable company also provided 5 channels of professionally produced local programming.
There was a complete studio, edit suites and broadcast camera equipment. Each channel had a producer and a
programming focus. I worked on many of these productions and developed a strong belief in the power of
professionally produced local programming. I also worked as a master control operator at the cable company,
learning a great deal about the technology. I jumped at every opportunity to videotape an event. I taped then Mayor
Bud Clark, Vice Presidential Candidate Geraldine Ferraro, Helen Caldicott, Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem,
Barbara Roberts and Gretchen Kafoury I taped for the Cascade AIDS Project, Elizabeth Abts Dance Company,
Portland Women’s Theatre Co. and the Aurora Choir. I taped the Soviet Physicians report on Chernobyl (sponsored
by Physicians for Social Responsibility).I loved where the camera took me, the doors it opened and all I learned and
experienced through the viewfinder.
Cable companies began cutting back, dropping most of the local
programming and switching their focus to satellite feeds. I invested in my
own video equipment and decided to take a leap of faith and establish my
own independent video business. Holding several contracts with cable
companies to do their graphics information channels, I ventured out. I loved
it!! I loved the work and I loved the independence. So there I am happily
sitting in my little apartment in Portland editing and it occurs to me that I
could be sitting anywhere doing this. Even at the ocean!! Wow - what a
thought. Since arriving in Oregon from Nebraska I loved the Oregon coast!
Thinking I would maintain my little apartment in Portland I looked for an
apartment at the coast to do my editing (the thought was 4 days in Portland
taping and maintaining connections and 3 days at the coastal apt. editing).
Perfection! But my attachment to coastal living grew and I wanted to spend
more time here. At that time I was approached by Falcon Cable to produce
a travel program for each of the areas they served along the coast from
Astoria to Crescent City, CA plus Hood Rive/The Dalles. This was a
wonderful opportunity and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I made the move to full
time residence at the coast - in Netarts.
When Falcon Cable sold to Charter Communications I continued efforts to
obtain channel time to show local programming. I continued to tape meetings
and presentations in Tillamook County and produced videos for
organizations in the area. By now I had become one with my camera.
Now there is a new frontier. The Internet offers the possibilities that were once there in cable. The internet is the
new creative promised land with endless possibilities. You Tube in the public access of the Internet. Anyone,
anywhere can create a video and put it out there for the world to see. There are also sites to access professionally
produced video on almost any subject. My imagination is on overload. And here that thread continues . . . leading
me into the vast new world of the Internet. Time to go forward back to that belief in the power of local television
programming. I see tctvonline as place where we see our community reflected back. I look forward to comments
from viewers and will continue to add programming of interest. This is only the beginning. I hope tctvonline
provides a place to see our community and stay current on what is happening. The emphasis is on “local” - the
productions will be professional.
I am very happy that I followed that thread through many life changes (even though I didn’t really know there was a
thread). I look back in wonder and gratitude and forward with excitement and anticipation.
How Did I Ever Get Here From There???
"Seeking creative inspiration with my co-producer"
Artwork by Bev Standish: www.digitalelfstudios.com