Most of last year's lineup gets the boot, replaced by programs with more "originality”
At 6:00 on the night of Oct 31, outrageous clown costumes, oversized glasses, phony beards and unflattering wigs grace the floor of the Blair Network Communication (BNC) studio.
At 7:00, all of the technicians and producers wait in eager anticipation as the floor manager signals the hosts to begin.
Similar scenes of students scurrying to put together a 30 minute show are typical of Wednesday nights in BNC's studio. Blair students have produced, written and taped their own live television shows for public access channels for 12 years.
At the end of the 1999-2000 school year the executive staff of BNC decided to overhaul the station's lineup in an attempt promote the creativity and originality of the shows. This year three new shows, Rad Lab, X=love and Double Overtime, will premiere in mid-November.
X=love is an innovative television show created by seniors Libby Hemming and Rebecca Bernard. These two talented producers, along with show writer senior Michael Scarpa, bring to life humorous, thought-provoking and personal perspectives on different emotions each show through vivid video clips.
Senior Annie Welch, production and engineering executive director of BNC studios, says that the nebulous ideas presented in X=love force students to infer the meaning of the scenes for themselves. "The ideas are very abstract and lend themselves to interpretation," she says.
In one scene, Welch and senior Luke Allen adopt the personalities of two isolated, disconcerted youths who try to uncover the meaning of the word "love."
The two actors masterfully capture the muddled angst characteristic of youth to offer two of the many perspectives on love that the show probes.
Hemming, who contributes her artistic and poetic talents to the show by writing sonnets and designing animation sequences, says she hopes Blair students will develop an interest in the show and contribute to it as well. "Right now the show is just about what [its creators] think, but we want the entire school to become involved in the show and tell us what they think," she says.
Filmed with jovial, irreverent humor, Rad Lab is a show loosely based on the early 1990s favorite Bill Nye the Science Guy. The show's creators, however, have made Rad Lab's premise all their own.
Produced by senior Jon Leiner and junior Nora Rappaport and edited by senior Alex Musto, Rad Lab's creative plot is carried out during the year's eight episodes. This month's episode introduces the rivalry between Dr. Munoz, played by senior Alyssa Munoz, and the scientists at Bad Lab, played by Leiner, Rappaport and senior Mattan Schuchman.
For the episode taped on Oct 31, both labs are engaged in a fierce rivalry. In an attempt to create electricity before her nemesis at Bad Lab, Dr. Munoz accidentally opens a portal for the scientific and mathematical geniuses of the past to return.
The show's comical and educational style is its trademark. Senior Kory Vargas Caro, segment producer of La Communidad, a Blair-produced Spanish news show and the only returning show from last year, praises Leiner's comedic style as adding to the originality of the show. "Jon brings a humor to the show that will be interesting to watch develop as he starts to experiment with the show's format more and more," he says.
Both Leiner and Rappaport hope to maintain the same level of originality and spontaneity throughout the course of the show. "We want everything to be different, every show," he says.
Diehard sports fans looking for commentary and accounts of the bruises and abuses of high school athletes should tune in to Double Overtime, BNC's version of the ESPN show Outside the Lines. The show is produced by seniors Jeremy Widder and Etienne Hanopole and edited by junior Stefan Livingston.
Double Overtime reports on some of sports' touchiest topics with candor, wit and a straightforward style of reporting. "We want to steer the direction of the show towards a professional forum of debate for high school sports," says Hanopole.
The show will focus its first few episodes on hazing, gambling rings and Title 9. For the episode airing in November, senior Michael Immerman, will describe his experiences as a freshman on the varsity wrestling team and sports psychologist Nancy Stein Faraby will comment on the psychological damage of hazing.
BNC does not know the definite air dates of its television shows or the channels on which they will air. To view one or more of the above-mentioned shows, contact BNC studios.
Photos of the Oct 31 filming of Rad Lab by Welch Canavan
Stephanie Hernandez. Stephanie Hernandez is a senior and the Opinions/Editorials editor for the paper. She took honors classes throughout her freshman year and transfered into the CAP program her sophmore year. She has won several awards throughout her academic career, including two plaques from her junior high … More »