The Zippy Brief – March 2017

october-zippy-briefHappy belated Pi Day. I’m only now coming to grips with the fact that Somerville Media Center (SMC) programming on Somerville Community Access TV (SCATV) and Boston Free Radio (BFR) is sorely lacking in competitive eating coverage. As such, I’m putting out the call now for folks to be prepared for Wednesday, March 14, 2018 for some live, in-studio, irrational pie eating hijinks. Details to come later, but if you have any suggestions on format or are available as a contestant, contact us.

On a more immediate note, I wanted to mention that the new Canon XA35 camcorders are now available for checkout. The image quality is great, and the automatic calibration settings are so good it is very tempting to sit back and let things like white balancing be done for you. Of course the old firehouse in Union Square is the home of DIY media making. You want to play an active (not passive) role in things, that’s why you’re making media, not just consuming it. It’s this proactivity that makes SMC such a vibrant place. And it’s this can-do spirit that is relied upon as far as maintaining good communication and cooperation among the members, staff and volunteers that keeps this place humming.

As a membership organization, Somerville Media Center is a DIY, electronic media, maker space where resources and facilities are pooled to provide access to the tools needed to make your TV show, radio broadcast, video short, podcast, etc. The good of this is that there is an array of equipment, facilities and support available to you. The trade off is that you may have to cooperate with other media producers that want to use the same resources. The solution is a little bit of planning and communication. A simple request through SMC staff reserves a camera, edit computer or studio space for the time you know you’re going to need it. (This is not to discourage the spontaneity of walking in and doing something). The expectation is also there that when equipment is borrowed, or facilities used, that things are working as expected. When it doesn’t it can be frustrating, and things can compound as subsequent usage is affected. In that can-do spirit, we encourage you to speak up, speak out and notify us when something needs are attention. Too often I’ve run across instances where assumptions have been made that an equipment issue is already known or that it’s another’s role to discover it. We media producers. We’re as effective as our equipment allows. If there’s a problem be the catalyst for getting it fixed. Our staff thanks you and so the members who also rely on the same equipment.

We are very flexible with stuff…you wanna borrow the sofa from the front hall, great…clear it with staff…and be sure to replace it when you’re done.
As such, we look to all members and staff to help out in that department. If, when using equipment, you notice something “off” about it. Please communicate it so that we can do something about it. No one wants to be on the receiving end of something like that, so do your part to break that cycle. The same goes for our facility spaces. We are very flexible with stuff…you wanna borrow the sofa from the front hall, great…clear it with staff…and be sure to replace it when you’re done. Production involves both setup before the shoot AND teardown afterwards. Like the scouting rule of leaving a campsite better than you found it, we look to your continued support and efforts to make things a little bit better for your fellow producers.

This is YOUR media center. This is YOUR equipment. Use it like you own it. And do your part in taking care of this community resource. It’s a responsibility we all share.