February 5, 2011
Thursday evening, Feb. 3, Monterey's public access TV station AMP threw a party to celebrate their 10th year serving the Peninsula. And for a Thursday shindig, for perhaps one of the most undervalued community assets around, people showed up in droves.
Memory Lane played classic covers in one studio-turned-party room; the other studio had a two-camera live set that people could sit in on, with a green screen backdrop; at one point a couple and their little girl were playing news anchors with the equipment, the girl pretending to operate the camera. The whole facility seemed open, with staffers and volunteers on hand to shoot the event live and answer questions.
Steven Levinson, who teaches video production in CSUMB's Teledramatic Arts and Technology Department, said he was there because his students had collaborated with AMP and because he is a strong supporter.
"Monterey is blessed to have a really good [public] access studio, multiple channels, multiple PEGS," he said, referring to the "Public, Education and Government" channels the Peninsula has.
The ubiquitous Hebard Olsen, who estimates he tapes about 200 shows for AMP a year, was among the attendees. His zeal in documenting the county's cultural, civic and entertainment events earned him an Arts Council for Monterey County Champions of the Arts award in 2008--he taped that event, too.
Timothy Barrett, winner of the National Hometown Video Awards Competition, is a producer of two shows on AMP, including Twilight Monterey.
"The last show was with the author of Bone Knowing and a guy with ALS," Barrett says. "The next one is the role of civics in society by Kate Daniels, an internet publisher, on the 24th."
Sportscaster Hunter Finnell was among the throngs.
"I did the news here for years," he said. "In the studio where the band is playing.
The couple with the small child who were playing newscaster in one of the studios paused in the lobby on their way out.
Wai Chang talked about wanting to make a documentary about a prominent local photographer and was considering taking classes, which are free to community members, through AMP as a starting point.
When asked which photographer, Chang coyly replied, "I can't say yet. You'll see."