Dawn McElligott: Getting My 5-Minute Program On the Air

Scenic, serene, inspirational Oxford, PA
Scenic, serene, inspirational Oxford, PA

by Dawn McElligott

Fear of failure is often the biggest obstacle for a wannabe filmmaker. But MiND TV, a non-profit company, was asking its viewers to make their own 5-minute video for broadcast to millions of people in greater Philadelphia. How could I lose? By not even trying.

Last June I purchased a Canon Vixia HD camcorder for about $ 300. I saved money on lawyers by downloading standard photography and location release templates free of charge.

In my newly adopted hometown of Oxford, Pa, I started videotaping interviews with community leaders regarding their efforts to revitalize its downtown and surrounding area.

With only one interview left to do, I attended a MiND TV video production workshop. Costing $ 125 and running for six hours, it covers many essential elements including concept development, basic shooting techniques and editing.

Prices for video editing software range from free online to $ 1599.00 for Avid Media Composer 8. I purchased Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13 video editing software, on the low end at about $ 60. Finally, I paid the non-profit media company an additional $ 75 for membership and the right to submit a video.

The membership and programming departments critiqued my submissions through emails with specific recommendations. As I predicted in my last letter to the media company, the third one was the charm. MiND TV accepted the third version and will start broadcasting the program in mid-July.

According to their website, www.Mindtv.org, “MiND’s signal covers … nearly 20 million people from Northern New Jersey to northern Maryland—more than any other local broadcaster in the USA.” I’m glad I gave it a shot.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We just noticed that there’s a job opening at this very same MiND TV. If you’re interested – and Dawn hasn’t already snatched it up, why not have a look?