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About The World of Volunteering at MCM

Follow me in this blog as I give you a behind the scenes look at volunteering at Montgomery Community Media. I am originally from the Netherlands, and now live and work in Montgomery County. My interest in MCM began at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair in August 2011, which prompted... Read more

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Hollywood Week at MCM

20140201_160333These past 6 weeks have been “project weeks” for the Field Producer, Field Camera technician and Field Editor classes here at MCM.

I compare this to the Hollywood week of American Idol; random students are teamed up with strangers, to produce, shoot and edit a documentary style interview with a local individual. The finished product cannot be longer than 5 minutes and you don’t get to    choose your crew. Some people get excited, some people get stressed out, some people even get frustrated. But in the end, when all the  projects are saved to tape and handed in to be reviewed by the trainers and fellow students, you always see the high five’s and hear the  sighs of relief “we did it!”


20140205_190228Student producers, camera technicians and editors get a very basic sneak peek into the world of television productions. Together they plan the production, find a subject or talent, find a shooting location, set up the shoot, direct the filming, create an “edit decision list” (a detailed outline of the footage producers want to use in a specific order, with sound effects, music, supporting video, transitions and computer generated text for the ENTIRE production), and instruct the field editor on any changes or additions.


20140208_113429Everybody in this scenario is a student in their particular field, most of them without any prior experience, so all are trying to find their way through the knowledge and skills they very recently acquired. This of course can lead to some frustrations when plans fall  through, things just don’t go as expected, things simply take longer than they thought, someone forgetting something from their  training or personalities simply not being as compatible as desired. Yet things get done, people adapt, to changes, to mistakes, to other  people. The students realize that this is what modern day Television Production is about. You adapt to ever changing circumstances,  you learn not to expect everything to be right, but rather you MAKE it right or find a way to make it work. You don’t have to like any  people you work with, as long as you get the production done and learn, first and foremost, that everything in Television Production  begins with the magic triangle: Cheap, Fast, Good. You choose 2 out of 3 and accept the fact that this will negatively affect the third  one.
How do you want it done
If you’re still standing after MCM’s Hollywood week, either as a Field Producer, as a Field Camera Technician, or as a Field Editor, you will have fun watching all the class projects the Thursday after Hollywood week has ended, to be certified (after passing the written exams) and start your exciting journey in Public Access Television at MCM, hopefully giving wings to your own (creative) dreams.

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About Robert Snip

Robert Snip is originally from the Netherlands, and is now living and working in Montgomery County. He became interested in MCM at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair in August 2011, after which he signed up for certification as a Field Camera Technician and Field Producer. Since then he has worked on more than a dozen productions as a camera technician, crew manager, floor director, video director and Final Cut Pro editor, for which he received MCM certification in May 2012. His first production, the Messiah Sing Along was awarded an Honorable mention at the 2012 Monty Awards, after which he produced the National Christian Choir at First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg. In 2014 he has been working as the Executive Producer for the award winning TV series Lip Gloss & a Sander. Currently Robert is working as Producer and Director for On the Edge of Time, a documentary series on a woman and her journey with cancer, and for Kids With Learning Power, a children's show to be launched Fall of 2015. Robert is the author of the MyMcMedia blog The World of Volunteering at MCM.


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