URTV, UR’s student-operated, independently funded television station, is venturing into new territory. Currently in post-production is the station’s first situation comedy, or sitcom. Written by sophomore Josh Epstein, “College-Daze” chronicles typical UR life. The program is similar to the structure of the famous television show “Seinfeld” and is generating a great deal of excitement.

“Our biggest new project is the sitcom,” URTV co-president and sophomore Jake Nacheman said. “I can guarantee that the series has an uproarious climax at the end.”

The new show is just one of the many projects URTV has provided since its reinstatement in 2004. The student-run station supplies 24-hour entertainment to those living on campus and many shows are available online at Google Video for those living off the River Campus. The material seen on channel four ranges from skits to talk shows, to game and news shows. Some segments broadcasted, including movies and the new sitcom, are scripted and edited by members. However, a large proportion of the programming is improvisation.

“We find that as long as we’ve got a general idea of the premise of the show, amusing things tend to happen when we just wing it,” vice president and sophomore Katie Koeblitz said.

The news and talk shows are filmed in the URTV studio on the fourth floor of Rush Rhees Library. These are impromptu, and they are taped without retakes. Two such programs are the station’s two most popular, “UR Up Late,” a talk show, and “URTV Action News,” a news show, which are shown on alternating weeks throughout the year. To facilitate these segments, news stories and guests are often from relevant events on and around campus.

Though originally offered as an outlet for UR students majoring in film to present their work to their peers, URTV has broadened to include undergraduates with varied interests. The station provides its members with experience in media or production as well as the satisfaction of contributing their own ideas toward entertaining the UR community. Students are always encouraged to attend the weekly meetings to participate in discussions of upcoming productions.

“Everybody’s suggestions are welcome, even non-club members,” Nacheman said. “URTV is run in a very friendly manner. We aren’t here to maintain strict deadlines and regulations, just to have fun.”

This mentality defines the exciting atmosphere that surrounds the club. A member’s duties may vary from week-to-week so that a participant could experience all that the television station offers. This includes anything from providing an idea to editing to working the camera. There is an opportunity to be involved in all aspects of production which allows students to pursue many different interests.

URTV frequently collaborates with other UR organizations. Currently the station is working with the Students’ Association and the UR Cinema Group and is producing a DVD for Off Broadway On Campus. By charging a fee for their services, the station is able to defray some of the costs of production. As a self-funded group, everything it earns is directed back into attaining equipment. URTV also airs advertisements from other organizations and businesses to raise money. “My big personal goal for URTV is to get a bigger studio,” Koeblitz said. “Our current studio closely approximates the size of a shoebox and it really makes things difficult for us when we attempt to utilize different camera angles.”

Yet URTV remains optimistic that they will not endure the same fate the club suffered in 2000 when it was shut down due to lack of interest. Members are quick to demonstrate their excitement for upcoming events to encourage students to become involved.

“I love everything about URTV,” gushed Nacheman. “And of course it’s always nice when random people walk up to me and say, ‘Hey, aren’t you that guy from URTV?'”

Schwartz is a member of the class of 2009.



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