This week, justArts spoke with the president of Brandeis Television James Conlon ’16. Conlon says of the club, “since very few people watch TV on a college campus, BTV has become more of an online media network, highlighting video content on social media and a Youtube channel.”
justArts: Can you give an overview of BTV?
James Conlon: Brandeis Television has been around for a long time. It’s not so much of a television station as it used to be but more of a media conglomerate. It’s a network for students to be able to shoot films, to pool together interests, to bring together people from the movie industry to campus, to film screenings. It’s just a place for people who are interested in visual arts to come together.
JA: Is there a specific theme that BTV focuses on?
JC: We have done a lot regarding campus video production. We’ve shot student films, we’ve done a lot of music videos on campus for traveling bands and also for Brandeis musicians. We’ve recorded campus events, and we’ve done interviews and promotional videos for different clubs. So on campus, we try to do as much as we can to help the community, because a lot of people want exposure through videos.
JA: What kinds of projects are planned for this semester?
JC: This semester we are bringing an actress from “Orange is the New Black” [Marisol Gonzalez]. Her name is Flaca on the show. We’re very excited about that; the date is to be determined at the moment. We’re bringing back our film festival that hasn’t been around in like five years because there are issues every year, but finally we are bringing it back, and we’re really excited. We’re getting lots of submissions and lots of interest. We are also going to be doing more skits, more music videos and as much creative content as possible.
JA: If a student comes to BTV with an idea for a project, what is the process behind pursuing it?
JC: I think, the first thing is to evaluate the persons experience and to see if they are really interested in the long run for what they want to produce. So if they are interested, we give them as much help as they want. We have video equipment, we have writing seminars; we have editing stations. So regarding all that we help as much as we can. I think it really depends on people’s experience. If they are inexperienced, we might focus more on training them and on helping them write and getting a crew together, whether they want to direct it or not.
JA: Is there something specific that you hope to achieve this semester?
JC: I’ve been following BTV since I came to came to campus as a freshman. This being my last semester, as a senior and as president, I just want to make sure that there are a lot of underclassmen who are interested in film who have the comfort and the confidence to keep giving life to the club.