Western Reserve PBS has partnered with TeleProductions and its student employees to produce the third season of its talk show, NEOtropolis.
NEOtropolis presents current events and trends in relation to Northeast Ohio businesses while allowing viewers to join the conversation and share their views on the topics via social media. Each half-hour show is shot live from TeleProductions' studio at Kent State University on Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m. The online community can discuss the show on both Facebook and Twitter during the show and continue the conversation throughout the week.
A lot of work goes into smoothly producing a live show, including setting up the lighting and other equipment. TeleProductions producer/director Shane Roach acts as the floor director, but he said the show is mostly run by students.
"We offer guidance and answer questions, but we allow the student workers to take control of the production," Roach said.
TeleProductions' student workers help prepare for the show, shoot the footage, run the teleprompter, and much more.
Senior electronic media management student Dan LeBeau plays an important part in the production of NEOtropolis. LeBeau, who has worked for TeleProductions for over two years, acts as the technical director for NEOtropolis. His job is to execute the director's commands. This can be anything from adding graphics to a shot or cutting from one camera to another.
LeBeau worked on the first season of NEOtropolis and is happy to be working on the show again. Working on live shows helps him prepare for his career after college. LeBeau enjoys the opportunities he's been given as a student employee.
"It's definitely fast-paced and more stressful than other types of production. Everything is measured in seconds or milliseconds, and a show never goes exactly according to plan. You get used to it, but the fact that thousands of people will see everything you are doing never really leaves the back of your mind," LeBeau said.
LeBeau said that not all students get these opportunities.
"I don't think you'll see many student crews operating at the level that we're operating at, and I think that NEOtropolis has provided a lot of great opportunities for a lot of our student employees," LeBeau said.
Viewers can watch on television or online at www.neotropolis.org. Each show is streamed live on NEOtropolis' website.