Easy ways to improve Albuquerque's community cable
Last week Marisa Demarco reported on the new community cable channel 26 called Encantada TV [Re: News Profile, "Encantada TV," May 7-13]. It will primarily focus on arts and culture and is operated by Channel 27 group Quote... Unquote, Inc. During the fanfare on Civic Plaza surrounding Encantada’s launch, there was a humorous moment with blindfolded kids trying to bust a television piñata.
Eventually the blindfolds came off, the tele was knocked to the ground and something bordering on Lord of the Flies commenced. It was a great bit of unintentional comedy, but the symbolism was apt.
For many people, cable access is the kind of thing that, in spite of its mission and knowledge that it’s not supposed to be slick, sometimes just makes you want to put your foot through the screen.
Look, we all support the mission. But why can’t it just be better? Is it so hard to have even passable production values? A compelling idea?
It’s so frustrating. Community cable is about the only organic thing you’ll ever see on a television, and that shouldn’t go away. But there is also an opportunity with this new channel to broaden things.
The blindfolds came off, the tele was knocked to the ground and something bordering on Lord of the Flies commenced.
The timing could not be better. Production values? Please. We do that every day. There are now insanely talented people doing film and television work here that would, at the least, make things look really interesting.
Better yet, there are ideas. Lots of them. Here’s a few offered in the spirit of idea starters (for my full list, see “Top 10 Community Cable Programming Ideas”).
How about if Albuquerque’s most robust blog, Duke City Fix, takes the essence of that shared energy into a visual format? A community voice of videographers exploring nooks, crannies and obsessions. I’d watch that.
Albuquerque stages an impressive amount of theater for its size. That’s worth celebrating, but there’s also a problem. We’ve grown theater’s footprint but not the patronage. This pie must be expanded. The Albuquerque Theater Guild (a consortium of all the theaters in town) is a solid idea with committed people behind it, and now a big fat opportunity lies shimmering: filming locally written and staged plays. It’s been done, most notably by the New Playwrights project on Long Island Public Access.
Playwrights are pushing out loads of original work. Any and all performance art and dance should have a performance filmed during every run. This one is a no-brainer with an enormous upside for the creative community.
What happens if the African American Chamber of Commerce gets a slot? Same for the Hispano and Native American chambers. There’s a lot of juice inside those memberships going unnoticed.
Or an Albuquerque-specific organic gardening show. And I’m talking the nuances of soil, insect control and water usage specific to every slice of the city. There are a myriad of angles, including how to get that information and find it on local shelves. There are great foodie groups here who could do something wonderful with the TV format. I’d include the Co-op in there as well.
The list just goes on.
The folks at Quote... Unquote, Inc. are taking the right approach by letting show applicants know there’s going to be a threshold of expected quality. And quality is exactly what community cable needs.