Here is a handy guide to getting started making media here at CCTV, from planning to shooting to showtime and everything in between.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Productions

What help our members produce media that is meaningful to them and their community. After becoming a member and taking some classes you will be on your way to making great media. Read on for a walkthrough on how to produce here at CCTV.

  1. Become a member of CCTV
    You must become a member of CCTV in order to access any of our services and facilities, and attend one of our orientations. Membership costs $75/year depending on your Cambridge residency and the services you wish to use.
  2. Take classes on the gear you hope to use
    Members can take classes or sometimes take tests to gain access to our equipment. At least the introductory level of classes are required for access to our portable camera, audio and lighting equipment. We also offer classes for our multicamera live studio and our digital edit suites.
  3. Plan your production
    Take some time to develop a vision of your production. Check the availability of your talent, obtain releases and do all of the preproduction planning that you learned in class. If you need crew, contact Shirin Mozaffari about to get help finding volunteer crew.
  4. Submit a Production Contract
    Production contracts are CCTV's way of allowing you to use our equipment in exchange for copies of your final works. Use the contract to pitch your production to CCTV and, if approved, we can give you a budget for equipment use to complete your project. After it has been approved, you will receive an email acknowledgement and you can begin work.
  5. Reserve gear in advance
    With your newly approved contract you can reserve equipment and facilities in person or over the phone. Planning ahead will pay off for you - members who book equipment two weeks ahead of time have very few problems with availability.
  6. Start Productions
    Pick up your gear and start your creative work.
  7. Start Postproductions
    No matter what kind of media or piece you are making, the post production process may include reviewing, editing, rerecording and so on. There are classes that can help improve your skill, and mentoring programs that can help you complete it.
  8. Submit your program for cablecast
    In order to satisfy and close your contract, you must submit a copy of your final work to be seen on CCTV's channels, or website, or both. You are then welcome to open a new contract for a new project or more time on the current project.
  9. Watch it on the big screen
    Invite your friends over, make popcorn, and watch your show!
  10. Get the word out!
    After all your hard work there is still more you should do to help get the word out about your final piece. Upload your show to CCTV's website or any other media sharing site. Send press releases! Bomb your favorite social networks with announcements about your progress and final product. There is so much you can do!

There are some reasons why CCTV might not allow you free access to our community production equipment. The use of CCTV's facilities and equipment is for the purpose of producing programming for CCTV's community channels or website. Members producing for commercial purposes and significant non-CCTV purposes must pay the fair rental value of the equipment they use. Contact Sean Effel about equipment rentals.