On SCAN-TV, Seniors Hone TV Production Skills

August 6, 2017
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Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno was interviewed by Tom Hayes for “Community Connections,” a pro- gram on SCAN-TV. The public access television station is run by seniors from the lower level of the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown.

By Jay Cook |

EATONTOWN – A small group of seniors have long been behind the scenes and in front of the cameras, working to combine hands-on education with broadcasting senior-oriented content to public access channels along the Jersey Shore.

Equipped with lights, three cameras, a full studio, and a control room, senior citizens from around Monmouth and Ocean counties trek to Monmouth Mall once a week for a full dose of the ins and outs of the television industry, provided by the Social Community Activities Network (SCAN), a non-profit adult social education and resource center, located in the mall’s lower level.

“They’re in the senior years of their lives, but they have such passion,” said Robin Kampf, SCAN’s new TV Production professor. “They love getting out of the house to do this.”

Kampf, a professional filmmaker and multimedia specialist with a career in the television industry, took over the TV production class in October 2016 after the position opened up.

Since joining the SCAN network of continuing education classes for the 50 and older community, her students say she has reinvigorated the course with a vibrant, upbeat attitude and a hands-on approach.

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“She really gives us a lot of autonomy in terms of developing our projects and putting everything all together,” said Pam Tortorello, a Brick resident and 10-year member of the class.

Along with classroom book work, this semester Kampf and her 10 students balance out the course load with plenty of time in the production studio.

Since it is a continuing education class, there is a mix of students who either have an interest in television as a hobby, or are building off careers in similar industries.

Little Silver resident Joe Hegner spent his career as the travel coordinator for the New York Giants, tasked with finding the most efficient way to get Big Blue from city to city.

Always interested in the media world, he found the TV production class seven years ago and stuck with it. “It’s just been sensational,” he said.

Jay Newcomb of Deal went to Oklahoma State and studied radio and television. He ultimately went the into the radio industry, working at WADB, an oldies station which served southern Monmouth and northern Ocean counties.

Now only in his third semester of the class, he’s just as involved as any other long-tenured student.

“I’m really looking forward to editing the shows,” he said.

Enrollees in the class learn how to operate cameras, audio boards and teleprompters, as well as how to create on-air graphics and direct a show.

Robin Kampf, left, directs an episode of “Welcome to SCAN” on July 28. Since joining in
October, Kampf has brought a career of experience to SCAN’s TV production class.

Students are constantly changing positions. One day they could be working Camera 2, the next they could be on the switcher, flipping camera angles at the director’s instruction.

But more importantly, Kampf said, is the shows are geared to seniors. Whether it’s local doctors talking about diabetes or nonprofit watchdogs protecting the senior community from scammers, SCAN-TV provides a service to a demographic she believes was left behind once major television providers began eating up smaller markets.

“Who watches television more than seniors?” Kampf questioned.

And it provides an outlet for seniors who notoriously have plenty of time on their hands.

“It adds a little bit of excitement to your life once you’re retired,” Hegner said. “When you come in here on Friday, you never know who is going to be here discussing whatever subject.”

Last Friday that subject was the kickoff to SCAN’s coverage of the upcoming New Jersey governor’s race.

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The TV production class will tape sit-down interviews with the two major party New Jersey gubernatorial candidates – Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, and Democrat Philip Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive.

On July 28, Guadagno was in studio for her SCAN-TV interview on the “Community Connections” show, hosted by Thomas Hayes, director of customer and community relations for New Jersey Natural Gas. Murphy’s interview will take place in late September, and both interviews will be broadcast in October.

The taping came at an opportune time, as both candidates had just announced their lieutenant governor picks. Guadagno announced last Thursday that Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo was her choice. Murphy declared his choice, Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-34), on July 26.

During Guadagno’s interview with Hayes, the conversation focused on her stance to help New Jersey senior citizens. Guadagno said she had “skin in the game” considering her husband had just recently retired, and that she wants to focus on making the state more affordable to not only the elderly, but all residents.

After the “Community Connections” interview, Guadagno spoke about SCAN’s platform of informing seniors living in the same area she lives – Guadagno is a Monmouth Beach resident.

“One way to reach seniors is through community activities like this,” she told The Two River Times. “I wanted to be a part of that.”

Kampf hopes the TV production class gains more members in the coming semesters. As her tenure continues, she wants to improve the overall look and quality of the programs, as well as work on improving the in-studio look.

But the one thing Kampf said she hopes never changes is her students’ work ethic.

“They are from a different generation,” she said. “I just think it’s so wonderful that they have this passion for learning, and then producing content that’s really important to them.”


Where to Watch SCAN-TV shows

Cablevision

Monmouth and Ocean Counties: Channel 77, Tuesdays, 8 to 9:30 p.m.

Keyport: Channel 15, Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Ocean Township: Channel 77, Tuesdays 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Comcast

Monmouth County: Channel 97, Thursdays, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Ocean County: Channel 97, Mondays, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Toms River: Channel 19, Mondays, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Long Branch: Channel 20, every evening, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Verizon Fios

Channel 45, Sundays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Channel 22, Tuesdays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.


SCAN-TV Programs

All shows are aired in this sequence for each time block, starting in September 2017.

“Welcome to SCAN” is hosted by SCAN executive director Pat Bohse, who provides viewers with topics relevant to the senior population.

“Caregivers First” is a care giving-centered resource program that offers information about legal, end-of-life, nutrition, and health insurance topics. It is hosted by Lynette Whiteman, executive director of Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey.

The final show, “Community Connections,” aims to give a platform for community members and local government figures that can offer some level of expertise. Thomas Hayes, director of customer and community relations for New Jersey Natural Gas is the host.


This article was first published in the August 3 – 10, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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