One of the largest, most advanced television studios in the area can be found right above a bank.
That’s because above the bank is the state-of-the-art new home of RevereTV, the city’s non-profit community access station. In preparation for their 5th year anniversary, the station moved from the fourth floor of the Citizen’s Bank building last fall to a much larger space on the second floor.
Now, they appear to have found a permanent home with plenty of room to grow.
Executive Director Robert Dunbar said the new configuration has doubled the size of the old studio and has brought in a very sophisticated control room.
“The core goal for our expansion was finding a way to get the biggest studio space available,” he said. “We’ve increased our studio space now by more than 1,000 sq. ft. You can also now have a crew of three or four working the control room or it can be set up to be run by one person using our three robotic cameras.”
Finding a place to spread out, though, wasn’t as easy as it first appeared.
Dunbar said they explored buying a building at 85 Broadway, only to find out upon inspection that it had some problems that were expensive to remedy. They also looked at the old Fleetwood Recordings building at 321 Revere St., only to find similar problems there.
When they located on the fourth floor of the Citizen’s Bank building, it was a nice place to land, but Dunbar said he knew it wasn’t permanent.
“We really did think it was just an interim situation,” he said. “We had tried other locations and they didn’t work out so we built that studio in the smaller space. We found out right away when we tried to do a show with a group of people that the spaced didn’t accommodate such a thing. We just needed more production space.”
Dunbar said the new studio would easily accommodate a large group or a musical band. He hopes to expand the original arts programming on the station, and get more musical acts in the studio.
“We already have interest from producers who have bands,” he said. “I hope to encourage more people to do different types of programs.”
And with an advanced ‘Green Screen’ technology being available for the background, one can literally broadcast from any point on Earth…or any streetscape in Revere.
Dunbar said the building project has been accompanied by a major upgrade in equipment – from new cameras to new control room production tools.
However, he said a move from standard definition to high definition (HD) would prove to be the biggest change at the station.
“The biggest significant improvement in this round has been a big upgrade to our control room, moving from standard definition to high definition,” he said. “That has improved the look of our content dramatically. In that, we want to integrate a lot more virtual sets. The goal would be to look like it was something produced in Boston. With these tools in place, it can unlock a whole lot more creativity that people might not have thought possible before.”
With the overall project winding down, and new shows now being produced and programmed at the new station, Dunbar said they are looking to increase their membership and volunteer base.
“As we do the final touches on all the new equipment, our number one goal for the first half of this year is re-engaging the community and seeking members. If you want to have your own show, classes are available to learn how to do that. Or, if you want to learn about the technology, you can volunteer to produce someone else’s show.”
Basic training at RevereTV involves two or three classes on production and then some practice runs on the equipment. Those who are interested in learning more about the technology can enroll in advanced production classes.
For more information, go to RevereTV.org, or to their Facebook page.