‘Our Town’

Our Town Warren is coming together.

Warren residents gathered Tuesday night at the Struthers Library Theatre for a training session with producers from WPSU Penn State Public Broadcasting to learn how to shoot video, take photographs and prepare for interviews for the show.

If you didn’t sign up on Tuesday you can’t submit footage for the show, which will air on Oct. 10.

The crew will return on Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Crary Art Gallery for a production day to talk about the stories and hold casual, on-camera interviews about the footage gathered to help tie the story together with narration and personality. The interviews, video and photographs will head back to the WPSU-TV station to be professionally edited together.

“This is just a really great mix,” said WPSU Producer Whitney Chirdon. “I talked to all the people standing in line and everybody was really enthusiastic about all the stories.”

Chirdon and Peters are looking for the best stories to represent the community and encourage residents to grab a camera and hit the streets to document the people, places and events that make Warren special.

And there were no shortage of ideas Tuesday night.

The Warren County Summer Music School, Founders Day, the Warren Library Association, Thomas Struthers, The Woman’s Club of Warren, the county fair, The Boonies International Film Festival, and architecture in Warren are just a few of the topics residents signed up to document for Our Town Warren.

“These are all things that seem really seem to distinguish Warren,” said WPSU Producer Jessica Peters,. “We want to celebrate what’s happening now and it’s really refreshing to see a community that is so alive.”

Chirdon said there have been a lot of ideas for the program since the last meeting. “It’s been great and they’ve been really great and creative ideas,” she said.

There are many ways to participate besides documenting aspects of Warren, she said, suggesting residents can work in teams, provide photographs, B-roll footage and handle pre-interviews.

“We’re looking for 25 stories, but it’s interesting because we usually have about upwards of 50 to 60 people listed in the credits. So even through you’ll see 25 faces on camera there are many more people behind the scenes, whether they are contributing photos or B-roll footage.”

Members of the community who are interviewed for the program will be invited to an exclusive screening of the show once the footage has been edited down from a 10-minute interview into a two-minute segment. Video tapes and photographs will be returned and interviewees will also be invited to WPSU studios for the night of the live broadcast and answer phones during a fundraiser.

Chirdon and Peters offered a number of tips to participants who will be documenting aspects of Warren, including shooting at least 10 seconds or more of video; do not walk around with the camera; use a tripod whenever possible; get people in the shots; and do not narrate or record conversation over video.

For information on creating a story, project updates, contact information and training materials visit wpsu.org/warren.