A Brief Background
Back in 1995, I surfing my local cable stations when I came across a public access channel called; MATA which broadcasted on two cable channels in my local area. Today, it goes by a new name along with a new location; MCM. While I watching the channel, I saw an ad; "Make Your Own Tv" the ad description went on to invite anyone with an idea for a tv-program to come down to the station and find out how you could accomplish such a task! I thought about it, and came up with an idea for a show. So me, and a female friend of mine with her kids went down to the station to find out more information as it sounded too good to be true at first. While venturing into the room where the meeting was going to take place, I noticed the room was packed full of future producers. More so than I expected. Orientation was impressive, so the Lord let me to sign up for classes. First, I attended producers class, which was a mere introduction on how to be a producer and going through the first step of a systematic process of bringing your tv-program to cable.
We practiced as a class by taking some video on various subjects, it had mostly nothing to do with our idea of a show. This was mainly for the purpose of learning how to produce the show. I was paired with a Muslim couple to accomplish the assignment. I picked a subject of being critical of gambling which delighted my classmates whom I was paired with. My presentation was against gambling, and those in sports like Pete Rose who used to gamble while playing...I even quoted the Bible a few times.
The Muslims whom I was working with, picked a morality subject line that did eventually lead towards their idea for a program which had to do with Islam. When these two projects were completed, next came editing class. In order to learn this process in a maze of digital and analog editing which is now very primitive by the advance of computers some 13 years later. But it still has technical value even today. We took our projects and learned how to clue them up to be played on the cable channel. We also learned about the digital effects from going from one aspect of the program to another. Sound fades, picture fades, learning how to use the title generator to give the program proper credits which was on a computer and so on. What we were working on and the time consumed would cost thousands of dollars back then. It's still pretty expensive to produce a show that is clued for tv.
Just the camcorder itself was worth 8,000 dollars and it was huge compared to camcorders nowadays. Not to mention the recorder, sound mixer, mics, and monitor that came along with the tv-projects as I wasn't using a Hi8 camera nor the much smaller HD or 4K cameras that are available today. But amazingly the Lord provided all these things for such little cost and I was able to reach tens of thousands of people from my broadcasts each week. If you would have asked me if I would be a producer of my own show someday, I would have said, "yea, in my dreams"....Because normally during the analog era, you needed either a ton of money or somebody with power in the media on any level to like you in order to obtain the chance of producing one's own program. After the editing session, the real fun was about to begin.
Seeing My Christian Tv-Program Come to Light On MATA
Eight months had come and gone since I seen the ad for producing one's own tv-program on a public access channel. I was nervous but relied on the Lord to lead me through the process. My very first show was witnessing to Roman Catholics, the doctrine of grace which cannot be earned or merited, and I covered a few news items.
My first airing was on a Friday night, around 8:30pm which right in the heart of primetime tv...My family had just got done eating, me and my family sat around the tv waiting for the program to start. Then all of a sudden, the intro started and there was my first appearance on tv. Sounds like a pretty smooth beginning, but the account above was actually the second time my family waited for me to be on cable tv. The first time the station goofed leaving me and the rest hanging as the program never aired the first time like it was supposed to. It was the only major flaw, for the next four years the rest of the programs always started on time when they were supposed to.
Unlike regular tv, public access offers a variety of options during my time there. First option is one new "live" show like every other week, and the rest are taped reruns. My show was taped once, and shown 4 times a month, once a week. It took me about 3 weeks to complete one program. I went through preparation, camera work, editing, and then submission for broadcasting. By that time the month was almost over and there was no way I could tape and submit another program before the month ended. Since there are no commercials on public access tv, you had to promote the program yourself.
I wasn't sure how many people actually watched my shows, but I did get noticed. When my shows ran every week on a regular basis, I would go into a mall, and someone whom I never seen before say "hi" to me by name. People whom I worked with also mentioned they seen me on tv. It wasn't star status but it was great to know that people were watching the show!
I did many more programs after that up until around 2000, where there were lots of time slots changes after each year. The channel worked out a new deal with the city. In this new deal the times for the station mainly favorite those who worked first shift. It wasn't a bad time slot, because most producers at the time where using it. I worked nights, and there was no way, I could checkout, go to work, and the next morning do the show, and then check back in, and go to work. Sadly, my show had to end on cable...It's not to say I will never go back. If my work hours change or if the station hours change, I will go right back into producing once again and take more classes, Lord willing.
This brings me up to the website which began in 1998, at another web address. It's been at this current one since 2005 while removed from the old one. The Other Side, was originally my show's title. My church (Bible Believers Church which is independent Baptist) had no clue at the time on how to build a website, so I combined the two. What started as a mere 8 pages is now over 166 pages which is amazing and it continues to grow while trying to adapt to the ever changing world of internet surfing.
The website's main purpose after much prayer, is to provide many Christian resources for the purpose of growing in the Lord, and proclaim the Gospel to the lost. News items was later added due to the ever increasing bias in the media towards Christians. Many topics haven't been covered yet or just touched upon, but will be added to the array of Christian resources on this site. Lord willing...