STV is launching a 20th-anniversary
capital campaign to raise $200,000 by 2003.
Goals for the campaign funds include converting to
digital equipment, purchasing additional lighting and sound
equipment and adding live and Web broadcast capabilities.
Wilson’s family foundation gave STV a
$20,000 cash grant for new equipment last year. Currently he is
spearheading an effort to raise more support through a challenge
grant from the foundation. STV will receive one dollar for each
dollar it raises, up to a total of $20,000, by Dec. 31, 2001.
“Gifts like this are invaluable to
help STV members get hands-on training with new equipment,”
said STV station manager Andy Spain ’02. “That training will
then provide us with the skills necessary to survive when
seeking employment in the entertainment industry.”
In the summer of ’83, Wilson realized
that UNC’s University Access Channel was not being used, and
he and Boyle asked the administration for permission to start
STV. The idea was for the organization to provide all students,
regardless of major, an opportunity for video production
experience and to provide entertainment and information to the
campus and community.
“The concept really captured the
imagination of UNC students, who voted overwhelmingly to provide
start-up funding through an increase in their student activities
fee, and then actually tuned in to our programming,” Wilson
said. Their first show, produced with equipment borrowed from
the department of radio, television and motion pictures (now
communication studies), aired in spring 1984. STV’s own
production equipment arrived in the fall of ‘84, and students
frantically read the instruction manuals in order to produce
STV’s second show.
“We finished it five minutes before it
was to be broadcast, and raced downtown just in time to watch it
with a huge crowd on Franklin Street. We would have been
satisfied simply to see a picture and hear sound, but the crowd
actually loved the show,” Wilson said.
Today STV reaches 8,000 students on
campus and 5,000 off-campus. It broadcasts 35 hours of weekly
programming, and produces 11 shows — an action show, a news
show, a sketch comedy, a sitcom, a sports show, a Cops-spoof, a
dark drama, a late-night talk show, a student video projects
show, and two call-in shows broadcast live from STV’s studio.
One of these shows is the new
incarnation of the acclaimed General College — an STV hit
series orginally created by Adam Reist ’89 about college life.
The series was so popular it ran for almost 10 years with a
total of 64 episodes. The show garnered praise from local and
national media, and produced a loyal following in the community.
Elesha Renee Barnette ’03 produces the
revised series. As a tribute to fans of the original series,
Barnette and her crew shot scenes in New York with General
College alumni that tied together old and new story lines. A
special hour-long episode will air in the fall featuring 12
alumni who returned to Chapel Hill for a weekend last March to
rehash their old roles.
“STV fills an important gap at UNC —
nowhere else on campus can one find the unrestricted access to
high-quality production equipment provided by STV,” said
Martin Clark ’87, the first elected station manager of STV and
current member of the alumni advisory board. “It gives members
the opportunity to participate in every part of the video
production process from idea to final product, and then
broadcast the result to tens of thousands of dorm rooms and
A biology major as an undergraduate,
Wilson said STV helped him realize that his future was in film
and television rather than medicine. It also helped him enter
graduate film school at the University of Southern California,
which he said he never could have done without the production,
creative and leadership experience at STV.
Wilson went to work for Jim Henson
Productions in Los Angeles, and in 1998 he and his wife, Ashley
Lefler Wilson ’86 – who also helped found STV — moved back
to Chapel Hill. Today his heart is in documentary filmmaking. He
is producing a documentary about logging in national forests
and, with Clark, a documentary on U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms. Wilson
and Clark also produced Dr. Frank, an Emmy Award-winning
documentary on former U.S. Senator and UNC President Frank
Porter Graham, in 1994.
Other STV alumni remain in Hollywood.
Several serve on the STV alumni advisory board, including Peyton
Reed ’86, who directed the movie Bring it On; John Altschuler
’85 and Dave Krinsky ’85, co-executive producers of Fox’s
King of the Hill; Dan Cortese ’90 who appeared on NBC’s
Veronica’s Closet, and Bill Martin ’86 who created Fox’s
Grounded for Life and was executive producer of NBC’s 3rd Rock
from the Sun. All of them acknowledge the impact STV had in
their successful careers.
“STV was a film school with no
teachers, where you had to figure out everything —lighting,
camera, editing, directing, writing and acting— on your
own,” Martin said. Reed said the hands-on experience you get
at STV is critical to succeed in the film and television
“From the writing to the editing, I
still use the lessons I learned at STV,” Reed said.
Wilson hopes the challenge grant will
inspire other STV alumni to contribute.
“STV did for me more than any other
aspect of my UNC experience, and I want current and future STV
members to have an even better experience than I did,” Wilson
Victoria Moxey ’02
For more information about STV
please visit www.uncstv.org
or contact Brad Wilson at 919-843-5376 or email@example.com.
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