Auditions being held at WestfordCAT 

Do you think you have what it takes to be an anchor at WestfordCAT  News? Have you always wanted to be a part of a local news program? WestfordCAT’s news division is holding auditions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout September for new anchors of its weekly newscast.

Watch the video (below) for all the information you’ll need as well as a tutorial on how to be the best news anchor you can be. Call 978-692-7152 or email jcrane@WestfordCAT.org to learn more and schedule your 30-minute audition time. We’ll send you a sample script to practice. The script will be available on a teleprompter for your audition.

5 Things You Need to Know About Your Local TV Station

When I give a tour of Westford Community Access Television (WCAT) I often hear, “I didn’t know this was here!”  Followed by, “This is awesome!” As they walk through and see the studio, control room, editing suite and equipment room they are amazed by the possibilities and accessibility. I’ll share five things they learn, as well as what you need to know about your community television station.

  1. Free video production training – That’s right, at most community access stations training is offered at no charge, as it is in Westford.  That means you can learn how to: plan your production, operate a professional-level video camera, edit your video with either a Mac or PC, operate the studio’s video switcher, control the sound board and lighting grid, and distribute your final program using our cable networks and various internet streaming services.  All that may be required of you is membership – which brings me to point number 2.
  2. Free membership!  – Community access stations (you may know them as “cable access” stations) have free or low-cost membership for residents.  In Westford, if you subscribe to a TV cable network, we consider your membership fee already covered in your bill as the “franchise fee.” Most people are unaware that Community Access is primarily funded by the local cable companies. It is not funded by local taxes. For folks that do not subscribe to cable, WestfordCAT charges  a low membership fee of $25 annually.
  3. You can borrow the equipment, for free!  Cameras, lights, mics, tripods and stands, media storage, cabling – if the station has it, you can borrow it!  As long as you are recording and creating content that can be televised on the local channels and shared on social media, you have access to the equipment.  (Renting equipment for commercial or personal reasons is possible, too.)
  4. Sharing and promoting your creation (also free) – Your creation is televised on the local public access channels, which are Comcast Channel 8 and Verizon Channel 35 in Westford.  Beyond that, WestfordCAT will also stream your production from their website and they can make it available to other stations on both state and national share-servers. WestfordCAT also has online social media channels, enabling programs to be shared internationally.  This gives you a powerful network to share your message, bringing me to my final point.
  5. Free Speech.  Community Access Television was created with the purpose of protecting our First Amendment right to free speech.  Everyone has equal access to otherwise expensive, technical methods that enable them to share their message and be heard far and wide without limiting costs or censorship. The staff at Westford Community Access Television is happy to teach you how to optimize all the resources they make available to residents, businesses and organizations.

How do you get started? Easy! Call the station or visit us online at WestfordCAT.org to find out about upcoming classes. And please come to the Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 20 which starts at 6:30pm. You’ll meet many producers, board members, volunteers and the staff.  Learn about your local community access center. You’ll be glad you did.

Video Production Classes at WCAT

We offer some really fun ways to create videos at WestfordCAT. Video production training helps you get started producing content for tv, websites and social media. We are offering classes on how to use our video cameras, the studio and our editing equipment. You can jump in whenever you’d like. Take one class or take all of them. If you are a resident and a cable subscriber, classes are free.  To see the current schedule use this link: Classes

Get started with the Orientation Night: An introduction to WestfordCAT.  In this session you will be introduced to the equipment and services available,  get a tour and demo of our studio and edit suite as well as see all the equipment we make available to the public to create programs.

Camera Operation Training  introduces you to the JVC High Definition Camera. We will discuss its basic features as well as important menu options that can either help you make amazing video, or cause unwanted problems. During the class, you will set up a camera, adjust the settings and record a short interview.

Intro to Mac Video Editing using Final Cut Pro X –  Learn to edit video using Final Cut Pro X.  Start by capturing and uploading footage; then add cuts, fades, music, graphics, and more. There’s power, speed and flexibility for video editors at every stage of the post-production workflow and now Final Cut Pro X features stunning 3D titles. (This is a two week class.)

How to Find the Story – Finding the story and knowing how to tell it is the foundation for bringing news to the community. WestfordCAT is seeking to cultivate a small and elite group of citizen journalists who will contribute to our professional weekly newscast by reporting and writing the news and taking photos and videos.  You will be walk away with the tools, techniques, and knowledge needed to report the news, and give you a platform for sharing your stories. We’ll explore the power and usefulness of Facebook and Twitter — as well as the pitfalls — and identify how the Internet has redefined the role of the journalist. Participants should bring a smart phone with camera to class, as well as a laptop, tablet or old-fashioned notebook and pen.

Look for these and other classes on our website under “Our Services,” then “Classes.”

Borrowing AV Equipment from WCAT 3 Easy Steps

Westford Community Access TV has AV equipment that residents can borrow to record events and activities.  There are a couple things you need to do before taking the equipment home for a few days. With  a little planning, you’ll be ready to capture the moments of a school play, sporting event, scout outing or festival day. on a professional HD JVC Camcorder. Continue reading Borrowing AV Equipment from WCAT 3 Easy Steps

Non-Profits Get Marketing Boost With Local TV

Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corp Presentation
Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corp Presentation

Non-Profits can benefit from free marketing and publicity with WestfordCAT.  There are several ways to spread the word about your upcoming fundraiser or special event and ongoing programs.    It’s easy to get started.

Here are six ways to boost your marketing efforts with your local TV station: Continue reading Non-Profits Get Marketing Boost With Local TV

Get Started In Video Production At WestfordCAT

WCAT Producers
WCAT Producers

WestfordCAT is a community resource for video production education and training.  Videography equipment is available for our members to borrow.   Editing education and support on both PC and Mac platforms is available at the station in classes and also by appointment. WCAT has the tools and the level of support you might need to get you started in video production. And best of all, it’s all available at no charge to Westford cable subscribers. Continue reading Get Started In Video Production At WestfordCAT