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Resident-Run TV Crew at Tallgrass Creek Uses Same Mcintosh Progam that Pixar Studio Uses

August 11, 2011

Resident - Run Television Production Crew at Tallgrass Creek Uses Same Macintosh Program That Walt Disney's Pixar Studio Uses; Daily Programming is Comprehensive
OVERLAND PARK, KS (August 11, 2011) - Four men who retired from the electrical engineering, pharmacy, financial services, and psychology professions today are - literally - the eyes and ears of Tallgrass Creek retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas.
They are known as the Television Production Committee and their daily  volunteer duties involve the development of comprehensive closed circuit TV programming for the nearly 300 residents of Tallgrass Creek. They use the same Macintosh program that many animated film studios such as Walt Disney's Pixar also use.
The Television Production Committee is one of the longest running committees at Tallgrass Creek. The four members are all from Kansas or Missouri,  except Knapp, who moved from Massachusetts. They are the original committee members and have all lived at Tallgrass Creek for about three years.
"One more thing we have in common," said former pharmacist Davis Ross, "we knew next to nothing about television work when we started this several years ago."
Ross, along with fellow committee members Dick Knapp (electrical engineer), Dave Maze (financial services district manager), and John Hall (psychologist), gather Monday and Thursday mornings for several hours in the community's television studio located on the main floor. They flip on a computer loaded with an electronic bulletin board program and get to work designing slides---about 20 a week--- that showcase upcoming activities, menus, and announcements for the televised bulletin boards positioned around the community.
The bulletin board can also be accessed on residents' home televisions and includes the daily crawl--- information that runs continuously across the bottom of the screen.
"We're a regular CNN," said Maze.
In addition to keeping the bulletin boards current, the group films some of the social and educational events at Tallgrass Creek. Knapp, Maze, and Ross, the designated camera crew, have filmed events such as the community's first fashion show, talent show, town hall meetings, resident presentations, and anniversary activities. The team is in high demand as evidenced by the never-empty box in the office where residents and staff put requests for the group's services.
"We're usually behind the camera several times a month," says Knapp. "There's always something happening."
The camera crew turns their film over to Hall who formats "live" DVDs that are also broadcast on the community's televisions and accessed on residents' home sets. He usually splices several events together so viewers can enjoy many of the community's recent happenings and activities.
"I really enjoy the creative process," said Hall. "I take what these guys film throughout the month and sometimes work ten hours straight for a couple days, piecing it together."
The group gives a big "high five" to Daniel Stapf, Tallgrass Creek's senior facilities manager and Jill Cline, community resources coordinator. Stapf, who has a degree in television production, recently trained the group to film their first live town hall meeting so residents not attending could view it at home. "It's been great working with these guys," Stapf said. "They're dedicated and always open to trying something new."
Cline serves as the television station coordinator and works closely with the group to ensure the bulletin boards are updated. She also schedules the camera crew. "These men are unsung heroes," she said. "Their work is all done behind the scenes and it affects every resident here."
"We've learned about all this together," said Ross. "It was kind of a trial and error thing."
"It also helps that we don't mind a laugh or two," said Maze.