Number 40.   This edition is for the week of December 25--31, 2000.
The Year in Review.  Some behind-the-scenes stuff.  Lots of people to thank!     by Nolan B. Canova
All contents this page are 2000 by Nolan B. Canova
       IT'S HARD TO KNOW WHERE TO START.  First of all--and most unbelievably, even to me--it's only been approximately one (1) year since I got a personal computer for the first time.  I got my first email address (with Hotmail) on December 9, 1999. My being online with AOL is a little cloudier, because I lost that info thru two computer crashes, but it was pretty close to this date.
       It's not like I never touched a computer before, mind you. But even tho I had a little data-entry practice at my old job at Qualex Photo, and occasionally would poke keys at friend's houses, the mystery of computers and being "online" was a deep and profound mystery to me. Besides, I had never seen anybody do much with them except play video games and send email. At the time, I thought the email idea was very over-rated. HA!
       Over the years, I had an inkling I'd like a website, but when I'd ask anyone about computers, websites, domain names, and the like, if I didn't get a blank stare I got a techno-nightmare explanation that might as well have been in Portuguese. Nothing made sense to me and no one knew how to explain it to me.
      Around the time computers were starting to "mature" in stability and affordability--last October, or so of 1999--2 important things happened. 1.) A couple I'm very close to got WebTV--and online--for the first time and I got a chance to sit with them and peruse the net. 2.) A little later, another friend, with slightly more computer savvy, brought me to his vacationing brother's condo to spend "quality time" with his computer setup.  He showed me what a website of my own might look like and he let me surf the net at my leisure every night for a couple of weeks. That pretty much changed my life forever. FINALLY, I understood what everyone was so crazy about.  (I still don't know what's so damned hard to explain abut it, tho.)  Within a few days, I borrowed still another friend's retired IBM Aptiva (with Windows 3.1!) and tried become familiar with it.  It was unfortunately too underpowered to go online, but I learned its programs. After a computer-tech friend sold me my first small computer and I got online, I learned enough to start my own homepage and later create Nolan's Newsstand, aka Nolan's Pop Culture Review you're reading right now.  I have a domain name--to be announced--that will be on the web in the near future. My ongoing computer education has been a source of both great frustration and great satisfaction to me. But, it's brought me closer to friends I rarely communicated with thru "normal" channels. (Most notably my columnists, who will be addressed in a bit.)
     For my computer situation, a special THANK YOU to:
     The couple who introduced me to WebTV (but who wish to remain anonymous).
     Steve Beasley, who, for years, tried to get me interested in computers to no avail, finally succeeded the night we went over to his brother Adam's condo. Steve's the one who dummied up a fake Nolan website and taught me how to surf the net solo. Adam helped me secure a domain name.
     Paul Draper, Sr., who lent me his old IBM Aptiva 486 for several weeks so I could get my feet wet on a "real" computer for the first time.
     Corey Castellano, who, for years, also tried to get me interested in computers to no avail, for building and maintaining the next two computers I actually owned. (The first one was refurbished and sold to the anonymous couple, and I'm still working with the other. Paul Draper got his Aptiva back.)
     John Petrey of Blacklight Video for countless hours of brain-picking over web-stuff like HTML code, Javascript, cut-and-paste, self-help websites, and firewalls.
     And thanks to everyone else I inadvertantly left out--you know who you are.
ABOUT PUBLIC ACCESS
      Before I became a computer wiz (ha ha, yeah right), my sole avocation for the past 2 years has been learning video production, with an eye toward broadcasting original programming of my own.  After "enrolling" at Tampa Public Access Television (now called the Tampa Bay Community Network) around October of 1998 (there's October again), I began work as a cameraman on a show called "Malcolm the Magnificent" with Malcolm Hathorne, UFO researcher and host. Within a few weeks I was guesting on the show as a commentator (the first show of 1999, to be exact). Altho we became friends of a sort, Mal and I split in the summer of 1999, but reunited in January of 2000. I was a guest on the first show of that season as well. Until we split for good in the late summer of 2000 (creative and procedural differences of opinion--you know), Mal was a neverending source of help, inspiration and knowledge. About PA, yes, but also about his main topic of UFOs (which he takes VERY seriously. Altho I'm extensively read on the subject, avidly tape all the specials, and rarely missed the Art Bell radio show, Mal was the one who was driven about aliens living among us). He also knew a lot about computers and offered help there, too. On my first TV special (more on that in a bit) he was the technical director.
      While this was going on, I was trying to film and edit the first episode of my original series entitled  "Radioactive Television".  This first 26-minute episode, "The Horror Writer",  was based on a 5-page rough script treatment entitled "The Utter Horror", written by Terence Nuzum, who many loyal readers of PCR will recognize as the sometime-columnist for "Terence's Tirade".  Terence is the nephew of long-time Tampa fan and genre writer Patty G. Henderson, who my old fan friends may remember better as previous nom-de-plume, Adriana Gomez. "The Horror Writer" was successfully (if slowly) completed and was broadcast over the summer to fairly good reviews. (Getting everyone copies of this movie has been delayed due to frustrated attempts by me to remaster some original scenes and redo the broadcast copy, which has mild damage and bad color. Great audio, tho. Temporarily shelved, it will be remastered sometime soon. I owe it to the cast and crew who are thanked individually later in this column.)  At the same time as this was going on, I was still working with Malcolm Hathorne and studying to be a "series producer".
       In public access parlance, "series producer" is distinguished from "community producer" in that a series producer has passed a test and been certified to use the station's own equipment for live, in-studio shows, usually featuring on-air phone calls. A "community producer" must use his or her own gear, except for editing and titles, for a taped program. There's nothing wrong with that and it was actually my original intention to become a community producer only. While that's all I would've needed for Radioactive Television, I discovered there was a certain prestige--in the PA world--that came with being a series producer. But, there are also some additional responsibilities. In order to become a series producer (at the time my aim was to produce Mal's live show),  I would have to solo my own work; this was the final test phase. That show became "The World of Nolan" talk show, taped May 11, 2000 and airing 3 times in early June. Malcolm was the director and my guests were Corey Castellano, Mike Scott and Tom Lech (Tom was on Mal's crew but he's an acting coach by profession).  When Malcolm and I separated at summer's end (he quit after trying to "fire" me), there were still 5 more episodes of "UFOs and Metaphysics" (aka Malcolm the Magnificent) to be broadcast. My host/star was gone. Some bigtime tension here as I, as series producer, scrambled to change everything midstream to "The World of Nolan", which was never designed to be a weekly series, but a series of occasional specials. My back was up against the wall, tho. (PA requires you to sign a contract to schedule a series--you may cancel, but there can be repercussions. I signed mine way back in the spring. They understood the situation, so the sudden name change was tolerated.)  Fortunately for me, some reluctant holdovers from Malcolm's crew chose to stay on, and some good friends and some new friends not only helped bail me out with production demands, but togther we produced some darn fine television I'm still very proud of.
   The episodes, informally known as "TWON, episodes 1-5" (not counting the original special)  featured good friend Will Moriaty as a UFO witness (reviewed in issue #22), Gary Schineller, Raki Master (reviewed in issue # 24), video colleagues Terence Nuzum, Renee Carrick and Ray Koehler from "The Horror Writer" as well as Terence's Viddywell productions (reviewed issue # 25), Pinellas County PA video colleagues Mike Scott and Eric Avant (reviewed in issue # 26) and finally Joe Simonetta, Green Party candidate, with guest host Joe Murgia (another exceptional UFO expert and political activist), which was the final TWON (reviewed issue # 27). All these aired between late August and late September 2000.  For their exceptional help and inspiration in my video aspirations,  I would like to thank:
Malcolm Hathorne, for his guidance and patience (for the most part) and inspiration on what could be accomplished thru public access television. Plus, exposed me to more in-depth Ufology. Directed the original TWON special.
Joe Murgia, writer, Ufologist, and publisher of The Open Mind News and the only associate/friend from PA I still regularly correspond with. Helped with TWON many times behind-the-scenes.
Will Moriaty. Old friend and head of T.R.E.E. Twice a guest on public access, and the only one common to both Malcolm and myself. Both times the topic was his UFO witnessing. Will was the sole guest on TWON # 1.
Gary Schineller. Raki Master, still practically a stranger to me, introduced by way of cameraman Dave Andrews, Gary actually guest hosted my show on very little notice and did a fine job. (TWON # 2).
Terence Nuzum. Only 21 years old, and after allowing me to sit in on some of his editing sessions, kicked me dragging and screaming into a movie-making, put-up-or-shut-up showdown without which "The Horror Writer" might still be languishing in a typewriter. Also guested on TWONs "filmmaker's special", part one, TWON # 3. (And a columnist for PCR, but that's later.)
"Adriana" Gomez.  I'm mighty glad you introduced me to Terence after bringing him to Borders Bookstore with you all those times.
Mike Scott.  Star of "The Horror Writer" and guest on two TWONs including the original special. I still see Mike and likely we'll work together again. (TWON # 4)
Eric Avant, for his participation in the TWON "filmmaker's special", part two (TWON # 4) and for co-starring in "The Horror Writer". Eric's a video producer in his own right as he and Mike Scott tape "The Front", an irregularly scheduled, off-the-wall series, for the Pinellas County public access system.
Ron Canova, announcer for "The Horror Writer" and set location...er...owner.             (CONTINUED NEXT PAGE...)

 

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