Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mental Engineering (17)
Originally uploaded by kevinkalla.
In order to get more comfortable with the SPNN studio I have been helping out on a wonderful show called Mental Engineering. The show was created by John Forde and features a guest panel who deconstruct television commercials. Really fantastic stuff. It airs on a number of stations across the US, so look out for it.
I helped out on an episode today where I ran the jib cam. Here's a photo from today's show. Notice the lovely Leola Johnson on the left, my former advisor from Macalester College. While discussing a Starburst commercial featuring a Mariachi band in someone's mouth, she brought up bell hooks' theories on "eating the other." Leola rocks.

SPNN pics 024
Originally uploaded by kevinkalla.
As promised, a pic of some of the Set It Up members. This was Thursday's basic camera training. In this shot, Nakeisha demonstrates an over the shoulder shot with Karesa and Jae Bee. These guys are pros.

Friday, October 28, 2005


SPNN pics 052
Originally uploaded by kevinkalla.
So here it is, the moment you've all been waiting for. I'm sure all of you who don't see me on a regular basis have been wondering whether or not I can pull off the winter beard. Judge for yourself. Please vote on whether it should stay or go in the comments section. I will be posting some pictures from Set It Up in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Dave at computer

Dave at computer
Originally uploaded by kevinkalla.
Testing out flickr at our committee meeting. Here's Dave!

Note: As you can see, the flickr test was a success. I wanted to get a picture of Dave with his two pies, but I forgot. Try to envision the keyboard in this picture as two pies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The first day is over, and thus begins the second day (frost free, which I take as a good sign). Set It Up orientation was a success. 12 of the 13 participants showed up (we lost one due to a job-related scheduling conflict). While everyone seemed quiet at first, by the end of the day people seemed to loosen up. I think they enjoyed the interviewing excercise. There was a short-lived pizza crisis, as Domino's tried to deliver our pizzas to the fourth floor (we're on the second - I'm not sure how "suite 250" translated to "fourth floor").

Every TV show needs an opening, so the first matter of business for Set It Up is to shoot and edit one. The main problem we encountered with the creation of an open is that our participants come in on different days (Tuesday is a meeting day, then groups of 3-5 meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday). So how do we create a unified open if we have three different groups? After a bit of debate, the solution we came up with was to have the participants think of different words, phrases, themes, etc. that they thought were representative of Set It Up. Then, we had them discuss and come up with their top three. We ended up with something along the lines of: "youth making a difference," "sharing our talent," and "communicating through media." Now, each production group will be assigned one of these broad themes and will shoot a short segment where they will attempt to visually express its meaning. Not bad, right?

So today is our first production day, and the group that meets on Wednesdays will be assigned "communicating through media." I'm sure they'll have some interesting ideas. On an unrelated note, I got up early this morning to go to Rainbow Foods to buy sixty Juicy Juice boxes and 60 granola bars. You can just call me snack man.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Today's the big day. The first day of Set It Up. Which happens to coincide with the first day I've had to scrape frost off of the windshield of my car. Last week we had our Leadership Development Insititute, which consisted of a couple days of workshops where we learned about things like outreach and holding hands. An interesting note: Set It Up is made up of 3 words, 7 letters, and 13 participants. All prime numbers, all indivisible, and this is where Set It Up draws its strength. On a personal note, my winter beard is rocking, and it is the source from which I draw my own strength. Am I excited about today? Absolutely. I'm in charge of giving a tour of the studios and handing out the awesome Welcome Packets (which I had a hand in designing). Apart from the usual first-day orientation stuff, we'll be having the teens interview each other using some of the cameras and tripods. We'll then eat pizza and watch the interviews on the sweet plasma screen.

Friday, October 14, 2005

So here's my favorite answer to question 1 of the Set It Up application: If you could make a TV show about anything, what would it be about? "I would make a movie with these brother and sister that have these exstrodinary powers but every they try to use them it back fires so they figure out how to make portals into other dimensions while trying to find there baby sister thats been missing for two years after there house was burned down." Talk about creative vision.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Since it's the beginning of my fourth week and I've just started my blog, I'll give you a quick recap of the past few weeks. My job title here at SPNN is Youth Media Outreach worker. The vast majority of my time thus far has been devoted to doing outreach for Set It Up, a television show created by/for teens. I've sent out direct mailings, written countless emails, made phone calls like there was no tomorrow, and faxed more faxes in one day than I had in the past 22 years. My first full week at SPNN was a bit stressful, as my supervisor was out of town at the NAMAC conference. Baptism by fire. Was it worth it? We have about 50 applications right now, and we're looking for a team of about 12. So I think the outreach effort was relatively successful. On a personal note, I spent the past weekend at a cabin up north. I saw the Northern Lights, and I decided I want to grow out a winter beard. Awesome.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hey everyone,

Welcome to my awesome blog. Here's your chance to live vicariously through me, Kevin Kalla. I'm an AmeriCorps member working at the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Saint Paul's public access television station. Enjoy.