One day, we got a phone call from a lady who said, “You can’t sell a live ocelot on television! They are dangerous wild animals!” “How do you know this?” asked the PR people.
Louis Lyons used to do a 15-minute newscast every night. Louis was a salty old New Englander who said whatever was on his mind.
From Fred Barzyk: My Mom had this vision for me. She thought it would be wonderful if I could be in show business... I announced that I would become a piano player! Only problem was we didn’t have a piano.
WGBH was to launch a new (live, of course) science show, and was looking for an opening that was a bit more dramatic than a 35mm slide of Madame Curie. It was decided that we would place a globe over a pan of water (you can’t make this stuff up, folks) and insert some “dry ice” into the water to create great spumes of “smoke” that would swirl like clouds around the “earth.”
From Don Hallock
This tape was shot in the temporary studio at the Boston Museum of Science. It was intended as an in-house training tool, primarily for new BU student interns. It puroprted to be a catalog of many of the most frequently perpetrated production errors portrayed in comic relief. Response at the April reunion suggested that it was at least moderately successful in the humor department.
Original sin: Title cards are off center.
From Derek Lamb
I think it’s time to tell the story of who filled 125 Western Avenue with the smell of cooked bacon that got trapped in the air condition system during the summer of 1970.
Yes friends, it was me.
From Vic Washkevich
From on high
The Boston Symphony Orchestra was one of the highlights of WGBH programming back in 1957–58. Hey, anything was better than Words, the one-camera show on which I earned my credit as a director.
If you recall, symphony rehearsal performances were open to the public. We shot that show with three cameras, #1 on the left, #3 on the right, and #2 at high center — the nose-bleed portion of the balcony.
From an Anonymous Contributor
One of the first things Dave Davis undertook when he came from the University of North Carolina in 1956 as production manager, was to begin revamping our rather sloppy production procedures. Dave was a man who (to put it mildly) valued precision.
Irritating as it seemed at the time to us (relative neophytes), his efforts were all to the good — even, in fact, critical to much of the eventual success of WGBH as a production organization. The standard-setting quality of the Boston Symphony broadcasts, and WGBH’s other music programming, was a direct result of Dave’s efforts.
John Musilli was one of the original ten in the Scholars ’58 crew arriving in Boston in June, 1957. Fresh from graduation at Seton Hall University, this Paterson, New Jersey, native was one of the best-prepared and most-talented production people ever to climb the stairs at 84 Massachusetts Avenue.
From Don Hallock — 2000
Once upon a time, [circa 1959] as I recall, the Educational Television station in an eastern city called Boston produced a daily late-afternoon children’s program.
That program was known as “Ruth Ann’s Camp.” And in the “camp,” each day, Miss Ruth Ann would bravely lead eight grammar school children through an hour of “fun and games” … activities designed to challenge and improve young minds.