Weekly Feature

2011-09-14 / Front Page

Volunteers sought for WNED-TV program

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

Every community has a story to tell. Now, it’s Amherst’s turn.

The staff at WNED-TV Buffalo/ Toronto is seeking input from the community as it develops “Our Town: Amherst,” which is scheduled to air on television in February.

The “Our Town” series, which began in 2003, features two municipalities annually. The program has previously showcased the towns of Orchard Park, in 2009, and Clarence, in 2010.

David Rotterman, vice president of television production for WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto, said the series is a great way to have the community tell the stories that have created their town.

Rotterman said the program is a one-hour video scrapbook of the people, places and happenings of a town as seen through the eyes of its residents.

“We turn the entire program over to volunteers,” he said. “We let the town decide what’s important.”

He said the production is currently seeking volunteers for the Amherst edition. Approximately 20 to 25 area residents are needed to assist in the project. The residents will use their personal camcorders to capture video footage of agreed-upon topics.

Rotterman said there are no age or experience restrictions to participate in the project.

“You don’t need any special skills or expertise,” he said. “If you have the passion and a camera you can be involved. The volunteers pick all the topics — they select it without WNED’s help. All we do is edit the footage and package it together.”

Rotterman said volunteers are asked to attend one of two preproduction organizational meetings to be held in an Amherst-based location. During the meeting, volunteers will learn about the project as well as develop a list of subjects and topics to record.

He said the meetings will be scheduled for mid-October, prior to the videotaping. Volunteers will have several weeks to capture footage of their topic.

“It’s really a lot of fun — the volunteers have a great time,” Rotterman said.

He said WNED-TV representa- tives will return to Amherst in early November to conduct interviews with each of the volunteers to learn about their stories.

Rotterman said anyone interested in participating in the project should contact Sufana Wajed at 845-7000, ext. 253.

“The volunteers are the story here,” he said. “They are the celebrities in this one.”

email: kdepriest@beenews.com

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