Welcome to the September 2010 Update for [with]tv. There is much to tell you and all of it good.
We have scored a major coup by assembling an award winning Production Team for [with]tv’s Production Division. Ron Levinson [with]tv Vice President of Programming & Production leads this division. Executive Producer Mitch Semel, Producer Bob Sitrick, and Line Producer Allen Feuer direct the team.
I recently spent a productive weekend at a major American University. The short story is that our initial contacts there are quite interested in supporting and working with us to help [with]tv achieve our mission and goals. Discussions continue between our supporters on campus and others. We feel that these talks will lead to opportunities for funding via grants and investors for content production and web site development on our part so we press ahead.
Also we see donations coming forward for training of people with disabilities in TV & Film Production through our own foundation.
I am traveling out again this week as we have scheduled some speaking engagements for me on campus with various classes AND there is a substantive meeting set for myself, some major supporters on this campus, the head of their University Foundation and some key potential investors/benefactors.
We are not crossing the finish line yet but are getting there.
Allen Feuer has developed the budgets of these programming pieces of my treatments with key input from Bob Sitrick, Mitch Semel, Mitch Marovitz and Anna Pakman. We can comfortably say that things are warming up greatly and I feel quite confident about our prospects to begin this year to help our community “control the message” and to take our place on the “world media stage”
Allen, Bob and Mitch Semel will begin to “Pitch” these projects to industry contacts along with other treatments where they believe we might anticipate a warm reception. I have sent the Proposal for a Pilot of A Different Perspective and it’s budget along to one major media concern that requested it. More will follow.
Indeed upon appropriate funding our intention is to initiate production of key pilots and short demo pilots ourselves and seek placement in all current and future distribution streams including our own [with]tv cross media channel while building out the [with]tv brand. While we are in a sense beginning as a production company we will develop our IPTV Channel and continue to seek funding for [with]tv as a full cross media platform.
I continue to network and spread the word. I look forward to conversations later this week with Tom Sullivan. Rick Boggs has made this contact for us. Tom is a gentleman who while being blind is also an author, actor, producer, director, analyst, and long time ABC Contributing Reporter whose most recent work was for ESPN. I look forward to our conversations.
Meanwhile the uproar continues over the usage of the “R” word and the worthy advocacy of so many in our community to bring to light the unfairness of this particular epithet if not seek some sort of legislated ban on the word’s usage. I support and applaud their efforts. Recent Republican Vice President Candidate Sarah Palin has leapt into the fray due to her own young child with Down Syndrome. Regardless of someone’s political persuasion I am happy to have more for our eventual news & reality shows to cover.
I believe that the only way to eradicate this pejorative label from usage is not by asking someone to not utter it, but by we as individuals and as a community taking a more obvious place on the world stage. That will happen through [with]tv. Familiarity is the answer and that is our task.
Our work at [with]tv is the best form of advocacy. No more asking people to cover us and talk about us and employ us. Just like when we were kids we will take our ball and start our own game but unlike others we will welcome, indeed seek out and train people with disabilities but will not do so at the exclusion of others. Setting an example that succeeds will influence others the most.
Thank you all for your support and patience. This is a long frustrating road we are on but nothing in terms of length and challenge when compared to the road of our entire community as it works toward equal footing with the rest of society’s members.
What we are doing will have a lasting impact so we should expect it to be difficult. Success will be ours eventually.
My best wishes to all,
Howard Renensland, CEO and Founder, [with]tv