Film and media arts major Rich Woolf discusses the creation of “The Steel,” a television show that highlights restaurants and music in the Lehigh Valley.
Junior film and media arts major Rich Woolf is making waves on cable television.
Woolf, along with Nick Kressler and Brian Fulmer, produce a 30-minute variety show called “The Steel,” which highlights the local food and music scenes in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas.
The show got its start when Woolf and his team approached Service Electric Cable Television in March 2011 with a pilot of “The Steel,” at which point Woolf said they “loved it” and asked if they could produce 10 episodes for the fall season.
The show premiered Sept. 18, 2011, and recently expanded its viewing area to central Pennsylvania through Blue Ridge Cable and Communications.
“Perhaps the biggest challenge we faced when putting the show together was the learning curve of putting an actual episode together,” Woolf said.
Woolf said he was familiar with Final Cut Pro for editing, but not with the additional programs needed to produce a television show, like ProTools, Compressor and Motion. He said maintaining good audio quality during broadcasts also caused issues.
“We went through a lot of trial and error processes to get it right for airing,” Woolf said. “Furthermore, getting sponsors was, and still is, difficult in this economy. But, as ‘The Steel’ grows and more people are following, it seems to be getting a little easier.”
The show is divided into three parts headed by Kessler, Woolf’s former middle school technology teacher and neighbor, Fulmer and Woolf. The team intends to use the software Motion to add more graphics and effects to their second season.
“We also plan to change the format for their interviews and keep it more progressive with the changing trends in social media today,” Woolf said.
Woolf said he did not always want to be a producer, but that he wanted his own television show that gave him the opportunity to entertain people.
He cites inspiration from art and from those working on comedy stunt groups like “Jackass” and “The Dudesons.”
In the future, Woolf plans to make more shows for local and regional programming and wants to start his own video company. He said he plans on continuing his segment on “The Steel” called “One-Minute Twist,” which takes a 60-second look into music and recipes. Woolf hopes to start expanding the featured restaurants and artists to cover the tri-state area.
Additionally, he plans to start work on a new project later this spring–a music video for a song called “Injustice” by the local band Revolution Diary. Woolf previously produced a music video for the band’s song “Let Go,” which can be seen on YouTube.
Woolf credits his film and media arts classes as playing a huge part in “The Steel,” particularly with helping him learn the ins-and-outs of Final Cut Pro.
“From recording to editing, and being in front of the camera, I love it and enjoy it with a passion,” Woolf said.
Woolf’s spare time is dedicated to producing music and wedding videos, doing DJ gigs and working at the Nazareth YMCA close to his hometown during the weekends.
“The show won’t come to you–you have to get up and do it,” Woolf said. “If you want to be a rock star you have to act like one. The same goes for television shows, you have to act like you want your own show.”
Bisola Akinduro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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