Past ALT-TV episodes to air on television

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

The Alternative Television and Film Club will air past episodes on a local television channel beginning in January 2019 at 11 p.m. on Saturdays.

Professor Scott Walus, advisor and creator of ALT-TV, said he is pleased that the show will be airing on television.

“It’s what I hoped for when it started,” Walus said.

Walus also said the time slot will be a good way to look back on past episodes.

“To go back and remember people and see how that is just neat,” Walus said, “it’s neat to see those snapshots.”

The time slot came about when Jeff Owens became the general manager of WEIU, Walus said.

“Jeff has always had a very open position when it comes to students,” Walus said. “He’s like, ‘Get them involved.’ ‘Get them behind a microphone.’ ‘Get them behind a camera.’”

Dan Jones, a TV broadcast equipment operator, initiated the process of putting ALT-TV on air.

“I reached out to (Walus) and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a channel if you guys want to put some stuff on there,” Jones said. “He said he had some stuff. It’s really easy.”

Elijah Snyder, an ALT-TV member, said he is excited for the episodes to air regularly on television.

“That would give us such a big reach,” Snyder said. “It would also help us with our writing and our acting.”

Walus said the idea of ALT-TV airing a show was a unique one.

“To my knowledge, there are very few scripted-based creative shows on TV at a college,” Walus said. “This doesn’t happen.”

According to Walus, it was the lack of RSOs supporting creative video content that led him to initiate what would become ALT-TV more than six years ago.

“This all started because there really wasn’t a space on campus to do creative work,” Walus said.

Walus said he felt the RSO needed to have a more flexible dynamic.

“I’ve always been of the opinion that the more diverse you can be with your production, the more things that you can do, the more rich that each of them become,” Walus said.

In creating the first episode, Walus said it was very much about putting together something to enjoy for both the creatorws and the viewers.

“The idea was we got that shot and edited and we grabbed some other kids who were working on things and we cobbled together our first episode,” Walus said. “(We) screened it on top of the rock where we would go and do so for the next five-and-a-half years.”

Walus said the episodes grew in popularity, with several people attending the viewings for many of them.

“The biggest one was we had 200 people there,” Walus said. “It was damn near fire code.”

According to Walus, the ALT-TV members enjoyed the episodes as much as, if not more than, the viewers.

“They got hooked on it,” Walus said. “The immediacy of hearing people laugh where they’re supposed to laugh, it’s way different than watching TV.”

Being part of the production as well as the viewing of the episodes was important, according to Walus.

“There’s a much different bonding experience watching it as part of this episode,” Walus said. “Like ‘I worked on this’ and ‘You worked on mine,’ and people applauded.”

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].