If you tuned in to our Neighbor By Neighbor fundraiser earlier in the month, you may have caught sight of North Carolina’s own Malpass Brothers. On Thursday, June 7, UNC-TV debuted the documentary THE MAPLASS BROTHERS: HEADING HOME. This was followed up by the musical siblings live in the UNC-TV studios. To accommodate the duo, our William C. Friday Green Room was turned into a sort of prep area for the Malpasses (Malpi?). Here’s a sign that adorned the door in advance of their arrival.
I saw this in our storage area and just liked the concept. “What happens if an unexpected guest shows up for Front Row?” “Get the extra chair.” I’m sure there’s more to it than that but there can’t be much more.
Quick shot this week of a couple of boom microphones in our equipment storage area. If you want more technical info than that, I’m not your guy (forgive me but I’m decades away from any field production experience). My guess is these were used on some remote shoots or other off-site productions. It’s entirely possible the audio you hear on a North Carolina Weekend feature or an Almanac Gardener segment was recorded using one of these mics.
North Carolina People with William Friday was a long-running interview show UNC-TV produced starting in the early 1970s. Politicians, authors, actors, musicians, athletes – names big and small and all imminent and impressive Tar Heels in one way or another – would sit down with UNC president Bill Friday for a nice chat and a half hour of simple conversation. It was a broadcast mainstay for decades until Friday’s failing health and eventual passing in 2012 ended the series. I believe there was talk of continuing the show with another host (don’t hold me to that – if talks occurred, even on a casual level, I was never involved personally) however that never transpired. Good thing, too, as Friday’s soft-spoken approach to interviewing seemed impossible to duplicate and who would want to try to fill those shoes anyway?
This glass paperweight was made in celebration of the show’s 35th anniversary circa 2005. It’s a fantastic memento of UNC-TV history and a lovely reminder of a show we proudly broadcast for over 40 seasons. I was lucky enough to work on the show as a student (mostly running camera) and I’m happy to have been a part of this wonderful program.
There are so many technical aspects regarding television production that even someone like myself, a lifelong broadcasting veteran, has a hard time keeping track of the many devices and transmitters used to make the programming we air arrive in your homes and on your devices. For years, I’ve seen a small (small being relative) tower next to our building in the Research Triangle Park yet I’ve never been completely certain what it was. I snapped a picture and showed it to a member of our engineering staff. The reply I got: back-up microwave tower. It was erected in 1996 after Hurricane Fran demonstrated some gaping holes in our backup system. It’s a pretty impressive sight, as are most broadcast towers in my opinion. (BTW that’s our primary tower in the background.)