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Member Spotlight: Barry Mirrer

A man of many talents, Barry Mirrer is a NewTV Member, a NewTV content producer, and he sits on our Board of Directors. It may be hard to believe, but Barry wasn’t always the skilled videographer and editor he is today. In fact, he first stumbled upon video production because of his abilities as a musician and conductor.

How Barry Met NewTV

“Even though I had never done any video production before, the Concord Band, a community band in Concord, Massachusetts, asked me to start producing videos of their concerts in 2008. Their one requirement was that the producer know how to read a conductor’s score (so the producer could tell which instruments were about to play and direct the cameras to them), which I did know how to do,” Barry explains. He credits the staff at Concord-Carlyle TV (now the Minuteman Network) for their guidance and instruction during his first forays into video production.

Due to the long periods of time between each of the Concord Band concerts, Barry felt that his newly learned skillset would diminish over the course of the 6-month gap. To avoid starting from scratch each time he sat down to direct, he wanted to hone his technique throughout the year. “Lo and behold! – I found out that Newton had a [community] TV station, and they were looking for directors!” Barry recalls. “The great facilities, excellent classes, and wonderful people got me hooked.” The rest, as they say, is history.

For the Love of Music

Just a sampling of the many camera angles in Barry's most recent completed project, the Highland Glee Club's Holiday Songfest. He even includes a view of the audience during the sing-along portion of the concert!

As a musician himself, Barry feels most at home when he’s producing a project centered around music. “I think understanding the various facets of a musical production help put me in a position to be able to better produce and direct those types of productions,” Barry begins. “Plus,” he adds, “I love the music.” One of Barry’s former musical directors went on to become the Executive Director of the prestigious Lincoln Center. Barry was given the rare and exciting opportunity to spend a day backstage in the control room during the filming of one of their on-stage productions. “While their productions are on a completely different scale, fundamentally the things they do are not all that much different from what we do at NewTV,” he states. “I’ve tried to emulate what I watched them do as much as I’m able.”

Barry’s aspiration to reach the level of the professional productions at the Lincoln Center has led him to – little by little – increase the complexity and quality of his own productions at NewTV. “In trying to emulate a professional production, I’ve used seven or more cameras placed around the concert hall and have even put a Go-PRO right in the middle of the musical group to film close-ups of specific instruments,” explains Barry.

One Man Band

One major difference between the Lincoln Center’s productions and Barry’s productions for NewTV is the number of people working on them. Barry is a lone wolf when it comes to producing and directing his projects. “In a professional production, there is an assistant director who follows the musical score and reads off the queues to the camera operators, a director who calls the shots, and a technical director who operates the board, putting the director’s instructions into action,” he begins. “On my productions, I have to do all three, and all without any camera crew rehearsals.” Even though they don’t have time to rehearse ahead of time, Barry does feel fortunate to have a crew of volunteers to operate his complicated camera setup. “I have to thank the great volunteers who have helped run the cameras for the various productions; without their talents, none of this would be possible.” Between wearing many hats as a director, an assistant director, and a technical director at his shoots, Barry also edits video footage for all of his productions. His editing process includes syncing his footage to the separate high-quality audio recording of the musicians. It is hard work, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. “I really enjoy bringing it all together; it’s so satisfying when all the great shots happen just at the right time,” says Barry. Barry joined NewTV in an effort to learn more about the art of directing. Since that time back in 2014, Barry has become an indispensable part of our organization. “Because NewTV provided me with so much education, opportunity and enjoyment, I thought that joining the Board of Directors would be a great way to ‘give back’ to the station.” He continues, “Being on the board makes me feel more a part of the NewTV community.” We are certainly glad to have Barry actively producing with us and contributing to our organization as a member of our Board of Directors. Barry’s most recent completed project is a production of the Highland Glee Club’s Holiday Songfest. You can watch it on-demand on our website here. There are plenty more projects in the works from Barry, including a possible “How To” video, where we may even get to see Barry in front of the camera. We can’t wait to find out what’s in store!

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