PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: February 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011


Dr. Myra Peavyhouse and other members of the Roane State Community College staff visited the Princess Complex this past Thursday.  The purpose of the visit was to see first hand the progress being made on the Princess Theatre, and to see the wonderful things Bill Radice is doing with the all digital equipment in the Channel 15 studio next door.

Pictured above (from left) are Owen Driskill, news coordinator; Pat Pate, assistant librarian for audiovisual services/associate professor; Myra Peavyhouse, dean of the college's Humanities Division; and Malinda Yager, secretary III,  Humanities Division.

They, like other recent visitors, were amazed at the capabilities Bill has built into the electronic equipment he has assembled.  Bill was recently told by a Comcast executive that Channel 15 has one of the most elaborate equipment setups in the state, already surpassing Murfreesboro's local station that was once the benchmark station on the Comcast network in Tennessee.

Dr. Peavyhouse pointed out that the college welcomes opportunities to partner with area high schools. High schools are welcome to contact Myra Peavyhouse at (peavyhousem @ or (865) 354-3000 ext. 4317.

Harriman High School is already looking forward to creating media classes and joining in this partnership with Roane State next school year.  The classes would utilize the Princess Theatre and the Channel 15 studio.  Dr. Peavyhouse is hoping other schools will follow in this same direction.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Last evening, I was privileged to be on hand as Bill Radice, Channel 15's station manager, with the assistance of Jimbo Duncan, passed another milestone in the station's progress toward full studio presentations.  Bill Landry and Mayor Chris Mason were on hand to interview Dr. Eric Littleton who grew up and went to school in Roane County.  This interview was part of the first "real" test of the station's capabilities, and the interview will be broadcast on Channel 15 soon.

Dr. Littleton, who now lives and has a family practice in Sevierville, emphasized that part of his success in school and life was in large part because of his experience in arts education.  He further explained that, due to the economy, arts education is funded in the schools leaving a lot of “untapped talent” that goes unnoticed.  That is one of the reasons he is so excited about the Princess Performing Arts, Education, and Conference Center" project here in Harriman.  The television and future radio stations, plus the Princess stage will give many young people a chance to take a very different path than they normally would have.

Dr. Littleton is an accomplished pianist, and he owes his love of music for helping him through school, his current practice, and his life.  Click on this LINK to hear him play...wonderful! 

Some of you will no doubt remember his winning touch down catch in the 1984 football win over Kingston!  What can't this guy do?!

I'll let you know when this interview will be aired here on the blog and on our Facebook page.  

Channel 15 plans to air a series of inspiring interviews with people  from our community that "did good"!  Under the collective title of "Appalachian Dreams", these stories will showcase Roane County citizens (and former citizens) that went from "rags to riches", or who have lifted themselves up to be an inspiration to others.  The series is bound to very popular locally! 

Also taped, which today is a misnomer because everything is saved electronically these days, was Mayor Mason's monthly update of progress in Harriman.  The Mayor mentioned that all the street lights in Harriman will soon be replaced by easier to see LED lights, making driving through Harriman against that evening sun much safer!

One of the most exciting announcements to me was the possibility of Harriman purchasing the old paper mill property and turning everything from the current Riverfront Park almost around to the high school into a great recreational area full of ball fields and walking paths!  That would be great if that comes about, but there is a liability issue for Harriman for accepting the property, and that must be considered first.

This "update" will also be broadcast on Channel 15 soon.

As a matter of fact, the City of Harriman is extending an invitation to all City Mayors to utilize Channel 15 to air their own city updates, if they would like to do so.  However, it must be cautioned that the station cannot be used to "campaign" for any elected office.  All broadcast, whether live or pre-recorded must be pre-approved by the Channel 15 approval board.

So, for me, it was a very enjoyable evening.  Dr. Littleton's interview was very for it!

Monday, February 21, 2011


The Princess has put on her new makeup and is awaiting the application of her lipstick; the marquee!

She looks beautiful as you pass her on Roane white and clean, with her purple and blue accents.  I can hardly wait for the new marquee to show up!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Bill Radice, who is currently operating the Channel 15 Television Station in Harriman, is a guest blog poster this week.  In this post, Bill describes the Typical Job Titles normally found within the organization of a traditional television studio.  These are the type jobs that students from our area will be filling in the coming months.

1.     Technical director:   Usually called the “TD”. This is the person who runs the control panel that switches all the cameras, playback devices, and graphics titles that make up what the viewer sees. If the program is being recorded, as is often the case, the TD serves the same function except the video will be edited later on by the “Editor” who is sometimes, but not often, the TD himself. The process of working on the assembly of the final production is referred to as “post production”. The TD will always take his orders from the “Director”….if there is one. The TD has one of the most difficult jobs in a TV environment because they must take orders and execute them quickly and perfectly, especially if a program is “live”. This is why very few programs are done live-to-air. Live sporting events are the pinnacle of achievement for a TD. The complexity of a show is measured by counting the number of events on screen in one minute. In a sporting event, this can be as many as 20. Multiply that by a two hour event and the TD is exhausted; but surely one of the most important jobs in the studio!   

2.     Director:  This is the person who actually makes the decision as to what is shown on the screen. The director selects the camera, the graphics, and every element that goes into the production.

The director calls all the shots in a TV studio, and works very closely with the TD. Ultimately the director is responsible for the entire “look” of what the viewer sees. Once again a live sports event is the most demanding job that a director can do.

3.     Graphics:  This person constructs all the “extras” that are put on the screen. This includes the title boxes you see on the bottom of the screen, the moving things, the scrawling text, and almost everything besides the actual camera shot itself. The Director will call for the graphics person to have the item ready for his use, or often the graphics are loaded into the system in advance, once again following the script, if there is one. Only the best graphics people can actually compose these items “on-the-fly”.  The graphics are almost always composed in advance of the show, and then stored in the system for instant recall later during the show.

4.     Sound Engineer:  Sometimes in a small production, the sound can be handled by the TD himself, but if there are several microphones and sound sources it can be very important to have a separate person to handle this. The sound engineer, if he’s a good one, will control the sound in a way that makes everything clear and professional sounding. This involves constantly controlling the microphones that are fed to the program, as well as mixing the sounds to compliment whatever is on the screen. Typically in outdoor shots, the sound is not recorded live but added later. The sound of a passing car will be added from a stock recording, and the actors will record everything they say outdoors, separately, in a quiet studio. By doing this there is much more control over unwanted sounds. This makes the sound engineer’s job very complicated.  The next time you hear a truck passing by in a production; it may be the same one you heard in another video!

5.     Camera Operator:  A camera operator actually moves the camera, either on a tripod, or hand holding a camera or camcorder. Camcorders are used only in the field and the recording is captured on tape, or memory card to later be edited into a production. Remote controlled studio cameras are the norm these days. A single operator can operate many cameras simultaneously with all shots “memorized” into a controller that can often run 10 cameras, each with 50 shots memorized for the particular production, in a procedure called “blocking the shots”. Modern digital cameras do not require the constant adjustment needed in the past. In a live video production the director will communicate via earphones to all the camera operators simultaneously, telling them, by camera number, what to shoot. Then he will announce in their earphones when he has “taken” their camera. This is so the operator will know he has a “live” camera and not to move his shot.

6.     Producer:  This is the person who puts the entire production together. He picks the story, the talent, the studio, all the people involved in the project work for the producer during the production. Often he finances everything.

7.     Editor: Most television productions are not done live. The program is shot in many segments, often out of sequence to the story. Assembling all the pieces into a coherent final product is the job of the video editor. The editor will work very closely with the director, and the producer, to piece together both the picture and sound. Often the job will be done over and over until everyone is satisfied. The editor is a true “artist” and is able to change the entire look, and pace of the production. 

I don’t know about you, but these positions sound very exciting!  If I were a younger person, I’d be down there right now begging someone to let me learn how things work!

Hopefully, in the coming weeks I’ll have other “guest posters” describing other exciting things about the Princess Complex Project.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


While the facade is grouted, the inside continues to be worked on by diligent craftsmen.  It won't be long before the Princess will receive her full-color make-up - both inside and out!

I think the most important thing you should notice in these interior photos, besides how pretty, clean, and white the inside is becoming, is that the stage extension has been completed.  

Note how much further the stage will extend into the setting (click on the photos to enlarge) least six feet further than before.  Of course, the new stage flooring will have to be added, and the foundation blocks will have to be covered, but for now we can see that the Princess stage will be able to accommodate the largest of ensembles.

Up in the balcony, the walls are speckled, awaiting paint, and the projector booth is awaiting its new state-of-the-art equipment.  You can also see, upstairs and down, that wood accents have been applied to the tops and sides of the dividing walls, and along the length of the auditorium wall.

Next door, at Channel 15, Bill Radice continues to educate himself on the video equipment and experiment with the "green screen".  Just like the networks, sets will be electronically projected around the on-air talent.

The station's computer programs, and "point-and-click switcher", will allow talent to be placed amidst almost any type of setting, greatly enhancing Channel 15's programming quality.

There is still a lot to do to get the TV station operating like it has been envisioned, but Bill needs the added help of enthusiastic Roane County students.  That help should come in short order and the programming will become more and more refined.
Also, for those out of town Princess lovers, the essential piece of equipment allowing Internet viewers access to programming has been ordered.  So, it won't be long before you can view all the great programs via the Internet.  I'll let you know when that happens!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I haven't posted in awhile, but I've been a little under the weather...sorry.
However, today I stopped across from the Princess Theatre and took a couple of quick shots.  

Grout is being applied to the facade in preparation for the new paint to be applied soon.  It's wonderful to see her getting "gussied" for her grand reopening (probably late spring or summer)!

I'll try to get some inside shots this coming week, so keep in touch!
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