Community Connection was a show hosted by Melissa Bondy for the city of Farmington, MI. It was produced at SWOCC Studios, and often edited together by SWOCC's interns. It focused on different charities and businesses in the greater area around Farmington and Farmington Hills, helping to bring viewers of PEG TV that were much more in touch with what's going on around them. It also focused on bringing attention to Farmington and Farmington Hills residents of every business of interest to the greater metropolitan area of Detroit. Every now and again for special events, city officials came on at talked about city-sponsored events of interest. Just before the downtown parade, a special outdoor episode was conducted annually.
Exact content varied by episode. However, each episode was a sit-down talk show wherein which Melissa would interview someone new. Two episodes are documented below, both of which happened in 2010.
Farmington Area Goodfellows
Melissa's guests for this episode were Dave Kennerson and Judy Glass of the Farmington Area Goodfellows. Dave was the current president, whereas Judy was the main secretary. The Goodfellows are a volunteer organization that developed originally from a volunteer paper route, and evolved. It is composed mostly of volunteers and retirees from around the Farmington area.
For their lists of families in need of help around Christmas time, Judy verified that families had until December 3rd to sign up. Requests were often for books, toys, and K-Mart clothing gift cards; among other things. Around 168 families had qualified for need through the Goodfellows in December of 2009. As a result, they had to fill over 200 boxes. The deadline was stated as such due largely to the fact that it took them a week to fill 100 care package boxes. That averages 20 boxes a work day for all 50 Goodfellows members total. So each day, a worker puts together not quite half of one care package on average.
Every year, the number of needy families who exploit the Goodfellows gets bigger and bigger. There's always more and more poverty to spread around, apparently. As the makeshift Santas stated to Melissa, they were in the process of getting the heat turned on in their building and waiting for December 3rd to roll around.
The first "Holiday" (the PC bug won't let them say Christmas) celebration for families put on by the Goodfellows was scheduled for December 4th of that year. They'd have the kids watch two films: Pink Panther Christmas and The Polar Express. The next event being hosted was the following morning, when Annie, Jr. would be performed live at 1PM and 5PM. This live musical cost attendees $15 each. Free with a toy for families enrolled was a basketball game: "Battle of the Middles VI." It was scheduled for December 14th.
To avoid redundancy, listeners were asked to contact the Salvation Army for some related details. Care packages were to be delivered on December 18th. Melissa wanted to ask more questions as the time clock rolled down, but Judy argued that the website would have all the important information.
Deaf and Hearing Impaired + Area Agency on Aging 1B
Melissa's first guest was Linda Booth, president of Deaf and Hearing Impaired Services, Inc. in Farmington. Her services provide interpreters for the deaf in the greater area around Farmington. Interpreters are expected to follow deaf clients everywhere and serve their needs in regards to pretty much everything-although Linda conceded that interpreters have made an exception for skydiving.
Interpreters are expected to get four-year degrees in sign language studies. Deaf senior housing, which the AAA1B agreed to help out with, was decided upon because it seemed to make sense that the deaf should have a place to communicate together in a language all of them could understand: American Sign Language.
Linda went on and on about the commissions, committees, and oodles of research that went into the deaf housing project.
Segment 2 opened up with Melissa introducing Jenny Jarvis, director of AAA1B. Jenny immediately opened for herself by bragging about all the state and federal funding that her program received. She represents one of 16 agencies of the sort in Michigan for deaf and hearing-impaired, out of 600-something total across the country.
With Kat overseeing production of the episodes, the Dozerfleet founder was put in charge of editing and music mixing. Editing also included selecting appropriate graphical overlays for host and guests. The KillaTrax tune "Tranceport" was selected to be the show's opening and closing theme, as a graphic danced around in a virtual space. "Tranceport" was selected for its edgy, American Idol-type mood.
In addition to these responsibilities, the "Goodfellows" episode was also directed by the Dozerfleet founder. This included stage setup and design, in an effort to get the magenta lighting to look good against a black curtain. Enhancements with Avid color correcting produced rich, saturated hues of red and purple while allowing skintone to look more natural than what was normally the case with SWOCC's ever-so-slightly green-biased equipment. Lamarr ran camera for this episode, while Frank worked as a video engineer.
The most difficult aspect of editing for these episodes was not the creation of bumps, which received a lot of praise. Rather, the most difficult aspect was the insertion of proper ads. One of those ads was for a game based on the PBS series Maya & Miguel. Unfortunately, the Avid system didn't understand the video codecs originally used for that ad properly.
Offers were made to substitute the codec-violating ad with another public service announcement, but the only ones that were working were anti-drug ads that Kat claimed would be "too weird" to be safely associated with Community Connection. In spite repeated warnings from the Dozerfleet founder that there was a serious codec issue, the episode was published with a faulty Maya & Miguel ad anyway. Therefore, that particular ad displayed a blank white space on the channel, with only the ad's audio being clear. The issue, and all concerns about it, were dismissed as "no big deal." But to have replaced it with one of the "weird" anti-drug ads somehow would have been.
This episode was set to air on the channel just two weeks before Christmas of 2010.
Deaf and Aging
This episode had a lot of similar issues as the "Goodfellows" episode, but was edited together in under half the time. Lower-thirds in this episode did not have as much effort put into them as with the episode before, but the titles and bumps were given a slightly more refined treatment in their framings and timings. This episode was not directed by the Dozerfleet founder, though it was edited together. It took one day to assemble, unlike the six days that it took to assemble its predecessor.
It was made available for viewing on SWOCC's Video On Demand page on February 11th of 2011. One problem that occurred later on during transfer to the Video on Demand server (which happened long after the Dozerfleet founder was no longer at SWOCC) was that segment 2 somehow lost sync between video and audio.
Linda's mentioning of "all the funding [she] gets" for the project raised some hairs. However, the number below is a worst-case scenario of city government spending for the project based on Linda's remarks and assuming the funds cap at $50,000,000 a year. The low score indicates that the city will likely continue to fund this project for a long time.
- Children, Youth, and Families
- List of DozerfleetTV projects
- Mature Matters
- Business Builder's Corner
- Goodfellows main website
- Goodfellows alternate website
- Farmington Area Goodfellows: (248)-871-2848
- City of Farmington Video on Demand
- Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Services Online official website
- Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Services of Farmington: (248)-473-2840
- AAA1B website