A talk with producer Heather Ferreira
Independent television producer Heather Ferreira was recently interviewed by the staff at Comunidades USA, America’s premiere Portuguese-American magazine, about her television group’s maiden program, children’s show, Sunshine Again. In the article, she discusses her childhood, her Portuguese heritage, and the growing success of the show. Click here to read cover page.
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Thanks to Maria Rodrigues at RTP America for this copy!
Heather Ferreira says she chose public access to broadcast her series because she plans to utilize public access for all her future series. “PBS representatives approached me about airing an earlier series I’d made for preteens, and a few more of them who were familiar with that show already were seated very close to me at a film forum I attended in 2007 in Albuquerque.
“They approached me at the lunch table outdoors and asked me about Sunshine Again, but said they only had half an hour available for weekday airtime if I consented. I wanted Sunshine Again to be a full-hour in length. When the PBS reps went to get their food, one of the television station reps seated next to me at the table spoke up and told me to try him instead. I asked him who he was, and he said he represented public access television.
“My first thought was, oh dear, public access. But I was wrong. When the public access rep said two things: a) public access does not interfere with content, and b) public access has over four times the number of U.S. member stations PBS has got, I started really listening to him.
“Our plan now is to ramp up production on a dozen new television series, made to the television quality standards of the 1965-1975 era, and air episodes exclusively on public access. We get emails and phone calls all the time from public access member stations unable to believe we’re using them instead of PBS. But why not? There’s less competition for airtime on public access, and at the end of the day, television airwaves are television airwaves – and they’re at a premium. Anyone who compares real public acess to the way it is depicted in twenty year old movies is really behind the curve. We’re just raising the bar.
“Others may scoff, but I notice the most vocal naysayers tend to have never produced a single television program. Everybody who actually has has been fascinated by our approach, and young, in the know broadcasters are looking at emulating our business model. Public access will greenlight a quality program right away, because nobody has approached them with those materials before. Who needs network approval from a politically-correct and creatively stagnant groupthought committee in Los Angeles or New York when national public access stations across the country will work with you easily and air a good program from you immediately?”
Heather Ferreira says “YouTube and cable access, especially joined as twin forces, are the wave of the television future. I spoke to two college filmmakers in their early twenties about this today, and they profoundly agreed. You can create your own television empire with these tools, right now, on the ground floor. Independent television producers cannot afford – literally – to overlook the freedom and technological opportunity of American public access. It’s free and it’s open to airing good material, and it’s broadcast-quality. These are the best of times!”
Read exclusive news about Heather Ferreira and her show Sunshine Again, and also do not miss reading some marvelous essays by Broadway musical aficionado and classic television buff Andy LeC, by clicking here to visit the magnificent Andy’s Movie Zone.