Although Hollywood doesn’t await everyone, a local television studio is helping make Hamilton-Wenham residents stars in their own right.
Bill Mellville, the Executive Director of Hamilton-Wenham Community Access Television or HWCam, started the network at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School in 2005 to give residents a local television news outlet.
But now with the additions of fiber optics cameras in Hamilton-Wenham’s town meeting places and online live streaming, the local station has been brought into the 21st Century.
Today, live coverage of a variety of local events are available live on the Website.
“I realize that people can’t sit around their TVs at 7 p.m. every night to watch a live event,” says Mellville. “Now with the live stream, people can watch HWCam anywhere. Whether they are working in Boston or in vacation in Florida, the website provides them with what they would by watching on cable.”
Mellville has over ten years experience working in the local television industry, including working on the North Shore at another public access studio. There Melville says, the viewership and citizen involvement was few and far between.
The importance of having the HWCam studio at the high school is the amount of collaboration that actually takes place between the staff and the residents of Hamilton-Wenham.
“The template that I’m following is the Lynn Classical method where they base everything in the high school,” says Mellville. “Not only does it benefit the public access facility because you have a large number of people using it, but it also benefits the students at the school by giving them experience.”
Programming on the network ranges anywhere from Generals sporting events to Selectmen meetings, which Mellville says are the most popular. A majority of the programming and streaming bulletin boards are created by Mellville, but the eagerness he shows to get others involved is evident.
“I’ve built the studio to make it easily accessible. We made our technology simple, so people don’t feel overwhelmed by a wall of computers.”