Star of your own show

MVTV provides opportunities to advance your brand, and to stretch your creative muscle.

From left, Michelle Vivian, access coordinator, Kelly Marolf, programming and facilities coordinator, Carl Holt, director of operations, and Stephen Warriner, executive director. — Courtesy Lara O'Brien

On the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road in a newer office nestled in the woods is Martha’s Vineyard TV, or MVTV, the only TV outlet on the Island. The TV station was started at the high school in July 2003, and 10 years later expanded to become more involved in nonprofits, schools, and to meet the community’s needs. It also became an open campus for educating our community in digital literacy.

MVTV is fully funded by Comcast to engage and encourage the community and focus on developing public, educational, and government needs.

Stephen Warriner is the engaging executive director of MVTV, and is ready to support the needs of the community on many levels. Carl Holt, director of operations, is the man behind the scenes who designs the technical magic happening to make everything so user-friendly. The main recording studio and the brand-new state-of-the-art kitchen studio, and all technical capabilities, are authored, maintained, and supported by both Stephen and Carl.

Kelly Marolf, in charge of facilities programming and coordinating, is the conduit for all members so that they get the equipment they need. She’s responsible for keeping the government coverage maintained and scheduled, among a variety of other activities at MVTV.

The crew at MVTV provides services from recording school committee and selectmen meetings to a number of programs such as “News & Weather with Bella,” which is produced in English and Portuguese; “The Vineyard View,” an interview-style show produced by the eloquent Ann Bassett; “Tank Talk,” produced by Coach Bob Tankard, and dozens of other great community-based shows.

MVTV also conducts classes inside the school system, teaching students how to create a multitude of different types of productions for anyone of any age or ability, to write, edit, and produce their own program material for use on MVTV channel 13.

A two-week-long winter camera class recently ran from Tuesday to Thursday each week, from 2.30 to 4.30 pm. Six students, myself included, attended the foundational camera and editing class. Michelle Vivian runs a monthly class, and her energy and passion for her job is evident as she patiently goes through orientation and introduction to the technology and operation of the equipment. Vivian has a gift of making technology fun (really fun — she has a great sense of humor) even for the most technically challenged. She is patient, and is a perfect fit to fulfill the mission of MVTV, to provide the community with information, media tools, training, and transmission. MVTV accepts all types of information and expression, and welcomes a diversity of views.

“The essence of the class is that you take control of your branding, whether it’s Instagram or Snapchat,” Vivian said.

Participants Josey Kirkland and Liz Dengenis from Felix Neck were eager to start a nature documentary series and produce event coverage for Felix Neck. Sonja Josephson was exploring ideas for personal interest, Daron Stobie loves film, and Daniel (Chubba) O’Connor had ambitions to create his own comedy show.

By the end of the first week we knew our way around a professional Sony HXR-NX100 camera, could operate and set it on a tripod, learned basic interviewing techniques, composition, and framing, and the “video ABCs” — the general rules for awareness while shooting film. So we were all tested and ready to work a camera and, at minimum, record visual and audio to later edit into a finished production.

Week two we were a functioning, close-knit class, and never once was there any stress or misunderstanding. We learned how to use Final Cut Pro, and by the end of the three days, we had cut and edited a preproduced recording, gave it a title, transition, music, and a credited finish. We watched each other’s work, and all had a slight Tarantino swagger leaving on Thursday afternoon.

“It doesn’t matter what you do for a living,” Vivian said. “It’s essential to represent your brand well in the media, and have it reflect who you really are.” To do that, MVTV offers 20 other classes, from writing for production to interviewing techniques, to planning and production, all to help you advance your new skills.

With the foundation course complete, you have access to the many video cameras, tripods, computers, microphones, and GoPros to travel to your destination location and begin recording.

Once you create your masterpiece, the only request MVTV has is that you share your work with the community on MVTV channel 13.

MVTV is an extraordinary resource available to our community, artistic teens, ambitious business promoters, creative seniors, and anyone interested in making a show, music video, cooking class, or a TV presentation.

Membership is an accessible $25 that gives you access to everything, from the classes to the equipment, kitchen, green room, props, recording studio. It is community gold. Go get creative.

Visit to find out more about classes offered and the perks of being a member.