CCTV Returns As You Like It

Claremont Colleges Television (CCTV) is making its move. 

CCTV, a TV production club that was revived at Pomona College last semester, is expanding its reach to the 5C student body. Last fall, the Studio 47 outlet began with approximately 25 members, and its shows were limited to news and comedy sketches. 

This semester, the club has grown significantly in its membership and diversity of material. There are now more than 40 participants from all 5Cs working on CCTV, and the network hopes to increase its viewership and number of production members as it moves forward. 

"We definitely want to be one of the major medias [on campus] and keep students informed on what’s going on," said Peter Chen PO '16, co-founder and current executive director . 

CCTV is producing six features this semester: news, comedy, film critiques, a drama series, a Shakespeare series, and what producers are calling “Untitled Sitcom.”

CCTV’s Shakespeare series, the creative work of producer Alex Nolan PO '15, will feature seven episodes of William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” set in modern-day Claremont.

“We’re reinterpreting a lot of the relationships and characters," Nolan said. "However, we’re doing that while keeping the original text in order to look at what’s changed between Shakespeare’s day and this one—and what hasn’t. The play is a bunch of fun, [with] lots of odd vignettes and wacky characters exploring their identities and making poor life choices." 

CCTV’s other sketches are relatable and pertinent not only to college students, but also to a broader audience. Videos range from the comedy sketch “Srirachaholic,” which hilariously shows a character’s love affair with Sriracha hot sauce, to an interview with the fall semester 5C Hackathon winners describing the app they invented.

“Untitled Sitcom” is a mockumentary-style feature that uses dry humor to poke fun at student government officers. 

All comedy productions at CCTV are written by multiple people and do not stick to a specific storyline. If a strong idea for a series comes along, it will not be turned away. 

“We want to come out with things that people want to watch,” said Jane Scearce SC ’15, who is the co-producer of CCTV’s comedy section. “If people don’t want to watch what we’re putting out, we’ll have to modify our content.”  

While other media outlets have long been available for student participation, a TV station has never held a strong presence at the 5Cs. However, CCTV is hoping to change that with its variety of productions. 

“In a really idealistic way, I want it to be a Claremont pastime," Chen said. "I want people to go on and watch our sitcom when they’re procrastinating on their homework." 

However, CCTV offers more than just entertainment. All features by CCTV are entirely produced, written, and performed by students, providing hands-on experience to its contributors.  

The network also holds workshops on film production and editing. The next workshop is on Feb. 22, and will focus on film editing with Adobe Premiere.  

“I think the network is really appropriate considering the times," said Sara Scheidemantle SC ’17, who is considering pursuing media studies. "I know a lot of media studies majors, and I think CCTV would be a great way for them involved and get firsthand experience.”

Chen added, "CCTV is a great opportunity for students to learn how to actually operate a camera and edit and add effects. Students could apply what they learn in class to something more hands-on." 

CCTV welcomes ideas from non-members and is interested in taking on new contributors. 

To learn more about CCTV, search “CCTV” on YouTube or visit its website at http://studio47.aspc.pomona.edu/