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PACT: Public Access Community Television

Programming

Q: Once I've turned in my video and program contract, how long will it be before my show airs?
A: To process your show, Programming needs a minimum of Seven Business Days.

Q: How many times will my program air?
A: Your program can air up to Five Times in a seven-week period.

Q: Can I sponsor PACT programming?
A: As an individual, an organization, or a business you can sponsor PACT programming. However, sponsors need to adhere to PACT's non-commercial sponsorship guidelines. Channels 10, 11, and 16 are non-commercial public access television stations.

Q: How do I schedule a program?
A: You can schedule a series or non-series program. For more information, see the How To Schedule a Program section of this web site.

Q: Can I make a promo for my show?
A: Yes, and you are encouraged to make a promo for your show. Most promos are 15, 20, or 30 seconds and can be scheduled to run on channels 10, 11, and 16.

Equipment

Q: What is Time Code?
A: Time Code is the numbers attached to each frame of video. In the editing process these numbers are used to find your in and out points. Do not be confused with the Counter versus Time Code. Time Code is always accurate because it is synced to every frame of video.

Q: What is the Local / Remote Switch?
A: The Local / Remote Switch is located on every professional video tape recorder. It is used to determine if your video tape deck can be operated remotely or at the machine itself, which is local.

Q: What is DV CAM versus DV? Why did my mini DV tape only go 40 minutes when the tape says 60 minutes?
A: These are two separate formats that use the same cassette shell for the videotape, but the formats records at different speeds and have different resolution qualities.

Producer Services

Q: How do I become a producer?
A: To become a producer you first need to attend a Start Up / Orientation session. PACT Orientation sessions are held each week on Monday nights at 6:00 p.m. (except holidays). The next step is to obtain a Producer ID, which costs $55.00 for 6 months or $100.00 for one year. People not living in Austin pay an additional $50 out-of-area fee.

Q: How do I get my Community Service Announcement on the air?
A: If you are part of a non-profit organization, your non-profit can get its CSA on the air. You need to submit a form that includes your CSA message. You also have the option to submit a graphic. There is a $25 fee.

Q: How far in advance may I schedule the use of equipment?
A: Normally, you can schedule equipment up to 21 days in advance. However, you can submit a Special Request form and schedule equipment with even more advance notice.

Q: Do you have any material that I can read to familiarize myself with public access?
A: There are several documents you can read, ranging from PACT's Policies and Procedures to the information contained on the Programming Contract.

Q: Can I keep equipment beyond the standards 24-hour period?
A: To check out equipment for longer than 24 hours you need to submit a Special Request form and a Production Plan.

Q: How long does it take for my Special Request form to be processed?
A: It normally takes 3 business days to receive an answer to a Special Request.

Training

Q: How much does it cost to be a producer?
A: It costs $55.00 for 6 months or $100.00 for one year. This fee covers your producer's ID and gives you access to all the facilities, resources, and training.

Q: What classes do I need to get a show on the air?
A: If you've already taken the Start Up / Orientation session, paid your Producer ID fee, and taken the TV101 Workshop, AND, if you have your own camera and editing equipment, then you don't have to take any classes - but we highly recommend that you do. If you don't have a camera then you need to take Basic Camera. If you don't have your own editing equipment then you need to take an introductory editing class.

Q: Who do I call to register for a class?
A: Please call Producer Services, at 478-8600, Extension 10.

Q: Who do I call to ask about the actual content of a training class?
A: Please call the Training Director, at 478-8600, Extension 22 for any information about the training classes.

Miscellaneous

Q: Does PACT have volunteer opportunities?
A: Yes. There are a range of volunteer opportunities. Sometimes PACT producers volunteer on collaborative projects that require large crews. You do not need to be a producer to participate. Put a notice on the producer bulletin board.

Q: Does PACT have internship opportunities?
Q: Yes. You can become a PACT intern, both to fulfill your educational requirements and simply if you want to learn. Contact the Executive Director at 478-8600, Ext 18.

Q: How can I become a mentor for new producers?
A: New producers benefit by working with experienced producers. You can be a mentor and get help on your productions. Put a notice on the producer bulletin board.

Q: How do I find a mentor?
A: To find a producer mentor check the producer bulletin board for notices, or write a notice indicating that you are looking for a mentor.

Q: Can I make a contribution to PACT?
A: As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, Public Access Community Television does accept tax-deductible contributions.

Q: Can I advocate for public access TV?
A: Public access television is currently threatened by changes in Texas state law. We need advocates who can promote the importance and value that public access television has for our community.

Q: What can I buy in the PACT general store?
A: In the PACT general store you can buy digital video tapes, studio supplies, and miscellaneous equipment adapters.