Articles From the February 1995 Unification News


Witnessing by TV

by Erling Lea-Austin, TX

I want to share a few words about a fast, easy way to reach thousands of people right in their homes with very little expense and with only the amount of effort which one person is able to make.

TV is a very powerful medium which has shaped people's thinking and even habits. Some people are so dominated by the TV that all they do is watch, day and night. It is their window to the world. Their opinion is often shaped by the reporters and producers of various programs.

You may be thinking, "But I don't have two million dollars to start a TV station, and no one wants to air a program made by the Unification Movement." I know this is your thinking, and I even agree with you. A standard documentary program today like 20/20 or a comparable series costs a lot. Even a cheap, low-budget music video runs around $20,000. Believe it or not, even 30-second commercials cost as much as several hundred thousand dollars to make.

"So what am I supposed to do? Fundraise until I die to make a program?!!?" Relax! Take a deep breath, and sit back in the chair. There is a way. There is a loophole, not only for those in the U.S. who have Access TV. Of course not every town has Access TV.

What about the rest of the world-Europe, Asia and South America? Today there are many stations which are started by local people. Just like local radio stations, they are often financed by public funds or by local advertisement. Most likely they have little money and are actually starving for programs.

"How do I find these stations?" you may ask. There are two ways. You can use the phone book or surf the channels of your local cable TV until you see something weird, or made without proper lighting, or in some way of poor quality. You can be sure that the reason for the poor quality of their programming is either that they don't have money to get modern machines, or that they don't have enough education to make good programs.

"But isn't this disrespectful, to have something God-centered on such a station?" you may ask at this point in our discussion. On one hand, I can agree with that. But I'd like to ask you to think about Jesus' and True Father's disciples. They were not the prepared people either. If God can use one of your local stations, then that station will be very blessed. And airing programs on this kind of small, local station has an advantage in that they are looking for quality programming, and will likely show your program over and over. As a matter of fact, today many stations are so desperate that they steal programs to air them.

By the way, do you remembers which station showed a good movie last week? Most people don't understand how TV works, anyway. They sit there with the remote control and surf until they see something interesting. TV has become like a refrigerator to which people turn to escape and to seek comfort.

You may be wondering at this point, "But where do I get programs?" To start with, I suggest that you may want to start with Lethal Risk and A Portrait of Jesus. They are very high-quality programs similar in format to 60 Minutes, 48 Hours and 20/20. These programs are aired all over the world now. After this, I suggest that you air videos made by New Future Films, like films about The Assembly of World Religions, the Media Conferences, WFWP work, and others in that vein. You may want to consider Tom McDevitt's DP tapes, which are good to air because the graphics are the most readable and because each main point is clearly illustrated. As long as your tape is made in America, people will love it. You may have to pay something for airtime on some stations, but it will not be nearly as much as you would pay to have all the people gathered in one room to see a program, and you will have to make much less effort per program.

At this point you may well wonder, "What kind of response can I expect after the airing?" You may get some calls in response to Lethal Risk, yes. But the others do not usually draw much direct community response. You see, people want information but often don't call.

To find out if anyone has seen your program, you must keep your ears and eyes open. Especially the first week after it has been aired, listen to all live call-in radio and TV shows, read all the newspapers-even small local ones-and pay attention to everything which is an avenue for local news. You need to leave your radio on practically 24 hours a day. There you hear and see the people.

"Can I make my own programs?" many have pondered. Yes, of course, there are ways to do that, to learn videography. You know that the higher the quality of an education, the more expensive it is. But don't get too much dragged into all the ins and outs in today's fast- changing technology.

In the past, many producers used many simple tricks. They had no PC, CD or whatever is on the market today, and these programs are still airing today. Woody Allen is an interesting example. His films are so simple, but the point is that creativity and personal touch are most important.

I'd like to mention here that there is an American magazine called The Video Maker. It is an excellent magazine, with many good condensed articles. They are written for the consumer to help him/her create a good product without spending a fortune.

We are making a newsletter for all UC producers in the U.S., so send me your address and you will get a monthly newsletter in the mail. Also, please don't hesitate to ask questions.

Whoever is interested in this, send me a line, buzz or fax. Thank you so much!

Erling Lea/Lea Productions, 4502 South Congress Ave. #237/Austin, Texas 78745. Phone: 512-837-8705 /Fax: 512-837-8731. Good Luck!


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