On Monday night, October 8, from 10 to 11 p.m. the Calvin Video Network (CVN) will launch Calvin Tonight, the channel's new talk show.
CVN student leaders promise a different kind of show from Calvin Tonight.
"In the past, CVN shows have pretty much been a couple of guys sitting out in the studio, live on the air, talking about random things and taking calls from people who happen to be watching," said Calvin junior and CVN co-manager Mike Rohlfing. "But I wanted to make something that people will look forward to watching and that will be entertaining and informative about Calvin at the same time."
Calvin Tonight will be a big project for CVN, which in addition to being a n on-campus TV channel is also a student organization. In years past, Rohlfing said, CVN leaders have relied on aspiring TV programmers to come up with their own ideas for shows.
"And freshmen aren't particularly motivated to go a make something for the channel-especially if they've only been here a week," he said, "so, we decided to have projects ahead of time. The idea is that we can get a lot of people involved in this because it's a pretty big production."
Indeed, when Rohlfing, who wears the director's hat, films the pilot of Calvin Tonight (this Saturday), he will rely on the talents of four camera operators, a sound engineer with two assistants, two floor managers, five writers and three or four production assistants, a person each to run the switcher and the teleprompter and a house band led by freshman Roland Eldridge.
"It's a bit larger scale than what we've done in the past," Rohlfing said with some understatement.
He's grateful that Calvin Tonight will use the AV studio in Hiemenga Hall rather than the smaller CVN studio in Commons Annex as its headquarters. The roomier quarters will allow the show to tape with a studio audience.
Calvin Tonight will be hosted by sophomore Ben Dykstra.
"A lot of what we're doing is pre-written, and he's really good at making it seem like it's not-that's his strength," Rohlfing said.
He added that the CVN team is open to putting other talent in the host's chair.
"If people are interested in hosting, let me know," he said.
The show will follow the talk show format made familiar by Letterman, Leno and their storied predecessors: a monologue and some pre-recorded sketches and short bits followed by a featured guest.
Rohlfing revealed the guest for the debut episode of Calvin Tonight as Ron Trapp, an employee of Calvin Food Services who serves signature international dishes and special music mixes from his "Music Corner" in the Knollcrest Dining Hall.
"Basically, he's a really funny guy who everyone on campus knows, but nobody knows very much about him," he said.
Introducing well-known campus figures to the student body in a deeper way is one of the goals of Calvin Tonight.
"We mainly want to bring on people who people know," said Rohlfing. "If there's some big event on campus, you bring on the person in charge of that. If the basketball team wins a big game, you bring on the star of the game. If the gospel choir has a concert coming up, they can come on and perform to advertise it.
"We'd love," Rohlfing added, "to get (Calvin President Gaylen) Byker."
The show creators would also welcome campus lecturers and even people outside the Calvin community.
The show's title, Rohlfing said, was chosen over Late Knight and other Calvin-y titles.
"Night," he said with a smile, "does not have a K. People suggested that, and I refused."
In addition to being aired on CVN, the pilot of Calvin Tonight will also be posted on YouTube. Rohlfing hopes to commit to delivering a show every week.
"We're going to try to do them as often as we can," he said. "We'll shoot our pilot, and if everything goes well, we'll see where we go from there."
~written by Calvin staff writer Myrna Anderson
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