C&G Newspapers: 10-28-98
Writer: Michelle Moran
The state's the
star in a new television program put together by lifelong Madison
Heights resident. Fulfilling a long held dream of creating a television program that spotlights local talent, Ronnie Brewster has gotten his Michigan Television Network (MTN) off the ground and on the
air on local cable stations in more than a dozen area communities,
including Detroit, Hazel Park, Madison Heights and Troy.
Most recently, Media One of Roseville was added to that list, he said. "I just want to try to get people together, to unite people to create TV that inspires others to create TV, enhances the image of Michigan and supports the (states) entertainment industry," Brewster said. "Brewster, a Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts grad, created and produced the show.
Detroiter Michael Williams directed the first episode, and Warren resident Timothy Ross acted as the show's photographer and production assistant.
The first show, which is still airing in some communities and will be starting in others, features interviews with members of the Michigan Music is World Class campaign, 1998 Red Wings parade footage and music from Joe Brown and the Beard Band.
The eclectic mix is in keeping with Brewster's goal of making his variety show a broad-based effort the spans the gamut from music and comedy to public opinion.
"Were going to get a lot of groups involved - as many as possible," he said. Unlike other variety shows, Brewster's is shot entirely on location. The producer said he prefers outdoor settings and shot some segments for the first episode in Mount Clemens and Green Acres Park in Hazel Park.
If you look at the credits as far as set design, it says, "GOD, mankind and the evolving Universe,' because we don't have a set," he said.
Besides a general love for his state, Brewster traces the impulse to create MTN to a music video program he worked on almost ten years ago at Barden Cable, which featured one local video per episode.
At press time, Brewster was in the planning stages for the next show, He said the second episode probably won't be ready until the beginning of next year, since Brewster hopes to get assistance in marketing and producing it.
He welcomes submissions from budding filmmakers, local bands with videos and others.
"If it's good enough, we can put it on the air," he said.
He hopes - and believes - others in television will follow suit and salute the state's talent as well. But even if the program succeeds and draws national attention to people in the state, as Brewster says it can, he wants to keep the volunteer-produced show nonprofit.
"I'd rather find people who want to work from the heart than people who just want to make money," he said.
Local producer features Michigan
Great talent doesn't
just come from New York And Los Angeles.
There's plenty of it right here in Michigan, and local independent producer, Ronnie Brewster wants to show it off!
That's why Brewster, a lifelong resident of Madison heights, created the Royal Oak based Michigan Television network, a program dedicated to inspiring, educating and entertaining others by featuring the talented folks who live right here in our state.
I love Michigan. I always have, said Brewster.
"And I know we have a lot of talent here - I've seen it."
Brewster, a 1987 graduate of the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts , combined his lifetime love for Michigan with his longtime passion for television production and The Michigan television Network, a variety show featuring local entertainment, was born.
The first show, which aired Oct. 28 on TCI Cablevision (Channel 52) and Media One in Roseville, was hosted by Warren funny man, Dave Walters, and offered music (Joe Brown and The Beard Band), informative interviews (including Doug Trevethan, editor of Michigan Vue magazine and Tom Ness, editor and publisher of jam Rag magazine), on-the-street interviews, opinions from the Michigan Music is World Class Campaign and exclusive footage from the 1998 Red Wings parade.
Brewster was assisted by director and cameraman Michael Williams of Detroit and photographer/production assistant Timothy Ross of Warren.
The half-hour show also aired by Detroit's Comcast Cable in November , and all three cable providers ran it more than once.
"It went well," said Brewster.
"We interviewed 60 people for the show and 42 made the final cut."
Complete production of the program took about five months, according to Brewster, and although use of the public access facility was free, Brewster used his own money to front any additional charges.
"I'm not doing this to make money," Brewster said. "Sure, I'd like to build it up by looking for sponsors and try to get it on other networks.
But, that all depends on how much air time cost.
In the meantime, Brewster is planning to run a second episode on public access channels soon, and production is already in the works. That's where the talented Michigan public comes in.
The Michigan Television Network is looking for producers, writers, comedians, musicians, inspirational material, TV stations, radio stations, local print publication, production houses and other cable stations who want to enhance the image of out state and recognize Michigan's many talented treasures.
"The more people we can involve, the better," said Brewster. "I know we have so much to offer right here in Michigan, but we need people to catch on."
Brewster envisions the next program to have more involvement, more music videos and have a more professional look.
He always wants to improve what he's done, but according to Brewster, he's also having fun learning from his mistakes.
"Nobody can discourage me on this," said Brewster. "As long as I can learn from it and enjoy it, I cannot be discouraged."
Now that's one Michigan resident who's already a star.
Michigan Vue Magazine
August 1999 – Courtesy Doug and Hily Trevethan
In October of 1998 a cable access show premiered with the title Michigan Television Network.
The first show was created by lifelong resident and Specs Howard graduate Ronnie R. Brewster, executive producer.
It was hosted by Wayne State Alumni, Warren’s own funny man Dave (Guido) Walters, associate producer.
Mike Williams from Detroit directed and operated camera. Timothy Ross (also from Warren) was production assistant and photographer.
According to Brewster.
“The mission of the show is unite creative minds to inspire and support the entertainment industry and enhance the image of Michigan –MTN is a non profit organization that understands the importance of human potential, the value of continuous education, and thrives on those who work from the heart, not just to make money.”
Proceeds go towards creating programs, promotion, education, and compensating those who share their knowledge and expertise.
The MTN crew started shooting for their second show in May and are hoping to have it completed by the end of July.
“It’s getting better all the time.” Said Walters.
“Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come, ”added Brewster.
Already in the can are interviews with Phillip DiMambro from the I group talent agency/Creatives for a cure; Wayne Indyk, Chairman of the Detroit Film Coalition; Jasen Magic, one of Michigan’s favorite magicians who received national attention last year by hanging himself 70 feet over the Clinton river in a straight jacket and setting the rope on fire; Rose, a singer/songwriter from Royal Oak whose music and unique beat will leave you wanting more; and Fabrizio Rallo, a pianist/composer from Italy who has only been in America for four years and now resides in Shelby township –“his music will touch your heart and lift your spirit,” commented Brewster.
As if that wasn’t enough, include Kathleen McEvilly, the queen of sit down comedy who has inspired so many by proving that a head injury that has left her handicapped can’t stop those with the passion and perseverance to succeed.
Recently, Dave Walters was a guest on Specs profile.”
A Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts production, which will be seen in over 70 different cities on public access.
Clips from that interview will also be seeen on the MTN show. In addition, some well known people in the community shared their thoughts, including Dick Kernan, vp of industry relations and Jim Bell, chief instructor, both from the Specs Howard school: and Chris Benjamin, 98/99 president of the Detroit Producers Association.
Less than a year after starting this venture, Brewster wrote, “the greatest minds in history understood the power of our thoughts and habits.
The importance of listening to others and the advantage of having an open mind … an understanding that our attitudes and perspectives send contagious energy that develops our minds and creates the world we live in.
Recognize that a love for what we do is one of the most powerful motivators in life.
“You can get involved by sending your suggestions and videos to MTN, BOX 765 Royal Oak, I 48068-0765.
If you would like to share your thoughts, write a segment, sponsor a segment or just leave a message, call 248-570-0863, anytime.
Writer: Eli Natinski
New cable show focuses on Michigan talent
He was born and raised here, and as an adult it remains his home state. Brewster also loves to create.
As a producer, videographer and editor, he is an individual of many talents.
So with his dual interest, it is fitting, perhaps, that he would form the Royal Oak-based Michigan Television Network (MTN).
The show combines interviews and videos with a touch of humor, courtesy of
host Dave Walters. Filmmakers, photographers and magicians have been profiled, and rocker Ted Nugent has even lent his support with a brief appearance.
The stated goal: "to recognize the great wealth of talent of talent and open people's eyes to the enormous potential of our great state.
" "There's a lot of (gifted) people right here in Michigan, and they don't get the recognition they deserve," said Brewster, executive producer.
"This program serves as a vehicle to people who wouldn't ordinarily get
projects seen," added director Michael Williams.
Two installments have aired on Media One, Community Media Network and Comcast Cable systems, and a third show is now in post-production.
The idea for the program first came to Brewster a decade ago, while producer of a music video show.
It also aired ion local cable though it mainly featured national acts.
This lack of regional attention troubled Brewster, and the idea of MTN was sown.
Ten years later, with the assistance of Walters and Williams, as wall as crew members Timothy Ross and Dave Olson, concept has became a reality.
Thus far, response to the program has been positive.
So much so, in fact, that some have been solicited the network, requesting that their work be profiled.
And there have been other improvements: technical strides have been made, contacts have been cultivated and another staff member has recently joined the project.
"This is something I truly believe in my heart," Brewster said.
For more info, contact MTN at 248-570-0863.
inquiries can be sent to:
P.O. BOX 765 Royal Oak, MI 48068-0765,
or leave a message at 248-570-0863.
The Detroit Free Press – August 7, 2000 - Writer: -John Smyntek.
It also included statements from Jeffery Miller from local show transition and Marlo Ellis from Community Media Network Not mentioned here go to free Press Archives for above date to see entire article.
Ronnie Brewster Mention Ronnie Brewster’s name to Detroit’s cable producing community and the response is usually, “Oh, that guy.
Does he ever give up?”
At 1a.m. Aug. 25 on WDWB-TV (channel 20), his, “Michigan Television Network” goes on the air with Brewster’s pet project, a sort of rough-hewn “Entertainment Tonight” for Detroit’s terminally under publicized entertainment biz.
Think Michael Moore, without the snark factor.
Brewster, 34 and a technician at channel 20, started producing a one- hour showcase in Madison Heights two years ago largely using volunteer producers to focus “on a talent here that needs to be recognized.
I get a natural high off doing this.
The more I do it the more I meet people, there’s more than I ever imagined. We can’t do enough.”
So one recent Saturday, the cockeyed optimist and his cohorts, using loaned equipment from Community Media Network and volunteer talent, were shooting the big Channel 20 show at hart Plaza with a budget of about $3,000.
(Cable TV production, in it’s simplist local access form, can be totally free to producers – talking head from a studio set.
But cost can rise precipitously for remotes, fancy eye- catching graphics and post-production editing.
On city government telecast, franchise fee collected from cable providers pay the bill.
Bloomfield Township, for example, funded by Media One, has an annual budget of $500,000, says director Lewis Helwig.)
What the night owls will get later this month from Brewster is a slice of the struggle it takes to make it as a local cable producer.
Material is often shot on one take; bits that might be reshot or scrapped on broadcast TV make it here.
Example: On an earlier show, Brewster bravely chronicled a magician’s escape trick go awry.
Terming what he does as a professional hobby,” Brewster uses language removed from the real meet the budget business world.
Why buy what Brewster sells?
“Well I buy the time” on channel 20, he says. Brewster hopes his over the air debut will eventually lead to a budget.
“We will get grants for shows,” which he hopes will go weekly or monthly.
In the meantime, “I tell my people we may not have the money or the equipment, Brewster says “but we’ve got heart.”
or at least on Aug. 25, Hart Plaza.
- Writer: -John Smyntek.
The Detroit Free Press – August 25, 2000 - Writer: - Mike Duffy.
Mike Duffy’s TV Weekend
“Michigan Television Network” (1.a.m., WDWB-TV, channel 20)
Local access king Ronnie Brewster’s video dream magazine hits the airwaves. Guest include comedy impresario Mark Ridley and magician Jasen Magic.
Jam Rag Magazine – January 2001 - Writer: -
Jam Rag Magazine – January 2001 - Writer: - Tom Ness