US veterans and families to get free TV production training with NEP truck

NEP has donated an outside broadcast truck equipped with state-of-the-art kit to a newly-formed US non-profit organisation aimed at giving military and public service veterans and their families free training in TV production.

VETV president, Bob Lefcovich, with the truck donated to the non-profit by NEP in the US

Veterans-TV (VETV) is creating a mobile classroom within Denali Gold, a remote production truck donated by NEP, and will provide courses in cities across the US when the integration of donated broadcast equipment is complete.

The organisation is preparing to launch hands-on professional television production training courses for veterans of the US armed forces, law enforcement veterans, and firefighters who have lost their employment due to injury or attrition.

“We’re so grateful for the depth and breadth of generosity we’re seeing from companies and individuals across the industry,” said VETV president, Bob Lefcovich, who has more than 50 years of experience working in broadcast production and postproduction. “Training on the best equipment with some of the industry’s best professionals is an incredible opportunity, and I’m proud to be playing a role in bringing this opportunity to those who have served our country.”

Lefcovich was a cameraman for ABC Wide World of Sports in the 1970s, edited hundreds of TV shows and commercials in the 1980s, trained many hundreds of editors while working as the senior applications specialist for the Grass Valley Group, and served as tech support and trainer for five different Olympics. He also is one of the founders of Editware, a designer and manufacturer of hybrid editing systems.

Led by industry professionals on a volunteer basis, VETV courses are open to all veterans, their spouses and dependents over 18 years. Proposed courses will address roles such as video technician, camera operator, audio technician, technical assistant, editor, technical director, and engineer in charge (EIC) and areas of expertise including Avid Media Composer (NLE), Adobe Premiere Pro (NLE), character generator/art, EVS operator, and information technology (IT). All courses except the EIC course will be 192 hours with eight hours of hands-on tests.

Lefcovich and the VETV advisory board have so far raised more than $2 million in donations of modern, state of the art TV production and postproduction equipment, with NEP and Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, offering extensive support in terms of equipment donations and integration.

All of the equipment being installed in Denali Gold for training purposes has been donated by manufacturers and broadcasters including AJA, Blackmagic, Calrec Audio, Ensemble Design, EVS, Kramer, Renegade Labs, Ross Video, Telestream, and many more. Integration started at the beginning of December.

In its previous career with NEP, Denali Gold was involved in high profile remote broadcasts including the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Emmy Awards, programmes including America’s Got Talent, Entourage, American Idol, Shark Tank, Showtime at the Apollo, Fox network upfronts, presidential inauguration concerts in Washington DC, and scores of other broadcasts.

“With all the industry pros involved in getting our mobile classroom ready, we’ve probably got 180 years of combined experience working on the truck right now,” added Lefcovich. “As students are certified within our programme, we’ll put all that industry expertise and all our connections to work in helping trained veterans find employment. My colleagues and I have enjoyed great careers in TV, and VETV gives us a way of leveraging our experience to give back and to help veterans with their re-entry into society.”

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