Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hall night long

“Have you cleared your schedule for this evening?” asked Mrs. Hall, as she waltzed into the office. Mr. Hall nodded, barely looking up from his desk. “We don’t want to miss our show; it’s going to be on tonight!”

Last October, the Halls had been watching WCNY one evening and made note of a promotion they were touting. If a viewer donated over $500 to their “Fill the Vault” campaign, they would be entitled to introduce a movie of their choice. Mrs. Hall pointed out that they had made a substantial donation just that summer and wondered aloud if that would qualify them. They swung by the studios the following day and spoke to Rosie Taravella, the woman in charge of the campaign. The Halls explained that they were hoping to recreate a Saturday morning block of time, where viewers could see old Roy Rogers’ shows, some Sky King episodes maybe or even some old cartoons. However, after a series of emails back and forth with Rosie, the film director recommended an old Gene Autry series called “The Phantom Empire.” Mrs. Hall did a little research on the series and was immediately intrigued. She wrote a two minute introduction to the 12 part serial, and designed a little diagram known as a “Hall-O-Graph” to illustrate the convoluted plotline. A week or two later, the Halls slipped into the studio to film their introduction.

The whole crew at WCNY had been wonderful and made the filming very easy. With the help of some skillful editing, the staff made the piece truly entertaining, and they sent a DVD copy of it to the Halls, for their scrapbook. “It’s four hours worth of old time fun,” said Mrs. H. “I’m making a boatload of popcorn and Colleen’s flight has been delayed because of bad weather. We can spend the whole evening together watching cliff hangers and cheering on our hero!”

(Ed. Note: The Gentle Reader is encouraged to check their local listings for time and channel. In Syracuse, New York, listings for WCNY can be found here, and “The Phantom Empire” will be shown beginning at 8:00 pm Wednesday evening, on January 12, 2011. )

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