Better Than Bingo: The Story of Channel 22


Lawrence: AROUND 1957, I STARTED
WRITING, AND I NEVER STOPPED.
I WROTE JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.
I CO-WROTE THREE FILMS
FOR ELVIS PRESLEY.
Woodbury: I’VE WORKED
IN THE BUSINESS SINCE 1942.
Fallick:
I STARTED IN THIS BUSINESS
WATCHING MY DAD MAKE EXTRA MONEY
PROJECTING IN THEATERS
IN BROOKLYN.
BY THE TIME I WAS 21,
I WAS THE YOUNGEST FILM EDITOR
IN MOTION-PICTURE HISTORY.
Scherer:
BEING IN THE FILM BUSINESS
OR TV BUSINESS,
IT’S NOT A JOB,
IT’S A WAY OF LIFE.
AND WHEN THAT BIG PIECE OF LIFE
GETS TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU,
WHO ARE YOU?
THE REAL DREAM
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING
WAS TO HAVE A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE
COULD COME IN RETIREMENT
AND LIVE OUT THEIR LIVES
IN A COMMON BOND
OF HAVING BEEN IN
THE FILM BUSINESS,
AND FILM AND TELEVISION.
70-SOME YEARS LATER, HERE WE ARE
WITH OUR OWN TV STATION,
OUR OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY.
THERE’S NO OTHER INDUSTRY
FACILITY LIKE THIS PLACE.
Stevens: OLD PEOPLE HERE.
BE CAREFUL.
CHANNEL 22 PRODUCES FILMS THAT
ARE WRITTEN BY THE RESIDENTS.
Tang-Urquidi:
“LAW & DISORDER,” TAKE ONE.
Stevens: I’M GONNA CALL THE FBI
AND COME PICK YOU UP.
HOW ABOUT THAT?
AND DIRECTED BY THEM,
AND EDITED BY THEM.
Tang-Urquidi:
WE HAVE ABOUT 50 RESIDENTS
THAT ARE ACTIVELY INVOLVED.
WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
SOMEONE CAN COME IN
WITH A SCRIPT ALREADY WRITTEN,
OR THEY WANT TO WRITE A SCRIPT,
OR THEY JUST WANT TO ACT,
OR THEY WANT TO PRODUCE A PROMO.
WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO,
WE’RE GONNA TRY
TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Hush: I WROTE THE POEMS
THAT WE’VE ALREADY SHOT.
WE’RE WORKING ON THE EDITING,
WHICH IS NEW TO ME.
I’VE ONLY EDITED
ONE OTHER THING.
I’VE HAD A STROKE SINCE I WROTE
SOME OF THEM,
AND SOME OF MY VOICE IS NOT
WHAT I WOULD LIKE IT TO BE.
Stevens: WE DID A TAKE-OFF
ON “LAW & ORDER.”
WE CALL IT “LAW & DISORDER.”
IT’S BETTER THAN BINGO.
I HATE BINGO.
Lawrence: THE FILM
I’M WORKING ON RIGHT NOW
IS “THE THREE-LEGGED STOOL.”
OVERALL, IT’S TERRIFIC.
I THINK THE WORK
IS REALLY GREAT.
Fallick: YEAH, HE’S ENDED UP
TAKING OUT ABOUT 40 SECONDS.
35, 40 SECONDS AFTER.
Lawrence:
IT WAS AN IDEA THAT CAME TO ME
BECAUSE I SAW A WOMAN PUSHING
A STROLLER ACROSS THE CAMPUS.
IT WASN’T A BABY
IN THE STROLLER.
IT WAS A LITTLE DOG.
AND THE DOG HAD THREE LEGS.
WELL, I FELL IN LOVE
WITH THE DOG,
BUT I ALSO HAPPENED
TO FALL IN LOVE WITH MADDIE,
WHO OWNS THE DOG.
Fallick:
I WOULD THINK WE ALL BECOME
MORE LIKE BROTHERS AND SISTERS
THAN JUST RESIDENTS HERE.
YOU KNOW, YOU FEEL YOU’VE GOT
SOMETHING IN COMMON
WITH ALL OF THEM.
I NEVER IMAGINED THAT I’D STILL
BE IN THE FILMMAKING BUSINESS
WHEN MY NEXT BIRTHDAY IS
NOVEMBER, AND I’LL BE 82.
IT’S JUST TERRIFIC.
Lawrence:
PEOPLE LOVE TO SEE THEIR FRIENDS
AND NEIGHBORS ON THE SCREEN,
AND THEY LOVE TO WATCH
THE DEVELOPMENT OF FILMS.
AND WE’RE EXPANDING.
AND HOPEFULLY
WE’LL CONTINUE TO EXPAND
AND GET LARGER AUDIENCES.
Fallick: YOU GET TO KNOW PEOPLE
OF ALL SORTS
BECAUSE THERE ARE A GREAT MANY
ACTORS AND ACTRESSES HERE.
I MEAN, THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO —
THEATER CLASSES,
THE IMPROV CLASSES,
THE WRITING CLASSES,
LITTLE FILMS.
VOLUNTEER CINEMATOGRAPHERS AND
OTHERS COME IN FOR A FEW DAYS.
AND IT’S A PLEASURE WATCHING
MARCUS TURN TO ME AND SAY,
“I’M LEARNING A LOT ABOUT
EDITING WITH YOU.”
WELL, THANK YOU, MARCUS.
I’M STILL LEARNING, TOO.
Scherer:
NOT ONLY IS IT THE RESIDENTS,
BUT NOW WE’RE SEEING HIGH-SCHOOL
KIDS, COLLEGE STUDENTS,
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
IN THE BUSINESS
COMING OUT SATURDAYS,
SUNDAYS, VOLUNTEERING.
AND THE DYNAMIC
OF THE INTERGENERATIONAL NATURE
IS REALLY,
I THINK, AN ADDED BENEFIT
THAT WE DIDN’T REALLY,
TRULY EXPECT.
Beitcher: OUR INDUSTRY
IS RELATIVELY UNKIND
TO PEOPLE AS THEY AGE.
JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE RETIRED
FROM THE INDUSTRY
OR SEMI-RETIRED
FROM THE INDUSTRY
DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T HAVE
THAT CREATIVE IMPULSE.
Lawrence:
I SAW MYSELF MAYBE SITTING
IN AN APARTMENT SOMEWHERE,
STARING AT THE WALLS,
AND THAT JUST WASN’T
REALLY AN OPTION FOR ME.
IN A WAY,
CHANNEL 22 GAVE ME A LIFE
THAT I NEVER WOULD HAVE
HAD BEFORE.
Woodbury:
I’M HERE, AND THANK GOD.
IT’S WHERE I BELONG.
Tang-Urquidi: MY RELATIONSHIPS
WITH THE RESIDENTS,
LIKE, I’VE BECOME REALLY CLOSE
TO A LOT OF THEM.
IT’S JUST LIKE A MEMBER
OF YOUR FAMILY.
NOT EVERYTHING LASTS FOREVER,
RIGHT, IN TERMS OF OUR YOUTH.
BUT THERE’S A PLACE
WHERE I CAN STILL BE HEARD.
THERE’S A PLACE
I CAN STILL CREATE.
Fallick: YOU FEEL LIKE
YOU’RE STILL CONTRIBUTING
SOMETHING TO SOCIETY
IN THE WAY OF ENTERTAINMENT.
JUST A GREAT THRILL
TO BE ABLE TO STILL DO IT,
STILL HAVE MEANING TO IT,
AND ENJOY IT.

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