The student-run Bowdoin Cable Network (BCN) is working hard to regain its former viewership under the leadership of presidents Destiny Guerrero ’14, Rickey Larke ’15, and vice-president Julián Huertas ’16.
Currently, the station’s most popular production is “The House,” a mockumentary-style series of 10-minute episodes based on students living in Quinby House. Featuring a variety of planned and improvised scenes and a rotating cast of actors from across campus, episodes debut at campus premieres and are afterward uploaded to Youtube.
Huertas came up with the idea for the series after watching an episode of BCN’s old show “The Dorm”—which is loosely based on NBC’s “The Office”.
According to Huertas, the series is most popular with sophomores, although it’s helping BCN gain popularity with the entire student body.
Huertas said that getting the series started has not been easy.
“I was really disappointed because there was a lot of talk about potential projects [last year] but nothing got done,” said Huertas.
In addition, the network faced a variety of technical issues.
“The audio for each camera was essentially gone…and the cameras were very obsolete,” he said.
Larke said one of the main challenges of getting BCN back in gear has been acquiring the necessary equipment.
Now that the show is up and running, the producers hope it will spark a comeback.
“We don’t just want ‘The House’ to continue, we want BCN to experience a revival,” said Huertas.
“Through ‘The House,’ people have started to realize that BCN is coming back and we’ve gotten a lot of requests to do things—such as BCNews, or different clubs want promotional videos,” added Huertas.
But, as Larke pointed out, “‘The House’ is kind of geared towards sophomores, more or less, or freshman—people who don’t really know much about the social house experience or are in the midst of the social house experience.”
The first episode has 692 views on YouTube.
However, the club is still far from achieving Larke’s goal of campus notoriety.
“I have never heard of [‘The House’],” Liam Ford ’17 said.
“I’ve seen their posters around—I want to watch,” said Penelope Lusk ’17. She added that she has never actually seen an episode.
“I just watch ‘The House’ because I’m in Quinby,” Marina Marlens ’16 said, “I always assumed [BCN] was past its prime.”
Though BCN once played a more active role on campus by publicizing various campus events in a news segment, it has faced several challenges in recent years.
“By the time I joined the club there were no members other than me and Destiny and a few other people,” said Larke. “Last year it was basically dead…right now we’re breathing new life into BCN.”
Another challenge the network faces is acquring funding for updating equipment.
“BCN hadn’t been doing things for almost two years, so it was hard to get funding when you don’t have any content to show,” said Larke.
Huertas mentioned that the network is working with alumni as well as the Student Activities Funding Committee to try and secure funding.
Larke stated his vision for the club as: “a place where people can bring their idea and explore it.”
“I want to make a foundation where people can have BCN as an outlet to create any type of video, television, or film,” he added.
Steve Messina ’14, a member of the ice hockey team, said that he would watch sports programming because it is hard as an athlete to keep up with the matches of other teams. He said he does not currently watch BCN’s programs.
To increase viewership, BCN is looking to create a sports recap segment, and hopefully recreate BCNews. Additionally, the leaders are hoping to have BCN become an outlet for those interested in film production.
“I want people to join to teach them how filming works, how editing works, how running a show works,” said Huertas.
Right now, the group is mostly working on creating content to begin building a consistent audience.
“We want people to view this thing—that’s the biggest part,” said Larke.