Training for Bellingham’s public access TV channel to start soon

City residents who want to learn how to make videos for the city’s public access cable channel will soon be able to sign up for free training classes.

Eero Johnson of EJ Visuals, a Bellingham production company, will teach a series of eight-week courses on the basics of video production, starting in May.

The training is part of the city’s yearlong pilot program called Access Bellingham, which has incorporated public access programming into the city’s government and educational cable channel BTV10, airing videos submitted by the public during a six-hour block every Sunday evening.

The training course will include hands-on time with camera equipment and time set aside to make shows that will air on BTV10.

“One really important thing to note is the participants are the producers and owners of the content,” Johnson said. “You will still own all the content and can do whatever you want with it afterward. The goal is to share them on the public channel, but they will own the product and can do whatever they’d like with it.”

Class size will be limited, Johnson said. Only 10 people will be allowed to officially enroll in each eight-week course, which will be free and only open to Bellingham residents.

Another 10 or so people might be allowed to sit in on the classes, similar to auditing a class, but might not be granted the privilege of renting out the city-owned video equipment unless they are officially enrolled, Johnson said.

Money for the program comes from franchise fees paid to the city from cable provider Comcast/Xfinity. In August 2014, City Council members approved spending $50,000 of that cash to pay for the yearlong trial, including implementing the training program and buying camera equipment.

The trainings are tentatively scheduled to take place on Tuesday evenings in the Bellingham Municipal Court building, 2014 C St., as well as the Allied Arts space at 1418 Cornwall Ave.

Details about how to apply for the courses will be available soon at Facebook.com/abvideotraining and ejvisuals.com.