– by Michael Costello, Founder of Inline Plus TV.
Making “no budget” TV with volunteers is not easy at the best of times. So it was with Inline Plus TV, which for various reasons will remain at 7 episodes in 2008 (with a 2007 pilot). Various Community TV projects have suffered this fate, some get started and never air at all. But the story behind the shows we did manage to do was quite a story……………..
In 2005 I was learning to skate with Bayside Blades, which at the time had a web forum for it’s customers. On this web forum, I nervously suggested that as I was involved in Community TV in Melbourne, we should try and get a show on Inline Skating going on C31 Melbourne. To start off with, my idea was to do a “one off” show based around people learning to skate, but my instructor wasn’t too keen to be “the star of the show”. But interest was coming in from the forum post, and before too long, a single show was to become a series of shows.
The first name for the project was “Swizzle” named after the trick move you can do on skates. But this name didn’t go down well with those on the forum, so a new name was adopted, and the show became “Inline Plus”. Later in 2005, the website first appeared, and the “skater” logo was designed by a local design company, Wishbone Interactive.
The links with Bayside Blades continued, with the “launch” of the new logo taking place at their Christmas Party in 2005. Later the shop was to offer a couple of prizes for suggestions for the show, and a slogan for the show. The slogan “Living the wheel life” was suggested by a customer of the shop, and won the prize for that. Some production work was done during 2006, but not much of any substance was shot. It was not until mid 2007 that the pilot episode of the show was made and aired on C31 Melbourne & C31 Adelaide in a “weekday daytime timeslot”.
Included in the pilot episode was the launch of the “would be” Inline Sports Media Co-operative – an attempt to form a dedicated Skating TV Production Group which fell flat with a lack of interest. This was just one of many “mistakes” which saw the skating community lose confidence in me as a Producer (and I started to lose faith in my own ability)
Shortly after making the pilot, I started to slip into depression, as I started to realise that the show, and everything I wanted to set up around it was not quite up to what I had hoped to do. However, John Powell was still keen on the idea, and he started shooting and editing stories for the show while I was in a stalled state.
Towards the end of 2006, John Powell said that he had done too much work for the show to collapse, and if I was not in a position to produce it, he suggested taking the role over. I agreed to this, and as a result, Inline Plus came to life again, and the first shows were compiled, with a bit of help from myself for a mid year airing. John Powell breathed life into the show by taking it in a new direction, including the introduction of Roller Derby stories, which was growing at a rapid rate at the time. Jayson Sutcliffe “Rolaboi” also contributed 6 fully produced and edited segments, which were a big help to both John and I.
John and Myself worked on the next 7 episodes of the show, with John doing the majority of the editing, and I was doing graphics for the show, and dubbing the multiple copies of the show for distribution to the various stations. The show started to develop a following in the cities where it aired, and many were disappointed when the show stopped after the allocated 7 episodes.
Towards the start of 2009, I was starting to come out of Depression, and was starting to plan stories for a second series of the show, assuming that it would be continuing into 2009. Then John informed me that he needed to reduce his workload with the show, and as a result, I would need to take back the Producer’s role for the new series.
At this time, keen to take on the task, I promptly sent out emails and updated our sites with the news that I was taking the show over again. But the damage from “wearing people out” in 2006 was done, and the news that I was to produce the show went down like a lead balloon!
From this moment, I had people saying that they were disappointed the show has gone, but no offers of help to keep it going. So after one “last try” to revive the show fell on deaf ears, the decision has been taken to let the show die.
I hope that some day, a better qualified producer can revive skating on Community TV for one or all of the disciplines. Until then, thank you to everyone who helped out with the first series of the show, and hopefully we may all meet again one day.
Unfortunately, I am not “made of the right stuff” to be in a leadership role, which what producing a TV show is. So I will now slip back to the background as just another Recreational Skater.
I am really sorry to you all that I am not up to the job of producing the show for you, but I hope you will remember the show and what we have tried to do.