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'Campus Liquors' revives BTV's spirits

Brown Television hasn't aired an original program in almost two years. But "Campus Liquors," a show that has been in production since early February, will mark the station's comeback next week.

As its name suggests, "Campus Liquors" takes place in an on-campus liquor store. In fact, the idea was born because its creators Alex Dobrenko '10 and Quinn Fenlon '10 work together in a liquor store on College Hill.

"There's a lot of downtime when we just have fun," Dobrenko said of his work at the store. "We realized that you could capture the pulse of the University through this auxiliary piece of it."

About 12 students are currently working on various aspects of the show, written by Dobrenko, Fenlon and Mitch Moranis '10 and produced by Joe Mellano '10.

In the show, Dobrenko and Fenlon play John and Gus, two best friends working at a liquor store, which serves as the show's main set. Other cast members include John and Gus's friends Dan and Kathy. Nick Bakshi '10, a Herald editorial page board member, plays Dan, who likes to think that he works at the liquor store with John and Gus. Kathy, played by Mariagrazia LaFauci '12 provides the female presence and influence on the three male friends. The first episode of "Campus Liquors" centers on John's search for a mystery girl he met at a party.

The writers plan on opening each episode with a short "documentary-style" interview with a Brown professor.

"The idea is that we find professors who can briefly discuss themes that relate to their area of expertise," Mellano said in an e-mail to The Herald. "For instance, if the episode is in some way about business, we may have Professor (Barrett) Hazeltine talk for a bit."

According to Mellano, who is also a member of BTV's development team, the station had originally planned to provide students with the technology to film a show, but not with production guidance or tech support. But Mellano decided to get more involved when he realized that the student directors needed more than just a camera and a clapboard. He also brought with him director Jerry Wolf Duff Sellers '09 and technicians Ben Howard '11, Adam Pliskin '12 and Calvin Main '12.

Along with "Campus Liquors," BTV is looking to produce other student-created shows. Mellano is working on a show called "Roundhouse," by Joshua Marcotte '11, which should be ready for air soon.

Though producing "Campus Liquors" consumes several hours each week, its cast and crew feel it's worth it.

"College gets life from alcohol," Dobrenko said. "It's bad to say, but it's a big part of our lives, so why not center a show around that?"


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