Student Producer gets Big Experience at a Small School

12 Apr

RAW TV Student Producer, Jonathan Martin, hangs out in the control room in Bolin Studio at Southeastern University. As the 2010-2011 Producer, Jonathan says, “I see RAW TV as a ministry. As long as one person is touched throughout this whole process, then it was all worth it”. Photo by Rachel LaFlam

Personal Profile: Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin slides into a booth at Southeastern University’s campus restaurant and apologizes over and over for being just a few minutes late. He had to run back to his room after forgetting his ID. These days, it’s no wonder that Jonathan (a.k.a. J Mart) might have something slip his mind like grabbing his ID. As the current producer of RAW TV, Southeastern University’s student-produced television show, Jonathan has a lot on his plate. Aside from producing a nationally televised talk show, he is a full-time student taking 15 credit hours.

Although Jonathan’s professionalism and ease to perform his duties makes it seem like he has wanted to do this his entire life, it was a trip to Israel during his senior year of high school that helped him discover what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.  The group he traveled with was discussing the media’s impact on other cultures’ views of Americans, and Jonathan decided that he wanted to be apart of that influence.

After that trip, Jonathan came into Southeastern University his freshman year as a film major. Straight away, Jonathan got involved with RAW TV. He met the girl in charge with marketing for the show and she invited him to come be apart of a panel for a dating show. “When I get nervous, I begin cracking jokes. And I think that’s why the audience liked me so much. I had them wrapped around my finger,” Jonathan laughs as he reminisces. Jonathan walked out of the studio that night with more than just a date. He walked out with a taste of RAW TV and an opportunity to come in and run camera for the show. Jonathan began participating in different positions in RAW TV and ended up adding a Broadcasting major. Spring semester of 2010, Jonathan was chosen as the new producer for RAW TV and began his official position this past fall.

When asked what producing a nationally televised talk show involves, Jonathan smiles and says, “Get your pen ready for this”. Basically, Jonathan takes a show from the concept through the process of pre-production, production, and post-production. He helps develop the show ideas, meets individually before a show with both Chrissy Sara (director) and Debbie Oliveira (production manager), then meets with hosts Rebecca Vargas and Michael Steiner to create an intro and outro and go over interview questions. And this is all even before filming the show! During the show, Jonathan usually sits in the control room and listens to the content. After the show, he reviews the edits done and sends the show to the network.

If you told anyone who knew Jonathan Martin five years ago that he would be working with video cameras, they would have said you were lying. When Jonathan was in third grade he was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. Tourette’s is a neurological disorder characterized by muscle spasms known as “tics”. It was so bad that Jonathan regularly saw neurologist and was on medication. When he hit 15 years old, Jonathan began having horrible side effects. At age 16, a visit to the ER made them realize that the side effects were due to the medication he was taking. Consequently, Jonathan made the decision to go off the medicine cold turkey. Since then, his tics have disappeared! “If I had never been healed from my Tourette’s, I would have never been able to work with the equipment in a studio because of my tics.”

A native to sunny Orlando, Fla. Jonathan dreams of one day being able to produce his own sitcom for a network. Working with CBS would be Jonathan’s first choice. And he might not be too far off from accomplishing this dream. His involvement with RAW TV has allowed Jonathan to learn a lot about production and given him the opportunity to network with some great people. Kirk Cameron, Johnny Diaz, and Michael Tait and the Newsboys are just a few of the celebrities whom Jonathan has had the privilege of working with. Producer, screenwriter, director and actor, J.J. Abrams, is someone whom Jonathan hopes to meet. “Because he’s a good storyteller!” Jonathan exclaims, “Whether you’re telling a story or something made up, it needs to be entertaining and relatable.”

At the end of our interview, asking Jonathan if he had any final words, he states, “I like cake”. In my opinion, that’s a pretty sweet way to end!


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