Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited

By Deirdre Boyle | Go to book overview

9.
Prime Time TVTV

What pecksniffery lurks in the hearts of men? TVTV knows, bwooo- hooo-hooo-hahahahahaha. Does a poltroon, a mountebank threaten the lives of decent citizens? Looks like a job for . . . TVTV! "Extry, extry! TVTV Rips Veneer Off Fake Guru!" "Here, son, I'll take one of those . . . keep the change." "Gee, thanks, Mister. Say, aren't you . . . ?"

TVTV has struck again. TVTV is part League of Justice, part television's answer to the New Journalism, part guerrilla style Front Page and part Samuel Beckett. Television of the Absurd. Through a lens, starkly. Witty, irreverent, deadpan--but never quite able to conceal the cold eye of the reformer.

-- Ron Powers1

Soon after the Presidential Nominating Conventions, Allen Rucker of TVTV and Alvin Duskin, a millionaire clothing manufacturer turned political and media activist, 2 began work on a tape about the people behind television commercials. The idea was in keeping with TVTV's interest in exposing the inner workings of the television industry. Duskin's San Francisco group, Public Interest Communications, was involved in counteradvertising and was to have produced the program with TVTV. But when Public Interest Communications proved unwilling to provide full funding for the tape, TVTV severed their ties and decided to produce it themselves. 3

Raising funding from foundations for Adland continued to be difficult. TVTV suspected this was because they planned a vérité approach to the subject rather than a didactic documentary. Money was raised by setting up a limited partnership, in which shares in the production were sold to individual investors who, in turn, received a portion of the profits or write-off against income taxes. By selling

-89-

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Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Introduction xiii
  • Contents xvii
  • I. Underground Video 3
  • 2. Subject to Change 14
  • 3. Guerrilla Versus Grassroots 26
  • 4. the World's Largest Tv Studio 36
  • 5. Mountain Guerrilla 48
  • 6. Four More Years 55
  • 7. Communitube 65
  • 8. Gaga Over Guru 72
  • 9. Prime Time Tvtv 89
  • 10. Broadside Tv 96
  • Ii. Impeaching Evidence 105
  • 12. Changing Channels 116
  • 13. Furor Over Fugitive 128
  • 14. Living Newsletter? 139
  • 15. the Good Times Are Killing Me 146
  • 16. Super Video 158
  • 17. Intermedia 165
  • 18. Hooray for Hollywood? 172
  • 19. the Big Chill 183
  • 20. Epilogue 190
  • Appendix Information on Apes by Broadside Tv, University Community Video, and Tvtv (top Value Television 209
  • Notes 223
  • Bibliography 259
  • Index 271
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