UMTV’s movie news program The Slate is revamping its format to create a more dynamic program that will engage audiences. Their strategy? Comedy.
“What’s different from last year is that we don’t want to bore you with just movie news, we want to make you laugh at the same time,” said executive producer Andy Rovira.
According to Rovira, The Slate’s approach to adding more comedy to their program will include anything from fake movie trailers to public service announcements by Rambo on gun control.
“We only have 10 minutes to make an impact on people and I really think this new format works much better for that,” said co-host Jenny Hamilton.
To further impress audience members, The Slate has landed a few celebrity interviews to add to their roster. Bradley Cooper from The Hangover and Zombieland’s Woody Harrelson have already been scheduled to appear on the program.
“[Co-host] Nick Maslow, has amazing connections. He was able to conduct a sit-down interview with Bradley Cooper which will air in a couple of weeks, and soon he’ll be interviewing Woody Harrelson on South Beach,” Rovira said. “I don’t know how he does it, he just knows people.”
Along with veteran hosts Hamilton and Maslow, the new executive staff for The Slate—Rovira, along with executive producer Alejandro Fonseca, head writers Danny Parra and Thomas Prieto, and editor Steven Rico—are working to steer the program in a different direction.
“I love working with these guys; they just make me laugh, Hamilton said. “I’m excited about the fact that they’re trying to do something different and add more comedy to the show.”
Writer and imaging coordinator Carolina Solano shares similar sentiments with Hamilton.
““I feel really good about this season, we have a lot of really funny ideas going around,” she said. “We [the staff members] have all known each other for the longest time so we all have this natural chemistry which adds to the cohesiveness of the show.”
A new segment the staff is working on, “Take 5,” features a compilation of the top five of any category relating to movies. Already in the works are the top five rivalries in movie history and the top five punches to the face.
Witty segments, however, are not the only new aspects in The Slate’s programming. Staff members are working to make the program more professional by using a three-camera setup to create different angles, taking advantage of studio lighting, and trading in their wire-filled set background for wood paneling.
“We wanted to create a cleaner, crisper and more professional program,” said Rovira of the new additions to the set.
With the show’s improvements, however, comes one downside for staff members.
“Right now we’re paying for the whole show out of our own pockets,” Rovira said. “I’m in debt, we all are. But we’re expected to be in debt because we’re students, and all our efforts are paying off, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
While the first episode of The Slate is still in post-production, it is scheduled to premiere within the next couple of weeks. Episodes will be available on UMTV channel 96 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. as well as on Facebook, YouTube, and the UMTV website.