The staff of Liberty Entertainment Corp. has big plans.
With a recent expansion of the organization, Liberty is set as the only full-production media corporation in Northern Nevada to not only produce commercials, documentaries, TV series, feature films, education and training videos, but also to bring new jobs to the region.
Nongaming and nonpolluting jobs, noted the company's executives. Jobs to broaden Nevada's economic base.
"This new corporation will encourage much more hiring in this area," Temma Keatan, vice president and chief operating officer, said during a meet-and-great Monday at Liberty's new offices on Kietzke Lane in Reno.
Diversifying the economy of the region is an important aspect of Liberty's goals for Ron Weisinger, the company's new chairman of the board and the former executive director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority. Weisinger also serves as executive vice president of a renewable energy company and sits on various education and business boards.
"Liberty Entertainment Corp. is making new jobs and putting people to work," he said.
Liberty employs a staff of 15, but brings in more people for various productions. Currently, it's working on five television pilots.
"There are a lot of people in the entertainment industry that are, unfortunately, out of work right now," Weisinger said.
Liberty's projects "will put people back to work," Weisinger said.
It takes more than cameras to put together a program.
"Other companies get hired to do work that in turn hire people. It's an interesting network," he said. "Marketing companies, printing companies, you've got digital companies as well. ... Oh wow, one thing works into another that grows into another.
"How many will we put to work? I can't really say. Each individual show is different. There are so many different companies that need to be hired (for a project) as well as those in-house. We can't do it all by ourselves."
Liberty is the brainchild of Keatan and Sheldon I. Altfeld, president and chief executive officer of Liberty. They founded H & A Productions in 2005 in Carson City. Both have extensive histories in the entertainment field.
Keatan was raised in Hollywood in her father's studio. Harry Keatan and his classic wooden hand-crank camera adorn the new company's logo and his studio, Liberty Studios, is the namesake for the new production venture.
Keatan, herself, has more than 40 years of entertainment experience in producing, directing, writing, company management, network television, stage and radio. She owned two studios in the Las Vegas area and has received numerous awards, including several Telly Awards, a Remi, and more.
Now a Northern Nevada resident for 10 years, Keaton has produced live theater since 2003 with her own acting troupe, "The Cutting Edge," and also teaches acting for camera and television at Western Nevada College and Truckee Meadows Community College.
Altfeld is a 12-time Emmy Award nominee and four-time Emmy winner with 61 years in the entertainment business. He has been a Hollywood actor, writer, producer and director since 1950, working on more than 4,000 TV shows for NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Metromedia, RKO-General, FOX, Disney and various cable networks. A pioneer in cable television, Altfeld created The Silent Network in 1979, dedicated to programming for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Three of his Emmys are for deaf programming and the fourth is for children's programming.
A recent H & A Productions project was the documentary "Dayton, Nevada: Pure Gold," released last year and the winner of a Platinum Award for Documentaries from the Houston WorldFest, called a Remi.
To create Liberty Entertainment Corp., Altfeld, who maintains his residence and connections in Southern California, and Keatan have teamed up with businessman Weisinger, videographer Bryan Stutler of Studio 3GPro and producer-director Mac Crutcher of Lonedog Productions to create Liberty Entertainment Corp.
H & A Productions continues as the producer of live performances.
Liberty specializes in film-related productions, especially public affairs, public service and documentary programming, but isn't limited to that genre. With a world of entertainment connections, state-of-the-art equipment, and working relationships with several TV production studios, the company is ready to fill a growing appetite for film, television and Internet production. It's the only full-production media corporation in Northern Nevada, Weisinger said.
But close to the heart of Liberty, is public service and educational productions. Altfeld noted the many great organizations doing a lot of good, but in need of public exposure.
Liberty's starting projects include the production of five pilots for television:
• "Focus On" - a public affairs television series hightlighting people and companies that are making a difference. Hosted by John Darin, former Financial News Network and CBS anchor.
• "Dr. Cruz n' Pets" - Dr. Bernadine Cruz (resident veterinarian on NBC's "The Today Show") hosts a series that focuses on the health and happiness of pets.
• "Window On Our World" - Brings the wonders of science to young people so they better understand their world in order to make a positive difference.
• "Herb Larson ... Off-Hand" - Reprise of the seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV series that's presented in sign language, subtitles and full sound for deaf, hard of hearing and hearing audiences.
• "Consequences" - A 26-week TV series for The Crime Channel that illustrates the devastating aftermath of both petty and serious crimes, drug addictions, and domestic abuse.
• The Terri Jay Show: Live From The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa" - Terri Jay, psychic, medium and intuitive clinician, brings her gift to television, seeking the answers to life's questions.
"Hollywood is waiting for these pilots," Keatan said.
The company hopes to have the pilots ready by January for the National Association of Television Executives meeting in Miami, Altfeld said. "Once we have a really good product, there are plenty of places to bring it." Alton said, referring to the rise of specialty networks.
SIDEBAR: Making of a television pilot
By Sally Roberts
On Tuesday, Terri Jay, intuitive, medium and pet psychic, takes the stage at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno. It's not just a casino performance, but also for filming of the key ingredient for a pilot television show.
Liberty Entertainment Corporation is producing the pilot for "The Terri Jay Show," which the company hopes to sell to a network during the National Association of Television Executives January meeting in Miami.
During videotaping at the Atlantis, Jay will demonstrate her intuitive talents such as "alternative communication," which allows her to communicate with people who cannot, such as those with Alzheimer's and brain injuries, and her ability to communicate with animals.
"My ability to communicate with animals helps with health, performance and behavior problems," Jay said.
Members of the audience are invited to bring pictures of their animals to receive a reading - but not the animals themselves.
Portions of the series pilot have already been filmed in Northern Nevada, scenes out in the field as Jay worked with horses and other animals.
Although the network picking up the show has a lot to say about the format of the series, Liberty Entertainment COO Temma Keatan emphasizes that there is one aspect they plan to keep.
"We will maintain production in Northern Nevada," Keatan said. "We do not want to take it out of Northern Nevada."
If You Go:
WHAT: Terri Jay Live from the Atlantis with videotaping for pilot television show
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa, Reno
COST: Advance: $29.50 students and seniors; $35.50 general. At the door $35 students and seniors; $40 general.