Employee Spotlight: Brittany Garzillo
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PBS39’s weekly news magazine program, FOCUS, had its Season 3 premiere last Friday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. To commemorate the brand-new season, we sat down with FOCUS reporter Brittany Garzillo for this month’s Employee Spotlight.
Let’s start from the beginning: How and when did you come to PBS39?
I started as a Reporter/Producer at PBS39 in July of 2013, but was first introduced to PBS39 in college. While attending Moravian College, I took a "College U" course offered in conjunction with PBS39 that allowed college students to write, shoot and edit a documentary for air. I received a College Production Award at the NATAS Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for my work on the documentary. After taking the college course, I came on as a production intern and fell in love with the station.
What do you enjoy most about working at PBS39?
What I enjoy most about working at PBS39 is its emphasis on local programming and having the opportunity to work alongside such talented, dedicated and hardworking people that make everything we do here possible.
Why do you think it is important to support the mission of public media?
The mission of public media is one of the reasons I wake up every morning loving what I do. We educate, inform and inspire people of all ages through our programs and community events.
With Laura McHugh and Grover Silcox, you complete the trio of journalists on our flagship news magazine program, FOCUS (Fridays, 7pm). Talk about what it’s like to be part of this team.
I couldn’t dream of a better team to be part of. Whether it’s on-set with Laura and Grover or behind the scenes with our videographers, editor, director or master control operators, I’m always learning new and creative ways to hone my craft.
Discuss the day-to-day preparation that goes into your FOCUS segments.
Behind each five-minute story a viewer sees are hours and hours of work that go on behind the scenes. I’ll often spend a day out in the field with my videographer to film the story, hours logging video, and then another full day writing. From there, it goes to our editor and we work together to fine-tune the story before it goes into the show.
In your role, describe how you work behind the scenes with the rest of the production team to make each episode of FOCUS great.
Television is a team effort. I could write a story or stand in the studio, but I’d never get on air without the help of a handful of people who make it all possible. Each member of our team is dedicated to excellence, and that’s the kind of station I’m proud to be part of.
Is there a particular FOCUS segment of yours that stands out to you as unique or memorable?
Every story I work on holds a great deal of meaning. Just as viewers invite me into their home on Fridays at 7 p.m., individuals invite me into their lives to share their stories. I hold that privilege near to my heart.
Of course, the team keeps busy when FOCUS isn’t in production over the summer. What other projects do you work on at the station?
In addition to FOCUS, I’m also working as a producer on an upcoming documentary. During the summer, I research upcoming stories for FOCUS and participate in a week-long summer camp called Production U, which is essentially a crash course in television production for high school students!
Talk about how rewarding it is to mentor the bright, talented students who participate in Production U.
I’ve been fortunate to have so many incredible role models and mentors in my life, who took the time to show me how to do my job and do it well. I get so much joy out of passing along the things I’ve learned onto that next generation of future journalists.