Storytelling spans all generations, languages, and cultures. In its many forms, storytelling is one of the most powerful and effective means of communicating with others and making our voices heard. Modern electronic media means storytelling is more powerful than ever – but the cost can mean it’s an inaccessible resource to most budding creators.

This is where Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) comes in. For over 5 years, CMAC has been dedicated to empowering voices in our community through media. Located in the historic Fresno Bee building in downtown Fresno, the 1,000-square-foot facility houses sophisticated, state-of-the-art production, filming, and editing equipment – and it’s all available for use by the public for a low cost annual membership.

Only $50 per year for individuals ($25 for students) grants local filmmakers and creators full access to CMAC’s facilities, consisting of a production studio, private editing suites, meeting rooms, a classroom space, and a computer lab. Thanks to CMAC’s wide range of available equipment, members can create high quality content without breaking the bank, with access to HD studio cameras, microphones, teleprompters, and an audio mixer, to name a few. CMAC even has a mobile production vehicle with live broadcast capabilities, so content can be captured and shared with local audiences on the go.

CMAC’s mobile production vehicle. (Photo credit: CMAC)

The resources that CMAC offers to its members don’t stop there – there’s also educational workshops and classes for filmmakers of all skill levels. Members receive instruction on pre- and post-production, screenwriting, and recording audio. There’s even resources specifically targeted toward young creators. CMAC’s summer filmmaking camp for kids ages 8-13 teaches young creators about cinematography and coaches them through producing, directing, and acting in a short film. For teens, a free, one-hour iPhone film class is offered on how to best capture and edit quality content on iOS devices, with no CMAC membership required. Workshop dates begin in July – click here for more details!

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The CMAC staff is offering a FREE informational workshop tomorrow at Betty Rodriguez Regional Library on the amazing resources they offer to local filmmakers and creators!

However, shooting content and editing videos is only part of the process – in order to tell a story through media, you also need an audience. Fortunately for local storytellers, CMAC has them covered there, too: filmmakers and content creators can upload their completed videos online or submit proposals for new projects to be considered for broadcast locally across CMAC’s three PEG (Public, Education, and Government) channels. Past broadcasts can also be viewed On Demand via CMAC’s website at any time.

CMAC’s demonstrated commitment to making media accessible to local storytellers of all ages and skill levels made the Central Valley Community Foundation’s choice to partner with them for The Big Tell a no-brainer. Thanks to CMAC’s guidance and assistance throughout the program, we received 80 applications for original, mini documentaries about grit, perseverance, triumph, hope, community, and everything else that makes life in the Central Valley so uniquely special.

CVCF is very proud to be partnering with CMAC for The Big Tell and for the work they do in our community to empower local voices. Make sure you to check out their website for all of the details on the variety of resources available for local filmmakers!