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September 22, 2017

Meet Brian Alves

As a Senior Coordinator in the Media Services Department, Brian Alves is responsible for the management and technical troubleshooting of PC and Mac computers used for editing in edit rooms and cubicles throughout the company. “The Media Services team supports all the production units here at WNET with any complications they encounter, from issues with Premiere, Dalet, and video files to problems with network connections, production storage, and more. You name something and we probably deal with it in some capacity. I also spend a day a week at NJTV News, mostly assisting the post-production side of their broadcast. I’ve been doing that since they made the move to Newark and we’ve developed a solid rapport,” Brian says.

Read on to learn about the most popular PBS programs in Brian’s home, his favorite places in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and more.

Brian Alves

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I graduated in 2012 from Kean University with my Bachelor’s in Media & Film. About 18 months after graduation, I received an e-mail from my current supervisor, Jermaine Pinnock, asking if I would be interested in a temporary position ingesting old episodes and camera footage from WNET’s Worldfocus series into Dalet, then archiving the material to our LTO5 tapes. That project took about a year. Then Jermaine asked me to join the Media Services team, and the rest is history.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

I was always a big fan of Arthur and The Magic School Bus, and watched it whenever I could. I shared a bedroom with my older brother, so I watched whatever he watched. As a result, my childhood also consisted of a lot of Transformers, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and X-Men.

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

I have a 14-month-old daughter, so lately there has been a whole lot of Sesame Street endlessly streaming on my TV. It’s one of the few ways I can get her to sit still for a few minutes before she gets distracted again and walks away to cause more havoc. She also loves Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, another great show for kids. For me, I love Antiques Roadshow. I’ve always been interested in history and the different artifacts and trinkets that pop up as the years go by.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I was born, raised, and currently live in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Elizabeth used to have a heavy population of Italian-Americans in the Peterstown area, so naturally there are a ton of amazing pizza places like Santillo’s, which is regarded as one of the top three pizzerias in the state. Michelino’s also holds a special place in my heart since we used to go there every Friday for lunch in high school during Lent. (I attended a Catholic school and we weren’t supposed to eat meat on Fridays.) There is also a great nightlife scene if that’s your thing. Lobby is a good bar/lounge. There is also the Tropicana Diner, which is where 90% of the Elizabeth population and would find themselves at 3 a.m. after a night of clubbing. Outside of Elizabeth, around its bordering towns, my favorite bar to go to is Central Park in Roselle Park – a great place to watch sporting events. If I feel like being a little more sophisticated and cultured, I go to Van Gogh’s Ear café in Union. They have delicious desserts and usually have live bands performing on Fridays. And they let you play board games, which is weird but cool. Try the peach cobbler.

What book are you currently reading?

I have a bad habit of picking up a book once and never touching it again. I don’t think I ever finished anything outside the mandatory Summer Reading List in school. The last book I began reading was The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. It’s a fantasy novel that spawned the creation of the popular video game series, The Witcher, which follows the source material from the book. Netflix also recently announced that they’re adapting their own version of the series, as well. To be honest, I always preferred writing my own stories. My notebooks in school were full of notes from lectures and random story ideas that popped into my head.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

I enjoy working out. Weekday mornings, I’m up at 5:30 a.m. and at the gym by 6, where I’ll stay for about an hour. It’s therapeutic for me. It’s great feeling your body strengthen and progress as you work out. I also try to maintain a healthy diet and consequently end up spending a lot of my time in the kitchen cooking meals for the week. I also like to relax with video games, even though I’m a very competitive person and if I play online and lose, I turn into the exact opposite of that. And I like to collect action figures — don’t call them toys! If you pass by my desk, you can see some of them on display, but the better stuff is at home in glass towers from Ikea. The crown jewel of my collection, so far, is a 12-inch die-cast Iron Man figure based on the Mark XLV suit he wore in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It also comes with an alternate head modeled after Robert Downey Jr. Let’s just say it wasn’t cheap.

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