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January 24, 2020

Meet Anthony Vezza

As an Ingest Coordinator, DUBZ/Ingest, Anthony Vezza utilizes his multimedia skills for a variety of tasks ranging from uploading weekly programs, such as NJTV’s On the Record and THIRTEEN’s Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, to converting archival tapes into digital video. “I always like to describe Ingest as the “Beating Heart” that’s responsible for the circulation of all media across WNET and its subsidiary stations. In technical terms, I convert media files into a requested codec for display optimization. Whether it’s video online or for a DVD, I make sure anything that comes our way is its best-looking self,” Anthony says. Read on to learn about the path that led Anthony to WNET, the life lessons he learned from Sesame Street, and more.

Anthony Vezza

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

I have an extensive background using editing software, such as Adobe Premiere and Final Cut, as well as basic film equipment. In high school, we had a laptop program that gave me the tools to experiment with video production. Whether it was for class projects or my own creative antics, I was always finding ways to visually express myself. However, I didn’t find immediate opportunities for my skills when I got to college, as my major, Communications, demanded a strong focus on critical-reading and writing. It wasn’t until my junior year that I started working on campus at the state’s political hub as a TV crew member. This time last year, I would’ve been filming Michael Bloomberg on the first day of the primaries! Anyway, one thing led to another and I was managing the entire crew my senior year.

The experience taught me two core traits of professionalism: 1) Project Prioritization; and 2) Team Communication. I kept those in mind as I began searching for jobs in digital media/communication. WNET is my first real job after college, and I’m truly thankful to be cultivating my career path here. I’m also grateful for my superiors, Mark Martynetz and John Garcia, for seeing those qualities in me.

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 didn’t watch anything but Sesame Street when I was a kid. I suppose I was a “Sesame Seed,” so to speak. Now reflecting on it, I learned two major life lessons from the show: 1) You can learn something from anything, but some lessons take more effort than others to acknowledge; and 2) Everyone is different, but don’t dwell on that because you’ll forget to find the beauty within those you do connect with.

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

I’ll definitely be tuning in to watch The First Rainbow Coalition on Independent Lens. It’s a relevant story and I’m curious to hear former members’ perspectives on the similarities between the political climate then and now. For a lighter watch, Austin City Limits is showcasing one of my favorite indie rock bands, Cage the Elephant, along with a couple other bands on the roster. And I know that Crimson Field will be playing in my living room for the next two months because my Mom loves those kind of shows.

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

I come from the small suburban town of Hillsdale in northern New Jersey, so I typically like to get out of the neighborhood. I enjoy hiking and there’s a plethora of options between Ramapo Reservation to the west and the Palisades Cliffs to the east. However, if I had to choose a spot in Hillsdale, The Cornerstone is a hot spot. In fact, it’s right across from where the bus drops me off every day, so on occasion I’ll meet up with my hometown friends for a drink after work. It’s nice, but I’m always seeking what’s beyond convenience.

What book are you currently reading?

I just came off a John Irving binge with The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany. I was equally enamored by both books and how each found humor in the dramatic backdrop of 60s and 70s American politics. Also, both novels take place in a familiar New England setting, which I can appreciate because I went to Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. I left both books in the 12th floor pantry library for anyone interested in reading them. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for a light read, please leave a comment!

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

I’m obsessed with movies and am always seeking out unconventional film screenings, whether it’s midnight cinema or an outdoor exhibition. Last summer, the indie production company, A24, hosted an event in Long Island City, where the movie was projected on a billboard underneath a subway track. To my surprise, the ambience truly enhanced the whole experience. As for a hobby, I don’t have anything noteworthy, though I’m learning from this new job the importance of having a creative outlet. I’ve been testing out new hobbies such as blogging and photography, but I’m always adding to the list. I suppose that’s how we evolve; what we create defines us, you know?

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