The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Features

August 21, 2009

UPJ grad creates 'Live in 5,' a Web series

BY RUTH RICE

RRICE@TRIBDEM.COM

Johnstown native Ashley Hedrick is bringing the off-air happenings of a fictional local news crew online in a new Web series called “Live in 5.”

Hedrick, who graduated with a degree in communications and Spanish from Pitt-Johnstown in 2002, has been a full-time producer in New York City for the past seven years.

“UPJ didn’t have film, so my senior year I interned at WJAC-TV,” said Hedrick, who was known as Vuckovich then. Hedrick is her stage name.

At WJAC, Hedrick worked in field production with Jim Edwards and ran the robotic camera in the control room for the evening news.

While Hedrick was inspired by her newsroom experiences in Johnstown, she made it clear that none of what transpires in her fictional newsroom ever happened in her hometown.

She has brainstormed the fictional story of WIPU since February with Aubrey Mozino, executive producer and co-creator.

While the two women formed a production company and have written some of the episodes, they turned the writing duties over to a brother-sister team who have their own Web series.

Director Jim Garvey won the People’s Choice Award for best television pilot.

“Live in 5” was launched to the public in July and has seen more than 10,000 hits in its first month online.

“It’s what happens in the break room when they’re off the air,” Hedrick said.

“It’s a farce, and shows what the characters will do to get to the top. They have their own agendas and huge egos.”

The episodes, which are three minutes long, can be viewed at www.livein5.tv or www.liveat5site:youtube.com.

“We’re in negotiations for an online distributor,” Hedrick said.

After giving up full-time producing and studying acting for two years, Hedrick is able to combine her two interests.

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