David Martin’s hidden city
Media specialist records, documents campus goings-on

City College media design specialist and "Hidden City" creator, David Martin, on the Quad. Martin produces short documentaries and podcasts about the people and things that make City College, his--hidden city--so unique. Photo by || Vincent Fernandez

Much like an archeologist digging up significant artifacts, David Harper Martin dusts off particular subjects and events he finds essential to reveal. He uncovers the unnoticed civilization of City College and does what he does best: document short videos about people, places and events here at City College through the program he created—”Hidden City.”

“Hidden City” is a program about events and people that make the college special, produced and hosted by Martin, a City College educational media design specialist. He has shot about 16 short documentaries about the college since 2007, each between 10 and 20 minutes long.

If you have ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of a play or how props are made, Martin’s first documentary takes viewers on a tour of the City Theatre production of William Saroyan’s play, “The Time of Your Life,” directed by Luther Hanson in the Art Court Theater.

In “Urban Forest,” Martin and Luanne Leineke of the Sacramento Tree Foundation talk about the wide variety of trees on campus and consider their practical, cultural and historical values.

“He’s been able to do his interests and incorporate what things the college might be interested in as a community,” says Martin’s longtime friend and former officemate, senior informational technology technician Nanci Olender.

About nine “Hidden City” segments are aired regularly on Sacramento Education Cable Consortium channels 15, 16, 17 and 18 on Sacramento Comcast Cable. Two segments are available to rent in the Learning Resource Center at the Instructional Media desk.

Martin has also filmed a video tour of the City College’s Special Collections room in the Learning Resource Center and interviewed archivist Patricia Zuccaro about the historical information and items relating to Sacramento’s past.

“David is very professional and creative,” says Zuccaro, who says she felt very comfortable working with Martin.

“Special Collections” was submitted to 3C Media Solutions, a network that assists California Community Colleges. It is aired regularly on 3CTV, a broadcast channel featuring a number of CCC-produced programs.

He unearthed the concept for “Hidden City” with a suggestion from City College Media Services chief broadcast engineer Robert Bickley, who told him they needed original programming for filming. Martin, 52, says the “city” in “Hidden City” refers to City College, and “hidden” refers to the things people don’t normally pay attention to on campus.

“‘Hidden City’ sounds kind of like a really cool place,” Martin says.

Being a lover of words, Martin likes working in broadcasting and also does screenwriting. He says his idea of a good story involves passion and visual interest. Martin has a Master of Fine Arts and Playwriting from UC Davis, a master’s in Arts and Theater from UC Santa Barbara, and bachelor’s degrees in both English and drama.

“Study Abroad” was the only segment shot off campus and featured Ellen Arden-Ogle, coordinator of the Los Rios Study Abroad Program and dean of the Communication, Visual and Performing Arts Division at Cosumnes River College. For the segment, Martin traveled to London to meet with the American Institute for Foreign Studies’ London program director at the University of London.

Martin’s latest “Hidden City” segment, which he has not yet finished editing is about the new auditorium. He is also working on a novel based on his script called “Winslow and the Emperor.”

“I’m always open for new ideas,” says Martin, who is also part of the support team for the D2L website and pitches in on setting up morning broadcasting classes. “I’m always on the lookout for fun things, cool things to document.”

Find more information about the cable TV channels that carry “Hidden City” and get the link to 3CTV on the Media Production and Services website at http://web.scc.losrios.edu/media.