The Series

Using a new and innovative premise for a national television series, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW features video diaries created by ordinary men and women from around the country, who tell their stories in their own words and pictures. Although the situations vary widely, all the diarists have a natural gift for narrative and begin their stories on the brink of events likely to change the course of their lives.

The diarists are given small format video cameras and an intensive tutorial in how to use them; each is then teamed with an experienced producer, who functions as an around-the-clock partner and guide, offering technical, creative, and moral support. The resulting videotape, sometimes as long as 100 hours, is shot primarily by the diarists and edited into an hour-long narrative–an intimate, unembellished, first person account of what each was thinking, feeling, and experiencing as events unfolded. While diarists and producers work in close collaboration, in the end it is the diarist whose voice prevails.

"RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW recognizes the proven fascination viewers have with programs based on real life," says series creator and executive producer Ellen Schneider. "This series moves the reality-programming genre to a whole new level, because the subjects tell their own stories. I think audiences are ready for a shot of democracy and diversity on television."

"The video diary model is a departure and an innovation for American television," adds series executive editor Steve Atlas. "By making diarists full partners in the editorial process, we break with a long-standing broadcast convention where the subjects are expected to reveal their most intimate moments and then go home to watch the results on television. RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, by contrast, requires a leap of faith on the part of the producers as well as the subjects. We made that leap, and we think it pays off."


RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is produced by American Documentary, Inc. for the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is a co-production and co-presentation of ITVS and WGBH. Ellen Schneider, head of American Documentary, Inc., is executive producer and series creator. Steve Atlas, an independent producer of public affairs programming and former executive producer for WGBH Boston, is executive editor.

Production Credits

Ellen Schneider

Creator/Exective Producer

Ellen Schneider is executive director of American Documentary, Inc., the company that produces the PBS series P.O.V. Contributing to the series in a range of capacities since 1989, she has been responsible for positioning and introducing non-mainstream work to public television audiences nationwide. Click for more...

Steve Atlas

Executive Editor

Steve Atlas produces nonfiction, public affairs programming for public and commercial television. Click for more...

For full Production Credits click here.

Read what Current Magazine has to say about RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW:

Will PBS adopt video diaries as a regular genre? March 6, 2000

Public TV can nurture a new generation of Hi-8 storytellers. March 6, 1995

When and How to catch Right Here Right Now, click here.