The amber eyes flecked with obsidian and ochre gazed intently into the camera lens aimed at students swaying and swirling to a catchy beat.
No one seemed to notice the man dressed in crisp blue denim, a black T-shirt, with salt and pepper hair peeking beneath a black baseball cap. His eyes twinkled as he focused the camera on their smiling faces.
Scott Stalnaker stood in silence behind camera lens.
Stalnaker is the producer of Glendale College’s little-known TV show called “Gateways to Glendale College” and is the eyes and ears of nearly everything that happens on campus.
Stalnaker films lectures and events on campus for GCC TV.
“I have received such an incredible education because of the faculty and staff presenting these amazing messages,” said Stalnaker.
Stalnaker has produced, filmed and edited for the show for 12 years and plans to do it for another dozen.
“It’s not just the dream job,” Stalnaker said. “It’s the dream environment. I couldn’t be happier.”
A native of Glendale, he lives a mere mile away from campus and stays loyal to his hometown.
Stalnaker was born in Glendale Memorial Hospital, went through the Glendale Unified School District and attended Glendale College.
“I’ll be buried at Glendale Forest Lawn, but hopefully not for another hundred years,” he said. “Glendale all the way.”
During high school, Stalnaker was an avid musician, who not only played the guitar, but also played piano since the age of 5 and took part in his high school choir.
He came to GCC originally to study classical music because he heard that “the best rock musicians had a classical background.”
However, 14 years ago, Stalnaker decided to change direction in his career. He worked as a musician in high school, but changed his mind about music because he felt there was no future in it.
“When I started looking for something different, I landed on video editing,” he said.
Stalnaker’s sister, the West Coast bureau chief and senior producer of Dateline NBC invited Stalnaker to sit in on some editing sessions.
“That’s when I decided I wanted to be an editor,” said Stalnaker. “What better place than here? I haven’t regretted it since.”
“Gateways to Glendale College” was originally brought to life in 1999 when Ann Ransford, former director of the foundation and current member of the board of trustees, thought that the school needed a presence on public access TV.
“She thought it would be a really cool idea to start a television show so that the community could see what Glendale College was all about,” Stalnaker said.
Stalnaker first met Ransford when he was a student in John Gardner’s editing class. Gardner was the first producer of GCC TV, but after retirement, Stalnaker took over.
“They needed someone who had the technical skill to do the shooting and editing. Just as I finished up my last class, I got credit to do the show, so the timing was perfect,” Stalnaker said.
Ransford also worked with Stalnaker as narrator of the show.
“He’s wonderful to work with,” Ransford said. “He’s very conscientious of his work — very positive — and just the most talkative guy I know. Scott never has anything bad to say about the world.”
Deborah Kinley, Associate Dean of continuing education, student services and operations is the current narrator of “Gateways to Glendale College” and has worked with Stalnaker for several years.
“It is such a pleasure to interact with Scott,” Kinley said. “He has an especially good eye for what will look well on camera. He knows just about everyone on campus, which comes in handy. He is an all-around great guy.”
Stalnaker is not only an avid musician and television producer, he is also a licensed scuba diver, radio-controlled drone pilot and dual-sport motorcyclist.
“The first time you go down and you take your first breath underwater, it is phenomenal. You feel like you’re in outer space,” Scott said, describing his first scuba diving experience.
“Sometimes I would take all of the air out of my buoyancy compressor so that I was slightly negatively buoyant, take my fins off. I would just fly. It’s like being on the moon,” he said, eyes full of wonder as his voice transitioned into a whisper of amazement.
“I am a little bit of an adrenaline junkie with all of the dang hobbies that I enjoy,” said Stalnaker. “I want to be able to do them for a long time. When I ride my motorcycle I look like a space cadet because I have every piece of safety gear.”
Despite his years of experience, Stalnaker admittedly succumbs to occasional nervousness.
“A lot of times, students will use footage for college entrance portfolios,” he said. “So I get some butterflies. If I mess up, there’s no replacing some of that stuff.”
“Gateways to Glendale College” can be seen on Charter Cable channel 15 and on AT&T Satellite U-Verse channel 99 every Thursday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at noon.