Lost and Found

When I was in first grade at Riverside Elementary there was a Friday morning tradition called “Show and Tell” in which everyone was supposed to bring in something interesting to talk about.

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Dance Fever


BalletclassAh, the dance! Whether you love it or loathe it, your feelings about getting on a dance floor likely derive from past experiences.

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The Phoner

WiSLogo10You're teaching students to gather news using a video camera.  You help them master the grammar of the visual image, the aesthetic of video photography and sound recording. 

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Ever since the first public school in America was established in 1635 by the Puritans, there is one thing that students can always count on hearing when they return to the classroom after three months off: “Write an essay titled ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’.” 

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Hats Off to National Apple Strudel Day


applestrudelJune 17th is National Apple Strudel Day. No, you don’t get a day off from school, your parents don’t get a day off from work,

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Let's Make a Deal

BluedoorIn the 1960’s a TV game show debuted in which contestants had the choice of hanging on to the prizes they’d already won or risking it all on an unknown surprise that lay behind a door, a curtain or inside a box.

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He Said, She Said

For as many conversations as we participate in or listen to every day, capturing a similar rhythm and realism in a screenplay isn’t as easy as you’d think.

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Applying Creative Dramatics to High School English - Pt 2

Part two of the original Writing in Stereo.  Its purpose was to apply creative radio dramatics to all aspects of the teaching of high school English. 

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Inventive Minds

iphoneTake a look around you at all of the things that make your life easy and convenient

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You Can Quote Me

Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.

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The Last Project

What is our job? Really, what is it? Is it to keep our students from breaking or stealing the equipment?

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Meet and Greet

TaxisEvery time you come up with a plot for a movie and figure out who the characters will be, the next step is decide how they’re all going to meet.

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What's Cookin'?

What better way to hone your culinary skills than by inviting a master chef into your kitchen every week to personally teach you?

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Applying Creative Dramatics to High School English

The first Writing in Stereo

The original Writing in Stereo was published online back in the late 1980's. 

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Daniel Boone, Werewolf Hunter

DanielBooneThe latter half of the 21st century’s first decade ushered in the quirky phenomenon of well known literature undergoing some updated – and unexpected – twists.

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Partners

Batman and Robin.
Abbott and Costello.
Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Lewis and Clark.
Penn and Teller.
Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Butch and Sundance.
Orville and Wilbur.

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Social Butterflies: The Use and Misuse of Social Networks

SocialButterflyAlthough it’s uncertain when the phrase was first put into use, a “social butterfly” was likely the forerunner of a “people person”

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Good Sports

RoseBowlSince the time of the Ancient Greeks, athletics have played a significant role in encouraging people to stay fit, fostering the spirit of teamwork, and promoting healthy competition.

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The End of Everything

LightsOutGiant asteroids, annihilation by aliens, fast-spreading plagues, nuclear holocaust, global warming. As Earthlings we have quite a bit to worry about.

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5 Tips for Video Editing Beginners

EditGraphicVideo Editing tips for Entertaining segments.

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Once Upon an Island

Hawaiian BeachWhat is it about an island that makes it such a popular backdrop for literature, television, and feature films?

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A Saucer of Chaucer

Chaucer SaucersToward the end of the 14th century, English poet Geoffrey Chaucer penned a collection of stories called The Canterbury Tales.

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Truth Meets Fiction

Kate_and_LeoIn 1823, Lord Byron was credited with making the observation that truth is stranger than fiction in his poem “Don Juan”.

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Talking Heads

QueenVictoriaInspiration for new stories comes to us in many forms – an overheard conversation, a piece of music, maybe even a funny cartoon we read in the newspaper.

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Tips to Promote Your Video Online

Tips00There has never been a better time for video producers to promote and distribute their own work.

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Working With An All Student Production Crew

Albert00“Everybody, standby … we go live in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … show open is rolling … standby camera one … cue talent!” 

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Broadcast Advertising

BlueDollarAll commercials are designed to sell something... a product or an idea. They are the financial backbone of radio and television stations in the United States.

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Dearly Departeds

When it comes to setting an otherworldly tone for a movie, is it any wonder that cemeteries often top the list?

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Reporting With Props

Props are a must for live feature stories. Props visually enhance the story.

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"X" Marks The Spot

PiratemapWhat’s the last movie or TV show you watched and what was the biggest role in it that had no dialogue? New writers often forget that the setting in which a plot unfolds plays as significant a part as any of the story’s characters in creating a mood, engaging an audience’s imagination and holding their attention.

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Teaching The Control Room: Graphics and Teleprompter Operator

Albert02

Last month I talked about how the audio and video engineers undeservedly get the title of some of the most under-appreciated positions in the broadcast control room. 

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Writing in Stereo: The Wraparound

WiSLogo10The Wraparound, Video’s Package

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Live Broadcast Jobs

Many readers have emailed us with questions on Who Does What in a typical high school news broadcast. We could think of no better source than Charles Aldridge and his crew at TigerVisionTV. Here is how Charles staffs his shows:

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Teaching The Control Room: Audio and Video Engineer

Audio00Who is one of the most under-appreciated crew members on a student video production? 

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How to Group Students - Crews and Jobs

Pending number of students and equipment available, many teachers seem to struggle with how to group the students so they all have a job to do.

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Sound Effects Activity

micHere is a sound-only activity that students can assemble and learn about storytelling through sound along with the basics of sound design, editing, and mixing.

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The Big Book of Stuff

Wards_CatalogueLike a lot of American households, ours is routinely inundated with several tons of mail order catalogues per year, only a third of which have items we’d ever actually think of purchasing.

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Reporting Techniques - Reporting with Gestures

Kelsey00When reporters use motions and gestures to tell a story, they appeal to 65 percent of the population who are visual learners.

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Road Trip!

SuitcasesGetting from Point A to Point B has changed quite a bit from the days of our ancestors. Not only can we now reach our destinations faster – as well as in greater style and comfort than was available to previous generations - we’ve also figured out how to take more of our “stuff” along for the ride.

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Box Office Beasties

LucyIt was W.C. Fields who famously cautioned fellow actors against ever working with animals or children.

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Writing in Stereo - The Local or School Angle

WiSLogo10Getting the local or school angle on a national story is an essential broadcast journalism task. 

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The Video Scavenger Hunt

Like most of us, I'm always looking for enjoyable activities that also manage to teach something important.  It's crucial that  students undertand the film/video/TV vocabulary both the words themselves and the visual language.  This exercise helps them along their journey to think and express themselves visually.

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Teaching the Control Room – Producer and Director

CR04This is the first in a series of articles where we will explore the different positions in a typical High School broadcast production control room. 

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Imaginary Realms

HogwartsHogwarts. Oz. Narnia. Wonderland. Isla de Muerta. Film and literature have afforded us a colorful glimpse of distant places that, in the words of Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, can only be found by those who already know where they are.

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Storyboarding Software... even if you can't draw!

Last month Phillip Harris wrote an article entitled "Storyboard – it is worth it or cumbersome?"

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Writing for Broadcast - Storytelling

Fasten your seatbelts! I'm going to tell you something that will "stop the presses."

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Reporting Using Voice

Harrington00A reporter’s voice affects the meaning of a report. Reporters communicate the story through tone and emphasis of the key facts.

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Dream!

It’s a word that gets attached to many other words. It’s a powerful and thought-provoking modifier. Dream job. Dream vacation. Dream spouse. I suppose that most would equate it with something that has the qualities of an ideal state, a near-perfect condition, outcome, or result.

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Loosen it Up: Tongue Twisters

Once you've learned how to recognize and put together a riveting story and interview, then you must ask yourself: How do I tell it in front of the camera?

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Writing in Stereo - The Print to Broadcast Rewrite

WiSLogo10Every day radio and television news reporters scan their morning newspapers and rewrite print news to broadcastnews style. 

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All the News That's Fit to Sprint

MessengerServiceGuyNews travels much faster in the 21st century than it did in the time of the Ancient Greeks. Technology has not only fueled our need for speed but also increased our level of impatience to be “in the know”. The screenwriting exercises in this month’s issue all revolve around newsworthy events of the past, the present, and the world of fiction and how they can be used to generate ideas for movies, documentaries and TV shows.

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Teaching The Control Room - A New Series

This month in School Video News we are starting a series of articles entitled “Teaching The Control Room.” 

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Imaginary Friends and Fiends

dannyWhen I was growing up in the 1950’s, I had a backyard full of imaginary friends. The neighbors, in fact, were often surprised to learn that my parents had only one child.

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Nothing Ever Happens at Our School

Nothing ever happens at your school. There’s nothing that would make a good story. Your school newscast has to be boring. You are so wrong!!

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On the Ballot

BallotThere’s no question that politics can be a hot-button issue in a lot of people’s lives. Whether it’s an election for student body officers or aggressive campaigns for the country’s presidency,

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LipDub 101 - Get your whole school involved!

UVIC00The room was filled with anticipation – it had been almost one full month since we had all been together. 

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Let's Do Lunch

sandwich00As common as they are in movies and TV shows, scenes involving meals are some of the hardest for new screenwriters to write. This stems from a combination of time management issues, handling dialogue between chews, and the tendency to provide excessive direction (i.e., picks up fork, spears two carrot slices, brings fork to mouth, takes bite, etc.). The screenwriting exercises in this month’s issue all revolve around events that could happen at lunchtime.

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A Bard By Any Other Name

ShakespeareFor over 400 years, much ado has been made about the true authorship of Shakespeare’s 37 plays and 154 sonnets.

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Voice Overs-What it is and how to do them well

GG00Voice overs are the main stays of advertising, instruction and promotional videos, television programs and feature films.

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Hitting all the Bases

bases-covered00The stare down, the pitch, the crack of the bat---it's a long and high one, bouncing off the center field wall. The runner accelerates and builds momentum as he rounds the infield; first, then second base, and heads to third, the outfielders collide and one bobbles the grab as the batter now reaches and rounds third, it's going to be close, the long throw, the bounce, and...

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Video Profile Project

A video profile introduces an audience to an important person and a story waiting to be told.

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Writing in Stereo - The Voicer

WiSLogo10In the third lesson of Writing in Stereo II, we take a look at the specifics of the common voicer. 

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Producing Live Athletic Events with NewTek's TriCaster

Pro00High school athletics can be one of the most challenging pieces of programming to capture. There are no rehearsals, no dry runs, no "take two" or "Can we run that play again?" Its live, its now, and every shot has to count. Whether you are capturing basketball, hockey or soccer, concepts and camera layouts are same.

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The Dreaded Doppelgangers

NurseryWhen I was in high school, there were three sets of twins – two fraternal and one identical – all of whom were fascinating to the rest of us.

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Reporting Techniques

KelseaHeadA Broadcast Reporter’s Guide to Better Reporting.

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Family Matters

AmericanGothic00

Screenwriting exercises about families appeal to students of any age, especially those who have ever wished they lived in a more liberal household or that a mysterious letter would show up one day with the news it was time to take their rightful place as a freshman at wizards school. For younger students who haven’t yet mastered the rudiments of script structure, these lesson ideas lend themselves easily to extemporaneous storytelling and role-playing skits. Older students are encouraged to draft scenes into correctly formatted screenplays as well as film them for peer review.

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PBS NewsHour Focus on High School Dropout Issues

PBSAnother year of PBS NewsHour Extra’s Student Reporting Labs program is underway with a brand new batch of participating schools.

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The Crooked Path


prisonOn a daily basis the media gives us no shortage of stories about people who decide to bend or outright break the rules to get away, get ahead or get something for nothing.

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Preparing for a Career in Sports Broadcast

InsidetheTruck0In the world of aspiring video production professionals, the desire to be involved in professional sports production is common, and rightfully so. Few other activities offer the opportunity to be in the heat of the action, at events others pay dearly to attend, often making close contact with sports icons that are the idols of throngs of adoring fans. The adrenaline of live production courses through the profession, and every day you come to work not knowing the outcome of the game; you never know how this show ends.  Millions of people can be watching your work, live, at any minute.  Sound exciting?  You're darn straight it is.

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Here There be Monsters

GodzillaLike a lot of kids, I grew up thinking that monsters lived in my closet. I had no particular reason for believing this, of course, nor did I ever ponder why they could be kept so easily at bay by a Tinkerbelle nightlight, an open bedroom door and a cadre of vigilant stuffed animals.

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