GHS Broadcast Productions has existed in its present form for about five years. I have been the advisor for three years.Before that, it was a one semester class called Mass Media. It existed this way for about six years and brought on the digital revolution. Before that, it existed in some monthly form for at least five years - the earliest VHS archives go back to 1992.
We produce three regular products, in addition to the annual senior video.
The monthly show is called "GHS News." It is the alternate label for the class. This is the program that has existed for 16 years. It is a news magazine show featuring stories on students, some news, and is generally entertaining. We run an intro, about seven stories, and have anchors introduce the stories. We show during our seminar period on the third Thursday of the month, and are limited to about twenty minutes. I do not assign stories for the monthly show. Students pitch story ideas to the entire staff for the monthly show based on the concept of why a student should care.
The weekly show is called "This is Goddard Friday." This is a slight twist on TGIF. This is a straight news show produced once weekly with news, weather, sports, and academic recognition. If somebody won an award, it goes on "Goddard Friday." Anchors and sports announcers change every week. We even have had a weather sub several times. We average about five minutes weekly.
The daily show is called "GHS Morning Announcements." This program is two kids, a camera, and any random location in the school because I don't have a studio. We read the announcements on tape the afternoon before and rough cut the results. Very rarely, do we have a smooth version of announcements. Recently, we presented the Cinco De Mayo announcements in Spanish.
Special projects include:
Two years ago, we did a recruiting video for the district. It incorporated every building and highlighted what teachers and students like about Goddard. This was a great project where everyone worked together to create a good product that was shown to perspective teachers at recruiting fairs.
Last year, we brought in a student band and filmed a live music video. Students really enjoyed this, and it lit a fire in some students that hadn't been there before.
Every year, we do the senior video and sell it to members of the senior class for $5.00. It shows both at the senior breakfast and before graduation.
Other items of interest:
We do not use copy written songs for projects that are distributed to the public. My kids don't like it, but they understand why we have the rule.
Enrollment is open to any incoming Sophomore, Junior or Senior who has had Computer Applications I as a prerequisite. Students must fill out an application that lists grades, teacher references, and ideas for the class. Candidates must complete a "screen test" where I have them read the announcements on camera. Students discover that it is harder than it looks. Once staff selections are made, I take the current and future staff underclassmen to film the "Live from the Blue Carpet" at Prom. We also have what we call Video Boot Camp during the summer.
We have been fortunate enough to have an online outlet for our productions with our membership to SchoolTube. This has been a positive experience for us, and we plan to intern with SchoolTube this summer.
SVN: Tell us about your background and how you decided to start teaching TV/Video production?
SR: I was a high school yearbook photographer. I still shoot, though I have recently made the transition from film to digital.
I have a degree in Secondary Education and am certified to teach Business, Journalism and Computers.
I have done one yearbook, one middle school memory book, and I wrote sports for the local paper at my second teaching position. I have done several yearbook cd-roms as well.
The position came open, and the digital editing aspect fit with my computer background. The fact that I am journalism certified is just a bonus.
SVN: How did you obtain initial funding for your program? How do you fund the class now?
SR: Our funding comes from two major sources. Perkins Funding and Vocational Funds through the State of Kansas.
Our trips are funded with fundraising. We sell the graduation video and my kids get the profit even though we don’t create it. My students also produce a senior video each spring.
SVN:Did you have equipment available?
SR: I inherited three Macintosh computers with Final Cut Pro, a set of three can lights, a floor light, and four Sony Handicams. We have a VT4, but after a change in the administration, we do not put kids on screen live.
SVN: How many kids are in the TV/Video Production classes? How is it broken down? Is it a multi-year program?
SR: This year I have 33 students in three levels of class. Broadcast Productions is open to Sophomores through Seniors. Advanced Broadcasting is open to second year staff members. Advanced Video Editing is available to third year staff members. Advanced students are responsible for the day to day production of the shows. Third year students serve as show producers.
SVN: Can you tell us a little more about the sessions: How long are the classes? How many students? What types of projects?
SR: We have 55 minute periods. I currently have two sections with an average class size of 16.
Beginning students complete an “Everybody Edits” Project. They are also responsible for projects including Silent Movies, Stop Motion Animations, Personal Documentaries, Storybooks and Music Videos.
They are also expected to produce a couple of stories, in class assignments, and morning announcements.
Anchoring positions are assigned on a rotating basis so that everyone gets an opportunity.
SVN: How many kids to do the morning news broadcast? Do you also do a weekly broadcast? Special events coverage?
SR: All of my students get to work on these projects. There are no permanent positions except for student producers.
What jobs do the kids do? Do the kids rotate through on-air talent and crew positions or are they “hired” for a specific task?
All students rotate with the exception of my producers. These students are responsible for the way everything looks.
We have been chosen to intern with SchoolTube for the summer.
SVN: Do students audition for on-air positions?
Producers and Line Producers are offered their positions/titles on the basis of their performance, dedication, attitude, and aptitude for the class.
SVN: Do they write the content?
SR: I have a couple of students who have specialized this year as script writers. If we don’t know how it is supposed to happen, these kids make it a point to find out. They also do a great job of presenting the information in a way that students understand.
SVN: How long does the show run?
SR: Morning Annoucements take as long as it takes, generally no longer than 5 minutes.
The Weekly show is limited to 5 minutes.
The Monthly show is limited to 20 minutes.
SVN: Do you submit programming to independent contest such as those sponsored by StudicaSkills and SchoolTube TV?
SR: SchoolTube has been a great hit for us. Goddard students who have nothing to do with the content are even looking in on this site.
We have done well. One of my students won a medal in the Fall Student Choice Awards Contest.
SVN: Can your broadcast be viewed outside the school? District-wide? Local cable access? On your school/district web-site?
SR: Thus far, we do not have our own website. However, I have recruited a student specifically to create one next year.
SVN: Do you have an equipment list you can share with our readers?
6 Intel Based iMac Computers
3 MacBook Pro
2 Sony DCR VX-2100Handycam Mini DV
6 Sony DCR-HC21Handycam Mini DV
4 Sony DCR-HC96 Handycam Mini DV
2 DCR-HC30 NTSCHandycam Mini DV
5 Adzen 111LT-A1
1 AudioTechnica ATR55
1 Bravo Multi Disc DVD Burner
1 set lights
SVN: Have any quick start tips!
SR: You just have to tell a story. If you tell it right, you don’t need fancy equipment.
It should be noted that we would not be a program were it not for the guidance that I receive from the Student Television Network. The teachers who belong to this list have taught me everything I know at Camp STN, STN National Convention, and on the online mailing list.