Filming Focus

Laughter and smiles fill the classroom as students watch the board intently. The announcements are over, and the entertaining videos play on the screen. This would not be possible without the broadcast journalism class at the school.

The broadcast journalism class is not only responsible for the morning announcements but also for the entertaining videos following them. Many students talented in video production and film making compose the class. Students in the class work hard to put out new content and to make sure the morning announcements run smoothly. 

Broadcast journalism did not always have a dedicated class. “Broadcast journalism was initially a club of guys who did the morning announcements. They would do little skits every once in a while on the air,” said Mrs. Rebecca McWilliams, who teaches  broadcast journalism. “It used to be in room 211. When I started here in 2010, we turned it into a class. They took the back half of what’s now Coach Boone’s room and put up a wall and turned a closet into what’s now our control room, and we became a class.”

 “Broadcast journalism is journaling a story or an event and then putting it in a story form, like what you see on the news.” said Mrs. McWilliams. The concept of the class is simple, and students quickly learn what it is all about.

At the school, the broadcast class is in charge of running and broadcasting the morning announcements. “The students have many jobs during the morning announcements. Somebody will be running the switcher, so they control the sound and audio going from the graphics to the on-air announcements and the videos afterwards. Another person is running  the computer right next to them. He is controlling the graphics below the screen and he controls when the video plays when we switch over to that,” said Mrs. McWilliams.

“We have boys who run the cameras and adjust the shots whenever someone else comes in. We have a guy who manages the studio and makes sure the lights are turned on and warm for the announcements. Someone else grabs the attendance office list because we can’t get it till eight o’clock. If anybody doesn’t have a job, they just sit tight and are on stand-by just in case they need to jump and do something.”

The broadcast class at Catholic has less of a focus on creating informational videos. “I treat it like a film class,” said Junior Breck Tyler. “ Most of the time we’re making stories and skits, rather than informational stuff. The class is like a really laid-back version of a film school.”

The morning videos have freshman Brayden Hiller itching to join the class. “I have always been intrigued by the film industry,”  said Hiller. “I did not know that there was a class dedicated to filming skits and videos at Catholic. I’m definitely going to join next year.”

The process behind making videos is very involved. “The students come up with the ideas for the skits and videos,” said Mrs. McWilliams. “We have teams of about five or six people and together they come up with a script. They come up with a shot-list, they film it, and they come back to the studio and edit it.”

The class allows for a lot of creative freedom when making videos. “Everyone in the class is pretty much allowed to do anything with their videos,” said Tyler. “ I really enjoy making the script and coming up with ideas for videos.”

Many freshmen, who have never seen such unique videos until coming to Catholic High, find humor in them. “The morning videos are hilarious, and are a great way to start my day at school,” said Hiller. “They make me excited to go to homeroom in the mornings.”

The broadcast journalism class has students who want to make a career in the field. “I love storytelling and have always wanted to make TV shows or movies,” said Tyler. “I’d love to do something like that in the future.”

“The effort behind the videos is really obvious,” said Hiller. “I really enjoy watching them in the morning. I want to thank the people behind the videos for helping me start my day on the right foot.”

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