Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting down to work at North Little Rock High

Monday at North Little Rock High School was awesome. Each class was full of action, especially Jim's block 1 TV production class. These students have the TV news down to a fine art. One student wasn't around so I got to operate a camera again. Students introduced a pan to key in this newscast for the first time. This involved me panning the camera to the left of the anchor while the Technical Director (a student of course) put up text and graphics that accompanied the announcement the anchor was talking about. I'll admit I was nervous, but pulled it off in the end.

In preparation for the newscast students were finishing editing segments, writing the script for the teleprompters, creating graphics, pre-recording the sports and weather segments, setting up the camera positions, adding the intro and ending credits. Each student is given a job to do for the news which are all supervised by the student director. This semester she is doing great work. It's a delicate thing to be a director to keep the others motivated while keeping them on task. Sometimes you need to be bossy and not be a friend. It's a cool environment to be in. After the show is recorded a copy is made for the entire student body to watch after the reading period. In the end the result was great, and my pan to key motion was just fine.

After school Jim took me over to a media company called Clear Channel. His friend Tom Wood gave us a behind the scenes look at their 5 radio stations in the building. Tom has been in the business as long as I've been alive.

We were appreciative of the insights that he gave us about how modern radio stations are staying current with listeners and what they are doing to be competitive against internet and satellite radio. Clear Channel is with the pack in terms of technology and even has it's own iPhone app for me to listen to back in Canada. Tom let us sit in as he pre-recorded a 15 minute segment about a charity whiffle ball tournament that will be played later on in the week. This visit really peaked my interest and gave me tons of ideas about starting a radio station via the internet at Cold Lake High School.

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