Students produce own sports show
These 10 students are part of the Advanced TV Broadcasting course that is available at the Satellite Center. The five-day-a-week class gives the students an opportunity to film football games, edit content, work a teleprompter, direct a 26-minute episode, or interview one of the school's football coaches on camera. During the program, the student host goes over the highlights of the game with each coach and also talks about the team's next opponent. The rest of the students work behind the scenes and do everything possible to make sure the show goes off without a hitch.
"I was looking for a regularly scheduled show we could do, because last year we didn't have a show we did on a regular basis," course instructor Albert Dupont said. "We contacted the public relations department and the athletic directors and they talked to the coaches for us and everyone was excited about doing it."
Hahnville students take the course in the morning and cover the Tigers' head football coach Lou Valdin. Destrehan students, on the other hand, take the course in the afternoon and interview the Wildcats' head coach Stephen Robicheaux. Besides getting the chance to put together a professional looking TV show, the students are also gaining hands-on experience in the broadcasting field.
"I'm learning about broadcasting and that's something I was really interested in," Hahnville student Stephen Miles said. "I'm into film making, so this course allows me to learn how to work the camera better and edit."
Preparation for the show actually begins on Thursday, when the students meet with Dupont to discuss the previous days broadcast and set a game plan for the next show. After discussing their plans, the students hit the field Friday night with video cameras to record all the action from ground-level.
Monday, the broadcast students combine their footage with that taken from the press box, then on Tuesday, some of that footage is edited into the introduction of the program while the rest is transformed into highlights for the coaches to go over on the show. On Wednesday, the coaches head to the studio and the show is recorded. That cycle has been repeated four times so far.
"The first time we did the show, everyone was a little shaky because we didn't really know what to expect," Hahnville's Jonathan DeJean said. "The second time was a lot more laid back and you can tell if you watch the show. We are slowly getting better and better and working out all the kinds."
DeJean has hosted more than half of the shows and is steadily gaining confidence with each broadcast.
"At first, I was a little nervous, but it's gone away since then," he said. "Coach (Lou) Valdin has really opened up to us and has given us some good information."
The other students in the morning session have each rotated positions. Each of the three has directed an episode and filmed game action, while also spending time in audio and working with the teleprompter.
"Directing is the hardest part because you have to switch the cameras back and forth depending on who is talking," Amanda Camardelle said. "You just have to basically pay attention to what is going on in the show."
Meanwhile, fellow student Kayla Prestenback feels that getting game footage has proved to be the most difficult part of putting together the program.
"Filming the games is quite interesting because I don't know that much about football, so I am learning as I go," she said. "It is definitely a challenge."
However, while certain parts of the course might be difficult, Dupont says that all the students have impressed him so far this year.
"They picked everything up quick and with just four students (in the morning session), we are able to really get into it," he said. "This group is ahead of where we were last year because they are sharp and we have had a lot of time to practice. We had about a week or two before the first show, so we had time to plan what we wanted to do and had a rundown and layout of it and they have done a really good job."
While the students are only doing a coaches show right now, Dupont plans to cover all of the other high school sports that take place during the year.
"My plan is, every time Destrehan or Hahnville play in every sport, we go cover it and do a little show," he said. "I want to make it a St. Charles Parish sports show basically."
Even if the show never materializes into a year-round program, one thing is for certain, these students are gaining all the knowledge they need to make a future career in TV production a reality.
"I wasn't really sure this was something I wanted to do, but I took the class at high school last year and I kind of wanted to learn more about it," DeJean said. "I am thinking that it might be more of a career path now."
"I really like learning how to use the software on the computers and I like working with the cameras," she said. "I definitely have learned that I really enjoy this."
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