The Chosen One

Callan Johns
Callan Johns, a HHS senior, uses the camera at the Satellite Center.

HHS student picked from thousands to be part of first All-American Video Crew

Hahnville High senior Callan Johns, 18, already has a stronger resume than most college graduates.

On top of having video production experience from HHS and the Satellite Center, Johns, daughter of Julia Johns of Luling, has had real-world media experience and was even accepted into the summer scholars program at the University of Miami.

To top off her resume, she was recently chosen out of thousands of entries to be a crew member on the first All-American Video Crew to help with video production of the Jan. 8 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The crew was put together by NewTek, manufacturer of video and 3D animation products.

She was one of only five students chosen from all over the country to attend the 5-day event – and she was the only girl chosen.

During her time in San Antonio, she got the opportunity to meet and train with leaders in the video production field and practice video editing, replaying and motion graphics. 

Much of what Johns practiced on the trip were skills she already learned through the St. Charles Parish school system.

In fact, Johns said that her team finished almost eight hours early on the first day because they all caught on so quickly to the programs being taught. But that did not mean they got the day off.

“It was all work and very little play,” she said of the week.

As for being the only girl, Johns said she was not surprised.

“This is definitely a male-dominated profession. However, women are putting their foot in the door,” she said. She thinks that the future will hold a more equal playing field for women in media production.

At Hahnville High, Johns took a class on TV production and worked with the morning announcements. Then she moved on to the Satellite Center and central office where she is now a production director for the filming of School Board meetings, graduation, athletic events and concerts around the parish. She already knew how to use NewTek’s TriCaster, the portable live production system that the program was training the five participants how to use.

“If it wasn’t for the Satellite Center, I wouldn’t have a clue what I wanted to do,” she said.

But thanks to the St. Charles school district, Johns has specific future goals and knows what to look for when applying for college programs.

After touring universities with the Satellite Center, she has decided to set her sights on the University of New Orleans because they teach using the media program AVID, which she says is what the industry uses most. She was also impressed by UNO’s state-of-the-art media center, Nims Center Studios, which is part of the production of big-name Hollywood movies, national TV shows and commercials.

Rochelle Cancienne-Touchard, director of public information for St. Charles Parish Schools, said that the Satellite Center has given Johns an advantage over her college competition.

“When she walks into UNO, she’s going to be head and shoulders above her peers…that’s what the (Satellite) Center gives these kids,” Cancienne-Touchard said. “She has been an invaluable asset to us here at the central office.”

As for the future, Johns wants to start her career after college creating documentaries for local TV stations. After gaining some experience, she hopes to someday work for a larger network, such as the Travel Channel, producing documentaries.

“I want to travel. I want to see everything and do everything, with a camera,” Johns said.


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