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Behind the scenes of MNN

by DARIUS LEWIS Staff Writer

The production and editing process for creating Monroe Network News is a way for students to creatively and practically exercise their skills. However, there is a specific process to produce the news that not many people are aware of, and there are misconceptions pertaining to the actual broadcast.

There are those who believe that the news is a live taping where students volunteer to be news anchors. In actuality, the news is produced the day before it is shown throughout the school in the students’ Video Production II class.

Still others believe that the news anchors must memorize their script before hand. The script is written by Mr. Boris Hladek, a video production teacher, after gathering information from teachers about the scheduled events of different clubs and other meetings. It is then displayed on a teleprompter, a device that hoouses scrolling text on the camera lens for students to then read.

There is a specific process to creating the news and there are many different technical positions, such as anchors, cameramen, audio engineer, teleprompter operator, director, character generator video playback, and technical director. All of the positions are key to the success of the broadcast, and when everyone does well and cooperates, the show can run smoothly.

The cameraman’s job is to set up and align the shots appropriately, while the technical director, or “TD”, uses a device called the switcher to cut from one shot to the next between three cameras that are set to the right, left, and center of the studio.

The audio engineer supervises the sound coming from the anchors and mutes one anchor’s mic while the other is talking, and increasing or decreasing the volume if need be.

The video playback starts and stops record, while the character generator plays the graphics displayed on the screen, which usually shows information regarding a club meeting and when and where it is. The director’s job is obviously to direct the cast and crew and is the leader of the group. The success of the broadcast lies on their combined effort.

Quincy Charleston, a senior in Video Production II, said, “I like this class because I can learn how to work the camera and practice my skills.”

Most video production students would agree that the best part of the news is the opening sequence.

Adrian Jarzabski, a junior and student in Video Production II, said, “It helps us show our creative side and practice our abilities in something we would like to do and not what we’re forced to do.”

The sequence is created, edited, and directed by the students themselves, and is the most enjoyable and personal aspect of the news. Students are given a chance to create their own opening that will be played in the beginning of the broadcast, and allows them use their collaborative creativity to their advantage.

Mr. Hladek says, “The opening sequences are a way to draw in viewers and a way for students to practice their abilities.”     

Students in Video Production generally enjoy the course and can see themselves reap the benefits. Monroe Network News take effort to produce behind the scenes, but if all goes well, the show will run smoothly and efficiently.

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