ACMi/ACE 2012 SummerFun Weeklong Workshop a Success

For the third consecutive summer, a dozen middle-school-aged youngsters appeared at ACMi’sPark Avenuetelevision production center to learn the science and art of video and TV production.

ACMi (Arlington Community Media Inc.) has partnered with A.C.E. (Arlington Community Education) during the past three years to create a workshop for students entering the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Bringing their own brown-bag lunches, 12 youngsters arrived daily for one week (July 23-27 from 10 AM to 3 PM) at ACMi’s state-of-the-art media production facility to be trained as camera operators on studio and field cameras. They were also coached in hosting skills, audio equalizing and mixing, directing and technical direct­ing, teleprompter operation, and floor directing. Even original scriptwriting and the use of “green-screen” technology for creating video effects were included in the training. The students worked in small groups to create short video segments that were later compiled into three completed shows for viewing at the end of the weeklong workshop. Below is a daily chronicle of the week’s activities.

MONDAY began with introductions and an ice-breaker activity followed by hands-on camcorder projects, including a video scavenger hunt for countdown numbers and a field reporting activity.

TUESDAY featured the Camera Olympics, a timed tripod and camera set-up and breakdown competition, and practice in conducting field (non-studio) interviews of each other.

WEDNESDAY was dedicated to video recording of the magic show presented by an invited magician inside the ACMi studio. This activity provided the participants the experience of working together to cover a LIVE event and to learn control room skills in addition to camera operation and floor directing.

THURSDAY was dedicated to learning how to use the “green screen” and a green body suit to create magical special effects in which everything colored green becomes transparent (invisible) to our cameras. Infomercial sales pitches were written and recorded as well, and basic digital video editing on ACMi computers was taught. Much mirth accompanied the activities on this day.

FRIDAY — Participants used their newly acquired skills to produce, as a unified group, a live-to-tape game show featuring quiz questions generated by ACMi staff. Parents of the young producers were invited to be in the studio audience. After the game show, participants and parents were summoned downstairs to the conference room to view two other completed video productions made by the group and edited by ACMi staff.

ACMi would like to thank ACE Director Donna Eidson for another successful SummerFun collaboration. ACMi is grateful also to its volunteer high school interns and assistants: Lucas Gradwohl, Noel Forte, and Lucas Delbanco, for making the week so productive and smooth.

For 2013 registration information from Arlington Community Education, you may consult its website at http://arlingtoncommunityed.org/2012/sfreg_2012.pdf .

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August 8, 2012