Planning for Video Production Studio at Jr High

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    • #39591

      I am new to this forum, but thought I might be able to get some good advice… no use reinventing the wheel when others have already gone down this road….

      Our school district is planning a new middle school elective – Video Production/Broadcasting – and will be using all NEW PCs with Adobe Premiere Elements as our editing software.

      Could anyone provide us some advice/ecmoondations for the following:

      How to, simple to understand books in curriculum design, project sequencing, etc?

      Basic equipment list for setting up a live studio — studio drawings, equipment locations, etc? (our superintendent has voiced his opposition to using "Apple" computers, so any equipment in the studio will need to be compatible with PCs)

      Recommendations for other software, audio/video mixers, royalty free music sources, etc.?

      Locations of any school based programs in the San Francisco Bay area who might welcome a visitor or two to observe and get some ideas.

      Thanks for any information you can provide.

      The Courthouse

      Could anyone

    • #170952

      what is your budget and how serious are you with making this studio?

    • #170953

      Congratulations. Not many Jr. High schools have live broadcasts, but I was fortunate enough to go to one myself.

      I only remember the basics, but here is the most basic list of necessary equipment:

      Video Switchboard
      Audio Switchboard

      I believe we broadcasted it though a coaxil cable, but not sure about the details of that.

      All I can really remember was the production aspect:

      It was in a side room, in front of one wall there were two broadcasters and a poster with our school name on it, and on another wall with a different poster and a microphone stand for guest speakers (the principal, etc.) We had a camera on each wall.

      We also had a computer running a slideshow of school related events. On the video mixer we had four tracks. #4 was the slideshow, #3 was a tape deck, #2 was camera B (the guest camera), and #1 was Camera number A.

      During a production, we would cut from track 4 (the slide show), to the tape deck and play a brief intro to our newscast.
      At the end of the intro, we would cut to video track 1. They would say announcements, and then introduce the guest speaker.
      We then would cut to the guest speaker on track 2, and so on and so forth.

      The audio switch would have 4 inputs as well. The audio switcher would switch between the audio from a cd player (input #4), the tape deck (input #3), the guest speaker (input #2), and our two broadcasters (input #1).

      I’m not sure if that all makes sense or really helps, but i hope it gives you an idea for some of your future productions.

      by the way, here’s some roles with (poor) definitions for the students:
      director – does the countdown, pretty much the guy in charge of the production
      studio manager/producer – in charge of keeping the studio clean, and props and other stuff.
      video switch – in charge of switching the video feeds.
      audio switch – in charge of switching the audio feeds.
      computer – in charge of the slideshow computer. We also had a slideshow of the pledge of Allegience that the computer person was
      responsible to start
      Camera A
      Camera B

      those are pretty much all I can remember.

      Hope it helps in any way, congratulations, and good luck!

      Spencer Stewart

    • #170954

      These comments relate to Spncer’s post, but could help the OP. From the diagram, there are loads of really important problems. The main one is a single room. How can the director talk to the cameras without his voice being heard, control, especially in an educational environment where people are not good at being quiet. The audio mixer/balancer call them what you will apart from switcher, needs to hear – so if they wear headphones they can’t be talked to either?

      Even if you bodge this all up using domestic equipment, you still needs communications to the cameras. WIth cheap kit the cameras don’t have tally lights and the talent won’t know which camera is live. You will need lighting – you also need to think about size of the room. Cameras are not very wide angle and to get width, you have to be further away. If the cameras have to move then dollies/pedestals are needed. Panasonic and Edirol make some decent video mixer/switchers.

      For a new proper studio, it’s vital to get professional help onj projects like this. There are so many things that have to be integrated properly or it’s a mess.

      I can’t speak for how things are done in the USA, but here in the UK, the real issue is bending professional applications into things that can be delivered by teachers, and carried out by students. Very often, changes to professional practice have to be made to cope with this.

      Education question – the elective, who decides the content? This is important because whoever this person (or organisation) is, may well have very clear cut views on what equipment needs to be purchased.

      As a guide – this will set many of the purchase rules.

      Format – SD or HD
      Cameras – camcorders, or real studio cameras
      Studio – a converted classroom, or purpose built studio.

      End product – what is the purpose? Who are the audience – the public, examiners, in-house viewing?

      Please post back with a few kind of rules, and most importantly – How much budget do you have?

    • #170955

      Yeah, our production was simple. One camera for each wall. Sorry, I forgot the headphones for the audio mixer, we did use those. My drawing lacked very much, I know. I can’t really draw at all to be honest.
      The director didn’t have to really talk too much with the cameras, and the mic’s were very directional (I didn’t draw them either 🙁 ). The cameras stayed in one place and rarely had to tilt/pan during the production, so little communication was required as long as the cameramen had a decent frame.
      Paulears, those are really good points. Maybe I was a little too excited to share my experience. But also remember, this is a Jr. High, 13-14 year olds will be in charge of this, and the whole production can’t be too complicated.
      I definitely have to agree though, that it is vital for a new studio to get some proper and professional help.

      Spencer Stewart

    • #170956


      Just about last year at this time I started getting into podcasts, both listening and creating. One of the freshest I’ve heard was from this American guy who taught video techniquest at Baumholder high school, in Germany. It is a different mix, hearing that he is podcasting from Germany and yet he has a slightly Southern, American accent. He titled it DV Teacher’s podcast, and he related how he is using videography to teach high school students. Within the 23 podcasts, he talked about how students learned, what the assignments were, and some of the projects they created. Each one is about 1/2 hour long, and what you get for the price of a free download is his knowledge. Invaluable information. Unfortunately he started the podcasts near the end of December 2005, and by mid 2006 he decided to retire from the German school. He stated that he moved back to the United States to Tennessee, I think, but no podcasts have been put up since that time. Incredible resource, for anyone in the teaching field; I hope it is of help to you.

      Please ask in this forum if you need to know anything about podcasts; basically they are mp3 audio files which your audio player automatically updates when the author puts new ones online. Unfortunately in this case I think the author has moved on, but still an amazing resource.


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