Students from Linden High School hosted peers from Franklin High School for a day of collaboration in video production and editing. The students learned from one another as they worked in small groups to create video projects.
By Gary Miller
Here’s the scene: A group of students from one school meet up with a group from another school. The students, who have never met, trade ideas and techniques in an area where they share a passion. They then create projects to show how creativity and skill combined with collaboration can turn into something special.
This isn’t a direction from a movie script. This scene played out recently in the TV Digital Media studio at Linden High School’s Academy of Science and Technology. About 20 video students from Franklin High School visited on Friday, March 29, to work alongside 20 LHS students on projects that allowed them to share ideas about shooting and editing video.
“We have been doing this this master class for the past three years, and each time the students get together, it amazes me how well they bond and work well with each other as if they were classmates or friends for years,” said LHS TV Digital Media teacher Chris Paskewich.
Students were placed into six groups that included students from each school. They had to work to come up with a two- to three-minute video. The students chose a theme and a title. The only parameters they were given were that the video had to include a computer, wallet and glasses.
“This gives students a real insight as to what it would be like to get a job freelancing in the broadcasting industry,” said Michael Pinnix, who teaches Aspects of Video at Franklin High. “Especially when it comes to working with different people you don’t actually know. I love how the students were able to communicate with each other and access each other’s skills to produce a good project.”
After the students were broken up into groups, they had to brainstorm to come up with their vision, then pitch it to Pinnix and Paskewich. After it was approved, they had two hours to produce and edit their video.
Students said they had fun and learned a lot working with students from another school who share the same interest in producing video.
“What I enjoyed most is that we learned from each other,” said LHS senior Ariana Eastwood. “If they do something one way and we do something one way, we can use each other’s ideas to make it better.”
Franklin students echoed that sentiment.
“We are so used to working with our peers from our own high school,” said Kwame Anane, a Franklin senior. “Seeing other talented students from other schools makes me want to work even harder at my own craft.”
The collaboration between the two classes started because Pinnix and Paskewich know each other from working together in Franklin from 2004 to 2010. The two worked closely to build the video editing and production program before Paskewich moved on to Linden.
Linden students first visited Franklin during the 2016-17 school year. Franklin returned the visit last year. This school year, the classes got together twice; the first collaboration was in December in Franklin.
“Part 2 in Linden was the icing on the cake, because we made an even better show,” said Linden senior Raphael Ramirez. “I met a lot of dedicated students who want to pursue a career in TV production. … It was great to learn the styles some of the students at Franklin had that were different and similar to Linden. It built a good relationship.”
The aim for the TV Digital Media class at Linden High School is to put students in a real-world situation to prepare them for the 21st century media landscape. Breaking them out of their routine to work with another school was part of reaching that goal.
“This was a great opportunity for the students who are involved because as they get into the real world, they are going to partner up with people they might not know, and the job still has to get done,” Paskewich said. “They have to communicate, work and all get along with each other.
“This is a tradition that we plan to continue.”