ORCTV school to career program gives students 'real world experience'
Mattapoisett — Three Old Rochester Regional High School seniors are learning the ins and outs of video production through a new school to career program with Old Rochester Community Television.
Connor Farney of Mattapoisett, Jacob Davis of Marion and Amanda Colwell of Rochester got a foundation in video by taking classes at the high school. Farney and Colwell have also filmed municipal meetings for ORCTV. The three approached ORCTV Director Rob Chiarito about doing a work study through the school, something new for the organization.
The students began working with Chiarito and Assistant Director Gary Lawrence in February.
“The first few weeks, it’s everything from ground zero to now producing content and segments,” Lawrence said. “Basically we teach them everything they need to learn to produce video.”
Headquartered inside the high school, ORCTV’s studio offers students the chance to work with up-to-date cameras and software in what Lawrence said are real world situations.
“They aren’t just going out and doing one-camera shooting. We’ve got three and four cameras,” he said. “They’re getting exposed to some pretty advanced shooting techniques right out of the gate.”
The students’ initial project is the Dog Pound Rundown, a weekly news show about ORR. The first episode included segments on ORR's hockey, basketball and track teams, a profile on student and guitarist Aaron Norcross and “The Week Ahead” with Principal Mike Devoll.
In addition to filming, the students designed an animated logo that flies onto the screen as part of the introduction.
The ideas largely come from Davis, Farney and Colwell, said Chiarito, so “it’s from the eyes of the students. They’re helping us set what the programming will be.”
In addition to ORCTV’s education channel, the videos will be uploaded to YouTube, an important component to the work study project, said Farney.
The senior, who is interested in filming and photography with an eye to pursuing a job as a National Geographic photographer, said the skills he’s learning are increasingly important for 21st century media.
“People are watching less TV and more YouTube, etcetera. It’s a better way to get your stuff out there,” he said.
The students are experimenting with different types of video, including their own comedy show, which they will write themselves. Additionally, they are helping ORCTV increase its offerings.
“We’ve never had a crew before,” Chiarito said. “It’s really great.”
Having more hands means Chiarito and Lawrence can provide better coverage of sports games and other events, using multiple cameras and angles to improve the overall production quality.
“We want to do more hands on production, having them make decisions and learn how to work in the field. It’s real world experience,” said Chiarito.
Although it’s still in its early days, Chiarito said he’s pleased with the new program. Along with a new audio visual club at the high school, he is looking to increase students' engagement with ORCTV.
“Next year we hope it will be much bigger.”