Some aspiring film producers from Oak Lawn’s Richards High School have the chance to try their hand at the Student Television Network Convention in Los Angeles.
They are also planning a student film festival at their high school to offset the cost of going.
of Convention in Los Angeleswill take place March 16-19 and is designed to be a challenging and fun time for hundreds of high school students across the country to compete in categories such as timed music videos, commercials and public service announcements. .
According to Aaron Vermedal, who teaches digital media at Richards, the first day will feature an event called “Crazy 8s,” where students will spend eight hours creating a broadcast.
At 9 a.m. they will receive prompts on the theme of the broadcast and start from scratch, Vermedal said. Students then plan their broadcasts and go out into the community in small groups to find stories and shoot, edit, and assemble entire episodes, including student anchors.
“It’s a crazy time. It takes eight hours to create a newscast,” says Vermedal.
The next two days consist of small groups working on six hours of music videos and other projects. Again, no pre-planning.
The 13 Oak Lawn students in the Advanced Digital Media class that attended, along with another student who took one of Vermedal’s classes, said their video news magazine, Bulldog Dispatch, was named Best Broadcast Journalism Program at the National High School Film Festival. You already proved your potential when you won the award. Last October in New York, part of the prize was her one-year free membership to the Student Television Network and one student’s registration fee for the convention.
“A lot of the kids in this area don’t get the chance to get out of their southern suburbs and see what’s going on in the rest of the world,” says Vermedal. “I see these events as an opportunity for students to see what they can and can do after high school through this kind of work-based learning experience.”
The school will host a film festival on Thursdays at 7:00 pm at the Performing Arts Center. Funds of $15 per ticket will help cover the costs of the March convention. We estimate this cost to be approximately $1,400 per student for admission, airfare, and hotel.
Other local schools sending students to the event are Shepard High School, Remont High School, Revis High School, and Argo High School.
Richards’ junior, Isaak Pena, who has been making music videos in his spare time for several years, is making one for the festival. He said he enjoyed the editorial aspects of the production and the videography.
“I really like putting it together and getting the final product,” Pena said. “It’s definitely a great skill and I love it.”
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He used to edit on his cell phone, but now uses a laptop provided by Vermedal.
“I am very pleased with the opportunity that Mr. Vermedal has given us,” said Pena. “It’s the opportunity to take this class in the first place, the equipment he provides us with, and how to use the software.”
Amelia Benson, a senior in the Advanced Digital Media program, is finalizing several projects for the festival, including a feature article about bookstores in Chicago. She hopes to study film after high school to prepare for a career in directing.
“I’m so excited to go to California,” she said. “Hollywood, Los Angeles is her one of the biggest areas for movies and movies and it’s so cool.”
She also thanks Vermedal.
“I think he’s always there to help with the projects we’re working on,” Benson said. They were cooperative.”
Janice Neumann is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown newspaper.