Production Club allows students to create their own video projects

By Cathi Sasportas - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Wed., Sep. 4, 2013
Madison, 11, and Aaron, 12, discuss their ideas for a game show program.  They are part of the Filming Chargers Middle School Production Club, which is run by WIN-TV. Photo by Cathi Sasportas.
Madison, 11, and Aaron, 12, discuss their ideas for a game show program. They are part of the Filming Chargers Middle School Production Club, which is run by WIN-TV. Photo by Cathi Sasportas.

Give a group of middle-schoolers a podium and you might be surprised what they have to say. Giving a voice to young people is one of the main goals of the Filming Chargers Middle School Production Club, which is run by WIN-TV.

Donata Rame has been running the group for three years, and says she finds a lot of joy in helping these young people find their voices and hone their skills.  "They can be a handful," Rame said with a laugh, "but I have so much fun working with them."

The club meets every Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. at the WIN-TV studios in the L.P. Wilson Community Center. Buses take students from Sage Park Middle School and Trinity Christian School to the Center for the club. Tuesday, Sept. 3, was the first meeting of the new school year’s first session, and focused mostly on brainstorming.

"We have one goal," Rame said, "to get something on TV by the end of the session." The students have just eight weeks to put together an idea, a script and do all of the filming and editing necessary to put something on television. "I don't want them to feel overwhelmed, but I want them to know what it's like to have a deadline," she said.

Rame herself knows all about deadlines. She is a trained journalist, but ended up in a marketing career after she said broadcast journalism did not feel like the right career path. "This opportunity kind of fell in my lap, and I get to share what I know about broadcasting with these kids," she said.

Station manager Jenny Hawran likes that the club is able to give young students a voice. "They do everything," she said. "They come up with the ideas, write the scripts, get a crew together, pick actors, do the filming, and we put the finished product on the air at the end of the session." She said there are usually three to four sessions each school year, and students can join the group in the middle of the session, if necessary.

As the students all met together for the first session, there was the usual middle school discussions of reality TV, movies and music, but Rame kept wrangling the conversation back to ideas about their projects. Eventually the teens broke into three groups to come up with three different projects to create. One was making a rap video, another a game show, and another had a murder mystery/zombie apocalypse theme. It was obvious that the goal was to let the creativity flow.

"I love that when you're creative here you can actually do something with it," 12-year-old Eamon said. He and his friend Alex had been part of the club before and were excited to join once again.

Alex's brother Aaron enjoyed the hands-on experience the group provides. "Handling the camera is really a good experience," he said. "It's amazing!"

To find out more about the Filming Chargers Middle School Production Club, visit WIN-TV's website at win-tv.org.


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