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STUDENTS LEARN VIDEO PRODUCTION
By Dick Mason
Observer Staff Writer
The audience was sparse, but the intensity of 500-watt lights helped create a standing room only-like atmosphere.
Children were taking turns conducting scripted, on-camera interviews Saturday afternoon as part of a Think Link Discovery Museum class on video production.
The interviews were taped on the stage of Eastern Oregon University's Inlow Hall theater. Less than a dozen people were present. However, the cameras, lights and excitement made it seem as if many more were in the audience.
"I felt as if hundreds were watching,'' said Mavric Goss.
Mavric was one of seven children participating in the class, which was taught by Michael O'Connor, a video services producer at Eastern. O'Connor was assisted by EOU audio visual technician Mark Granzow.
O'Connor first introduced the children to the basics of video production. Then he had them write scripts for on-camera interviews. The interviews were conducted on a green set at the theater before two cameras. At the conclusion of the interviews the students conducted a dance on the set, which was also recorded.
The taping process had an almost Hollywood feel. O'Connor and Granzow used phrases such as "quiet on the set," "cameras rolling," and referred to those appearing before the cameras as the "talent.''
O'Connor and Granzow gave the children a world of encouragement and reassurance.
"We wanted them to relax and enjoy themselves on camera,'' Granzow said.
O'Connor advised the children to talk more slowly. He explained that when people are filmed they appear, to the viewer, to speak faster so it is important to talk slowly. Hannah Goldstein, a third-grader at Central Elementary School, said that she was nervous when she first went in front of the cameras. The third-grader said she relaxed though after she began looking at the person she was talking to and not the camera.
Summer Morgan, a second-grader at Central, said that she developed a better appreciation for the work people in television production do because of the class.
"It looks easy when you are watching but when you are doing it it is a lot harder,'' Summer said.
In addition to Summer, Hannah and Mavric, the one-day class was attended by Central students Libby Baum, Hayden Albrecht, Rachael Goldstein and Rachel Harris.
Following their interviews the children learned how the footage they taped was edited. The editing was done in EOU's video production studio.
Children were introduced to the world of television magic by O'Connor. He demonstrated things like how to produce a tape in which it appears that two people are on the set at Inlow Hall at the same time when in reality they came on separately.
"I wanted them to understand how television is made so that when they see something on TV they can decide if it is the truth or not,'' O'Connor said. "Even though it looks real it may not be real.''