Behind the scenes look at weekly announcements

In the past, students worked to bring our school’s news through the use of a camera and a whiteboard filled with information. From the board, they’d announce events, sports and other news regarding the school week.

Unfortunately, the audio on these videos wasn’t always easy to understand and the writing on the board could be complicated and hard to read. 

For those reasons, Andrew Hoeflein, who teaches video production, proposed the idea at the beginning of last year of having the leadership and intermediate video production classes collaborate on making the weekly announcements in order to improve the system.

Since then, our school’s weekly announcements have continued to get more advanced and visually appealing, still covering the same topics, but in a much more interesting and engaging way. 

It’s not always easy producing a video that’s around ten minutes long for the whole school to see at the start of every week, but after practice, the two classes have created a system that they can rely on. 

“Back then I used to have to take it home because all the pieces would still need to be put together, and I would have to take it and finish it at home,” Hoeflein said about the editing process. “But now we’ve got it down to where we can do it in two days.” 

The process typically begins the Friday before. Students from the sixth period leadership class work together to create a script that will cover all the topics necessary. Seventh period leadership are the ones who are being filmed reporting on these things. Both classes came up with the plan and format for the announcements. 

Sections like the weather and question of the day were all ideas from them in order to make a more entertaining video. 

“We chose to do the announcements this way because we got the opportunity to work with the video production class,” sophomore Anna Gladwin, an anchor for the weekly announcements, said.“Last year the production was strictly in leadership class, so the video production class gave us a wider selection.”

This year, leadership students have assigned people different roles and sections to cover. Every semester they switch roles to get some new faces in new positions. For roles such as the anchor, there are auditions held for students interested. Auditions include a competition to see who can read off rhymes and tongue twisters the fastest. 

“It was funny because Marley decided to have some rhymes and then we had to read them as fast as we could in front of the whole class,” said Gladwin.

On Tuesday, leadership shares their ideas with the video class, and they are ready to begin shooting. They try to get everything recorded on the same day. 

Students doing sections like the question of the day or Creed awards go do their recording around the school with someone from video production operating the camera. Meanwhile, sections like the sports and news reports stay in the video production room where they are set up with equipment like cameras, microphones, a greenscreen and more, which is monitored by video production students to make sure everything turns out smooth. 

The next few days are dedicated to editing. The video production class has different students edit different sections to make the process go faster. Sections like the news anchor part can be a bit more work and takes some dedication from the students to edit.

“Some of them are pretty intense. Like the anchor bit,” Hoeflein said. “There’s a lot of graphics we have to use, a lot of text, and things like that.”

After the individual pieces are fully edited, Hoeflein, the executive editor, has to take them all and put them together. The executive editor is also in charge of putting in some transitions, adding in credits and making sure the video and audio runs smoothly. 

Once all the editing is complete, the video is sent to leadership teacher Sydney Mulkey, and she posts it on YouTube, so teachers can play it on Monday morning for their classes. 

The process of making the weekly announcements takes some time and effort. It takes multiple days of dedication from both the leadership and intermediate video production class to write, film and edit the announcement videos. 

Now knowing all that goes into making those videos, we can appreciate and acknowledge students’ efforts in keeping us informed and in touch with what’s going on in our school.