Newport News Public Schools TV and the Telecommunications Center

2 students on TV set
Edric "E.J." Jones and Bishop Dunn rehearse before recording their new sports talk show.

Photos: Ray Price

One of the Telecom TV-I classes is producing a new show called "YAP About It."

The show is a talk show, and for the pilot and the second episode, the focus is sports. It was created by Heritage High School students Edric Jones and Bishop Dunn, and in it they debate sports topics chosen by their classmates and themselves.

Like the sports they discuss on the show, it's a team effort. Telecom students write the scripts, find and edit B-roll for the story, serve as production crew members, select music, and create the graphics and introduction.

The show came about because on the very first day of class, Jones and Dunn mentioned they would like to do a sports show.  Telecom Supervisor Ray Price remembered that comment when it came time for the students to produce television shows. The two students had successfully done the announcing (play-by-play and color commentary) of a football game that was recorded for YouTube. Price felt they were ready to do the talk show, and made them co-producers.

Price had the class put the tables together and do a brainstorming session to come up with topics for the show, a title for it, and assign the crew. He showed the producers some ideas for backdrops and they chose one to order for the set.

students on TV set at work
Telecom students go over the script and work on the Teleprompter.

Once the class had a list of segments to produce, each student chose what they wanted to work on. They researched it, wrote the script, and got the B-roll video footage online or from Telecom recordings.

For the pilot, the rest of the student crew included Maher Birkdar as Director; Donovan Crowder as Floor Director and Camera Operator; Joshua Ray and Antonio Boyd as Camera Operators; Francisco Garcia as Audio Technician, Chase Willett as Teleprompter Operator, Ethan Clinkenbeard as Technical Director, and Travon Christian Goode as Computer Graphics Operator.

Additionally, Willett created the graphic for the intro and Clinkenbeard perfected it in Photoshop and Illustrator to animate it.

The student crew produces the show like a live-to-tape production, and they do minimal edits where necessary.

Price is Executive Producer of the show, and Telecom Instructor Carl Daniels, Jr., is Associate Executive Producer. He supports the student project by gathering video and assisting with script-writing, in addition to his usual duties supervising and instructing the students.

The class is making another sports-themed "YAP About It" episode, and then will continue the format, but switch to entertainment as the focus for the next show.