High school media classes expand programming and learning

Dec 12, 2017

Dartmouth High School’s media students are used to working behind the scenes, but at the December 11 School Committee meeting they were the stars of the Spotlight on Kids segment.

About a dozen of the 60 students enrolled in media classes at the school and 10-15 students in the after-school media club appeared at the meeting to show off student-created TV shows, news coverage, and special projects created for DHSTVMedia, the high school’s in-house television network.

The network’s flagship program is The Tribe, a weekly news program that replaces the morning announcements on Friday mornings. Media teacher Robert Perrotti and his students began the program with a trial run last year, and now film the program every week.

“Students and the Student Council thought it would be a good idea to do a program in the morning instead of the normal morning announcements," Perrotti said.

Although The Tribe is only a ten-minute program, students spend the week leading up to the air date writing scripts, covering events, shooting video, and editing and post-processing videos into a complete “package” which is then aired over the high school’s television network and posted to social media.

Cameron Figueiredo and Izayah Neves served as co-hosts of The Tribe in recent weeks. Figueiredo said even hosting the show is a lot of work, from setting up cameras and microphones to managing studio lighting and equipment.

“We can’t just turn on the cameras and expect magic - it doesn’t work like that,” Figueiredo said.

Neves also has his own weather segment on the show, which he uses the school’s green screen to project maps and weather data onto during his segments.

Students are also getting hands-on experience with the latest in television production technology. Student Vegas Marshall showed off his three-minute video clip from the high school pep rally last month, which incorporated everything from music edited in sync with the video, to drone flyovers and 360-degree video captured with a special camera.

“I wanted to make sure I included everyone in the pep rally,” Marshall said of how he selected clips to include.

In recent months, media students have expanded into more varied programming. Teaming up with Dartmouth Community Television, students are now filming cooking shows using organization’s kitchen studio and editing equipment.

“We had the professional setting at DCTV, and used their cameras to enhance our production,” said Ashley Pacheco, who co-hosted a recent cooking program. “We used their communication system, sound boards, and editing systems too.”

Cooking co-host Kyle Lamontagne worked with Pacheco to create a script, and sought help from a former middle school cooking teacher in prepping recipes.

Students also produce Dartmouth's Got Talent segments with Superintendent Bonny Gifford, and students recently took a trip to Martha's Vineyard to interview Wampanoag people for a documentary as part of the upcoming Plymouth 400 celebrations.

DHSTVMedia productions are posted to the class’s own YouTube channel, and also air on DCTV Channel 9.