TV Production Class Changes the Lens

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Ayah Khamis

Seniors may remember the days when announcements played every morning on the school TVs. “Coming down from the Hill,” ”Knight Time in the Morning” was run by the TV Production class. Mr. Kasper, who has been teaching in the district for over 10 years, currently teaches TV Production classes at Hills. This year, he restructured the program to allow students to thoroughly report news that they have a passion for outside of the TV screens and tight deadlines. 

TV Production used to be an English elective, in which the primary focus was producing the morning announcement show, “Knight Time in the Morning.” Although there were other creative projects that were included in the curriculum, there was limited time to complete them as the announcement show took precedence. Students taking TV 1 class had to rush the night before to write scripts and organize production. And in school the next day, students had an hour and a half to get ready for air. There was little time to rehearse and edit, which led to many errors and mishaps while filming.  According to Mr. Kasper, there would sometimes be 20 to 40 announcements a day, which would result in complaints about the length of the announcements as they would sometimes run over the four-minute time limit. 

The class is now a career-tech certified (CTE) course. Mr. Kasper is a state-certified CTE teacher and provides strong television production knowledge. He wants students to not just simply read student announcements but to “become more technologically savvy in how TV production and TV filming works.” The TV production class has shifted focus as students are researching, writing, producing, and editing news packages containing stories of interest to themselves and the community at large. Mr. Kasper says that “they [TV Production students] completely control the format of the show and the content produced.” Students receive more time to rehearse and prepare, making them more confident and comfortable on camera. In addition, for each year that a student enrolls in TV production, they can earn college credit through Fairleigh Dickinson at the end of the year. Starting on Dec. 16. Morris Hills staff and students will be shown the student-produced news every Friday in the cafeteria during lunch. They can also watch the broadcasts by visiting the Knight Time YouTube Channel.

Mr. Kasper’s ultimate goal is to ensure that the students are well educated on the knowledge of TV production. They are even looking to apply for an Emmy by the end of the year for the National Student Production Award. He would like Morris Hills TV Production students to be recognized for their hard work on a larger scale. With the termination of the live morning news announcements, Mr. Kasper believes that TV Production is giving students the creative freedom to create videos on what they love, and students gain more experience being broadcast journalists.