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Television production class offers LCB Academy students real-world experience

Last Modified: Thursday, November 07, 2013 9:55 PM

By Kara Carrier / American Press

During Barbe High School’s Veterans Day program on Thursday, Jerard Jack wasn’t sitting in the bleachers watching the performances like most other students. Neither was Logan Hayes. Instead, both were operating television cameras, checking wires and directing other students filming the program.

Jack, a senior at Washington-Marion High School, and Hayes, a junior at Sulphur High, take a television production class through Lake Charles-Boston Academy of Learning. Jack, Hayes and 12 other students in the class all helped film Barbe’s program and streamed it live on useducationtv.com.

Pam Dixon, the television production teacher at LC-B Academy, said her class was needed at Barbe on Thursday to stream the event online for freshmen who couldn’t fit in the gym because there were too many guests and for the community as well.

Dixon said it took a lot of hard work and preparation for her students to get ready.

“The kids practiced directing for about two weeks in the studio, and they kind of fake shot,” Dixon said. “So today the kids were able to pretty much take over. Adults will pitch in and help, but only if necessary. But the kids can pretty much set up everything by themselves.”

Dixon said filming Barbe’s Veterans Day program was important to her students because it’s a real-world experience.

“They can practice and practice and practice in the studio, but until they get out there, they don’t really experience what it’s really like and get the fun of it, the excitement of it, the stress of it,” she said. “We also wanted this today to be more of a community service project for them, and I am hoping that even some of the retired veterans in the community watched.”

Dixon, who worked in television production for years, started the class six years ago to enhance career preparation for students. The class is held Monday through Friday at the academy; students from throughout Calcasieu Parish are bused in.

Dixon said her classroom has a full TV studio equipped with a control room and teleprompters. “It’s like a mini TV station,” she said.

For students like Jack and Hayes, who hope to pursue careers in television production, the class gives them hands-on experience.

“You get to do things that you never thought you would be able to do,” Jack said. “Today I was technical director. I was the one that switched the cameras over and did directing and worked camera three. It was fun.”

Dixon said the film of Barbe’s Veterans Day program will be available to view anytime at useducationtv.com, where the class has its own page with videos it has made. Also, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury government channel will air it starting Nov. 15, she said.

Online: www.cpsb.org/academytv.

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