Digital Media Production

MN School Incorporates New System into HD Video Production Curriculum

Eagan High School in Eagan, MN has deployed the Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 video production system as a key part of its video production skills instruction curriculum. The school purchased the system in fall 2009 as part of its effort to advance its curriculum and resulting school television and video productions to multi-format HD.

"Our goal is to mirror broadcast industry standards and workflows," said Paul Saxton, video specialist at Eagan High School. "We also want our students to become very media savvy adults, with an understanding of how to communicate using video as well as how the medium is being used to communicate with them."

Saxton said the Slate 1000 offered his students an all-in-one digital video production system that was relatively easy for them to learn and master. "Everything is in one box--the Inscriber CG, transitional DVE effects, monitoring, user-friendly interface, and the ability to handle a wide range of input/output formats in a tapeless workflow. I was particularly impressed with the Fluent workflow because our students can create video packages in one of the six editing suites, drop them into the Slate's 'inbox,' and bring those packages to air just by hitting a button."

In addition to the Slate 1000 system, the school's video production facility also boasts several professional-quality camcorders, teleprompters, an interruptible feedback (IFB) system, and an HD-SDI capture card. The school also has a network of cameras set up throughout the facility in order to broadcast directly back to the production booth and studio.

Eagan students write and produce a weekly broadcast, Eagan AM, that puts their video production education to work. They shoot field reports and interviews, edit their footage using Final Cut Pro, and take on a variety of newscast positions in front of and behind the camera, and, of course, in the production booth. In recent years, Eagan AM has featured live student interviews with school alumni such as Broadway performer Laura Osnes and United States Olympic hockey star Natalie Darwitz, as well as a live-via-satellite interview with a soldier stationed in Iraq.

"We're teaching our students top-flight HDTV skills using broadcast quality equipment," said Saxton. "And if they choose to go into broadcasting, they're very well prepared."

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.