Producing Student Videos for the Community

They have done it once again. The students in teacher Chris LeQuire's graphic arts classes at Valley Regional High School are producing public service videos, this time on Internet safety, and they will share them with the community by posting them later this school year on the Facebook page of Mather & Pitts Insurance of Deep River. This collaboration between the insurance agency and the students has proven to be a winning community effort.

LeQuire explains, "We have a great collaboration with Mather & Pitts and it has grown each year. We have created a student project that can be shared with the community, and that can have an impact."

The project began a few years ago when John Solovei of Mather & Pitts was searching for a way to increase the visibility of his agency's new Facebook page. Spring was approaching-a time of graduations, proms, and teen driving hazards. What better way to talk with teens about safe driving, he thought, than to have the message delivered by fellow students. He turned to Valley's graphic arts classes and the students embraced his idea.

They produced safe driving videos that were posted on the agency's Facebook page. Visitors to the page had the opportunity to view each one and then to vote for the best. Hundreds visited the page and the effort proved a success. Now the project has been formalized. This year students selected the topic-one that they believed was important to them and others their age: Internet safety. The video is now a student's final project for the semester. And in keeping with the intention of offering a product to be shared with the community and that will relate to students' lives, the program has a name, Media 4 Change.

Make no mistake, this is a final project with detailed requirements. LeQuire gave his classes a one-page list. The three- to six-minute videos must contain: a logo design for "Media 4 Change" and the student's own title, a minimum of two shots using a crane, a minimum of five shots using a tripod, a minimum of four shots using the video stabilizer, a variety of shots from long shots to extreme close-ups (and all shots must have composition including simplicity, framing, lines, the rule of thirds, no mergers, and lead space), clean audio using a mic, and a controlled lighting environment for all shots.

As the requirements of the video have changed, so have the rules for selection of the winning entries. In the past years, winners were determined by the number of votes, or "likes," each received for visitors to the page. This year votes will still weight heavily, however, representatives from Mather & Pitts, the broadcast industry, and the community will add their input before the best video is selected.

Five videos have been produced and a total of about 15 are expected. All will be posted on the Mather & Pitts Facebook page within the next six to eight weeks. Stay tuned.

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