MCTV .... starts NOW
There are 30 students in the MCTV class taught by Paul McKenna ‘83. He has five other sections of Video Arts running throughout the school year. All of his students learn the basics of videography, from storyboarding to shooting and editing.
“MCTV is vital,” McKenna says. “It’s hands on and puts students in a real-world environment. It’s project-based, deadline-driven learning. There’s no not doing a show which creates a healthy sense of urgency.”
Tech and Media Arts (TAMA) classes present students with authentic challenges in an environment which promotes creativity and design, formation and transformation. Ten years ago, McKenna inherited a program operating out of the third floor chapel: six students, six computersand one camera. They spent two years in a Garin Hall workspace prior to the 2007 completion of Moreau’s modern broadcast studio, a product of the Transforming Tomorrow campaign. The 18 work stations in the TAMA lab are equipped with a variety of top tier programs, including Final Cut and Premiere Pro used by our budding videographers.
“I think the student body is impressed by our team’s ability to cover campus events and turn them around quickly. Bringing those stories everybody’s witnessed or participated in, people want to see that. Now!” McKenna said. “It’s up to us to rise to the challenge."
Original architect's design for our broadcast facility -- Transforming Tomorrow campaign
IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
Patrick Quibol '08, editor/principal cinematographer/lead graphics -- Moreau gave me the environment and the resources I needed to bring my crazy ideas into reality. Mr. McKenna always provided an open environment where we were allowed to really express our creativity. He’d always be there to throw out ideas for shows if we couldn't think of anything, and if we ever had an concept, he'd be the one to turn our little sketch of an idea into a Van Gogh or a Picasso. He's really good at saying the right things to lead us to the right conclusions.
Deadline pressure ... I can't remember a video that I finished weeks or days in advance. Even with the videos I create today, I always find myself editing until the very last minute, but I think that comes from my inability to accept my work as ever being truly finished. As long as I have time, I will always look for flaws and try to correct it or improve my work. Knowing that for 1-3 minutes I'd have all of Moreau's attention, I knew I needed to make those few minutes worthwhile.
To the current generation of students, remember: MCTV is your chance to make an impact on people's lives, so go out, shoot, and edit. Don't be afraid to make mistakes or to be criticized. As long as you draw an emotional response, you know you have something special.
Editor's Note: Patrick and the 2007-08 MCTV crew made the most of their "new digs"--transforming not only what MCTV covered but how it would be broadcast. Their creativity, curiosity and diligence led to a season of programming that set a lofty standard for proceeding staffs ... MCTV ALUMNI! We'd love to hear from you and highlight your experiences (and your lovely face, then or now). Send us your memories and pics so we may keep this page alive and updated. db
Sarah Bridges '11, editor/producer
Moreau and MCTV prepared me for college in multiple ways. I learned that the relationships you develop with the people around you are sometimes the most beneficial assets you can possess. Now that I'm in college (CSU Northridge, screenwriting), writing and relationship-building are two of the most important things that have contributed to my progress.
MCTV teaches students to work together towards a finished product, and I learned how to keep a level head when times get stressful. Going into the film industry is like throwing security to the wind, but I have been taught that you always have control over what you do and even when deadlines speed toward you, the best solution is to remember what you've learned, take a deep breath, ask for help, and remember that there are always teachers, friends, and family to support you.
Writer/anchor Erin de Leon '13, (left, with Christine Marzan and Meagan Del Rosario)
I remember seeing MCTV for the first time as a freshman and thinking how the anchors had so much courage to put themselves in the spotlight. Once I was in the class, it was eye opening to see how much of a team effort it really took to produce each show. The room was always filled with adrenaline and excitement--I definitely remember the nerves, more than the fun, of the first show. I was in front of an audience I couldn't see, but never in my life had I been so nervous … and all I had to do was read the teleprompter! I did my best to calm myself down and remind myself to breathe whenever it was my partner's turn to be on camera. Even then, my palms were damp and I could feel my throat slowly constricting when I saw that I would be reading soon. Looking back to the first show, it's incredible how comfortable we got being on camera. It became easier to be myself.
All the knowledge I gained at Moreau prepared me to live away from home in college. Like MCTV, everyone in college has their own agenda and deadlines. It's very much about personal choices in setting up a daily schedule to reach these deadlines. The self-discipline it takes to eat dinner and finish homework without the reminders from parents is one of the lessons I learned from being a team member on MCTV. Freedom truly comes with great responsibility.
Jeffrey Surban '11, editor/lead graphics -- What really developed my skills [at Moreau] was my drive to do something different. I didn't want to just create an average project, I wanted to be unique. Freshman year, I was completely inspired and intrigued by the amazing content on MCTV. So when a video project came up in Theology or Spanish class, that's when I applied myself. Then I wondered about how I could create a more branded look for my content. It was a huge chain reaction of wanting to learn programs. I jumped to creating animation and motion graphics in Cinema 4D and Google SketchUp.
In terms of videography and storytelling, Mr. McKenna was the man to ask. He was a great teacher and mentor. I regret not asking enough questions and getting more advice regarding the real world. For any high school senior that wants to go into this crazy machine that is the film industry, the advice I'd give is to prepare yourself. Brush up on people skills, know how to network, be ten steps ahead of the game, and be the best at what you do best because there are thousands of people that want the same job as you.
Rigoberto Carvajal '13, writer/anchor -- The MCTV team that I worked with put 110% effort into the production simply because we loved doing it and it was fun. I probably put more effort into MCTV than any other class. (Sorry Mr. Rangchi and Mr. Kaufman).
Our tech crew was amazing--I praised the switcher every class. Whether it was Kristen Leahy or Justin Embry, I would literally want to go up to them and give them a hug and say "everything will work out" before the show to help them ease their stress.
When it was me who switched, I wouldn't eat lunch or even leave the classroom in fear that my lunch would've have ended up on the A-Hall floor. But that’s how much I wanted the show to look good. I took great honor in hearing our faculty tell me we were good, that’s what really mattered to me.
Jean Hritz '15, lead editor/producer
MCTV isn't just about the live production--the part most people don't get to see is really the best part of the program. It's really all about the process of creating and sharing stories with the rest of the community.
The number one thing that has helped me in making videos is really knowing my equipment, knowing what its limits and capabilities are so I can best use them to tell my story the way I want it to be told. Another good thing to remember is that simpler is almost always better, you really don't need extravagant titles or fancy transitions to make a good video, you really just need to find the most efficient way to tell your story.
Tomas Tison-Martinez '15, producer/editor -- My understanding of how to work on a timeline and how to enhance my work with graphics has developed to the point where Mr. McKenna has asked me work with other project teams as a consultant. I’m always looking for ways to make our show look better.