JCTV film festival honors students’ focus

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Two years ago, a class where you can learn the ins and outs of broadcasting and filmmaking was added to the elective list. Broadcast journalism doesn’t just intrigue aspiring sports broadcasters, but also producers, editors, artists, and anyone interested in learning what goes on behind or in front of the camera. This month, the second annual FOCUS Film Festival honored the great effort and dedication of the JCTV students that have been working on an 8-10 minute documentary since the end of fall.

“Right after the fall sports season which is packed for us, during that time they get to learn some of the skills like editing, using Photoshop, making graphics,” Mr. Powers said. “Then after that we start the process of coming up with a concept, storyboarding, coming up with a longer description of the film, of what you hope it to be, and then they start shooting it.”

When making a short film there are just as many, if not more, pieces to consider, compared to a live broadcast. They are completely different productions.

“Documentaries give students exposure to students for a different broadcast format, rather than live productions, which are a very different thing because whatever happens on air happens,” Mr. Huseby said. “Whereas with the documentary you spend time thinking about little things like ‘how do I transition between shots, what are my shots going to look like, what’s your setup, storyline, introduction, and conclusion, and how does that play out for the audience.”

Two of the documentaries this year go in depth with high school athletes that maybe don’t get as much recognition.

“Our documentary is about the Jesuit Ski team,” senior Caroline Banker said. “We wanted to highlight how hard they work because sometimes they don’t get enough credit since a lot of people are not there to see the races. We wanted to showcase all their dedication but also show how close knit of a team they are.”

A goal of the festival is to show people that even if your short film focuses in on a certain sport, a storyline is still essential in making it appealing for the audience.

“I think it’s important to recognize that JCTV does so many different projects and it’s not just about sports and broadcasting,” Banker said. “It’s also about being artistic and making a documentary that tells a story that’s more than just a play by play of a game. Even though that’s still exciting, it’s just a different way of expressing our work.”

A main factor to keep in mind is figuring out an effective way to connect with audiences.

“This becomes more of way to giving them a little bit more space to do some technical things but then piece together a story that hopefully is compelling, or at least interesting and worth watching,” Mr. Powers said.

Another documentary that premiered at the festival recognizes the lives of students that participate in non-Jesuit sports.

“Our documentary is about some of the high school athletes that don’t participate in Jesuit sports,” senior Chris Burpee said. “So we focused on Louis Kallgren and Gennie Klein who are rowers, and the process of high school rowers competing at the next level because they’re both going to row in college.”

Burpee and senior Garrett Peterson got the chance to go on site and film the rowers in action.

“We figured it would be fun to go down and film them and be on the water,” Peterson said.

JCTV offers a superb program for those interested in pursuing film and broadcasting as a career.

“After doing this if we would want to be in maybe a college broadcasting club this would make it super easy to do that,” Peterson said.

Even for students not interested or unsure of their future career path, the class still provides an outlet for their creativity.

“Even if I don’t want to pursue broadcast journalism it has opened my mind to the creativity that we have at our fingertips and how much we can accomplish,” Burpee said. “Three months ago if you would have asked me to make a documentary I probably would not have been able to, but it’s definitely taught me the required work, as well as the fun and creativity that go along with that.”

Documentaries are available to watch at www.jesuitnews.com