Education feature — PHS media arts class gains students

By Lillian Bowe

Franklin Smith, center, teaches media students how to use programs that edit video and sound. The class also does live stream videos.

Franklin Smith, center, teaches media students how to use programs that edit video and sound. The class also does live stream videos.

PNT staff writer

lbowe@pntonline.com

Curtis Utly started last year as the “new guy” at Portales High School. Taking the media arts class that is offered at the school, Utly learned video editing while working within a group.

“Everyone was really friendly and I made new friends because of this class,” Utly said who is now a sophomore.

The media arts class, taught by Franklin Smith, is in its third year of existence. It is open to all high school students.

Smith said the class started with eight students and now has 60.

Smith teaches his students how to shoot and edit videos, and they later use those skill to do projects he assigns.

This year the class received a $99,317 grant to buy new equipment and to update computers. Smith said the class with also be partnering with Eastern New Mexico University next year to allow PHS students to courses in media arts from the college.

The project the students are currently working on is 30-second Super Bowl commercials.

Smith said he told them how much Super Bowl commercial spots cost and therefore how much it takes to captivate an audience for 30 seconds.

The students are tasked with writing the script, filming the commercial and then editing it all together with sound effects or anything else they want to use.

“The class is a lot of group work and is very freeform. I tell them what I expect out of each project and I let them work,” Smith said.

Smith gives them about three weeks to work on a project, and at the end the class has a viewing party. The class is tasked with watching all the projects and then they must critique them constructively.

“One of the unexpected skills the students learn in this class is time management. They have to use the time they have in class to plan the project, film the project and then edit,” Smith said.

The students will also be doing a superhero project after the commercials, which they have to develop their own characters and plotline with superheroes.

The class also does live stream videos of basketball games and will also being doing a live stream of the graduation this year.

“It is a lot of fun and I now know how to film movies,” said Tristan Tucker, a sophomore.

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