In the fall of 2014, The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach launched a new educational initiative, to teach digital arts to its students through a video production studio.
Rob Danley, TKA’s IT Director, had pushed for the studio for several years, arguing that media has such a huge influence on our society that students need to become fluent in its use, interpretation and production.
At Studio 70, students learn all aspects of filmmaking, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, camera work, direction, acting, editing and graphic arts. They produce a news report shown on the school’s signage network and on computers and mobile devices via the school’s enterprise network. It airs every fourth Friday, and it includes live reporting plus recorded interviews and feature stories about the school and the community. “They work all month planning, writing, shooting and editing,” Danley says. “They do everything: reporting, anchoring, working the camera. It’s been a very nice experience.”
“We offer three classes,” he adds, “but there’s also a Broadcast Crew, or club, that handles our football games and other TKA events.”
In addition, TKA’s Director of Marketing, Shelby Kimpel, uses the studio to produce promotional videos for the school, including its athletic and drama programs, and local businesses regularly rent the facility for their own productions. “We have had a lot of corporate training videos shot here,” Danley says.
Studio 70 was the first project Think Simple worked on for TKA. The firm designed and installed all of the technology in the studio, control room and editing suite plus the campus-wide digital signage network used to broadcast the programming.
The studio includes:
- Three BlackMagic 4K studio cameras, each with a teleprompter
- Seven PrimeTime Lighting fluorescent studio fixtures
- Four Shure wireless microphone kits
- A custom-built anchor desk with a 55” flat panel on its face that students can use to show logos and other images appropriate for a particular story.
- Chroma key green on three walls
An adjoining control room includes a:
- BlackMagic 4K video switcher
- BlackMagic HyperDeck Studio Pro digital media recorder
- BlackMagic waveform monitor and sync generator
- Datavideo character generator
- Leviton DMX lighting console
- Behringer 24-channel audio mixing console
- Behringer studio monitor loudspeakers
- JVC Blu-ray burner
There is also a:
- Separate editing room with 14 Macintosh workstations equipped with Adobe Creative Suite
- Portable setup with three Sony HD field cameras that students can take out for location shoots
The experience of working in the digital arts program, Danley says, has been very valuable for the students. “Some of our kids love it and will definitely do it for a living,” he adds. One graduate has already started her own production company.
“Here at The King’s Academy we are dedicated to excellence,” says one student. “I am excited to be part of this new digital arts department.”