CEC Broadcast Video program receives PBS donation

The Central Educational Center’s Broadcast Video program is getting a boost thanks to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).

GPB has donated studio set pieces from its Atlanta production studios to CEC’s student videography program. The donations include set walls, windows, doors, and artistic stage pieces that have been used at GPB for various television productions for the past 20 years.

“Set pieces like this don’t really wear out, they just get recycled,” said Michael Britt, the director of CEC’s Broadcast Video program. “Studio pieces are made of wood, styrofoam, fabric, plastic metal… and whatever other material is called for. New paint, new gels, or new fabric may be all it takes to rejuvenate a set piece for a new television show. .. These pieces have a lot of life left in them, and I see them being used for another 15 to 20 years.”

“They are a great addition and benefit to a video production class because students can see how professional set pieces are constructed and used in a real television environment,” said Britt. “It also helps students to see how well something in real life translates to a two-dimensional environment.
Before coming to head up CEC’s video production classes, Britt worked for GPB for 12 years, including as an Emmy-nominated Executive Producer for “Georgia Business.” GPB Production Manager Rosser Shymanski contacted Britt about the surplus sets, who thought the student program would get good use from them.

They will, said Britt. CEC’s Broadcast Video Production I and II classes teaches students basic camera setup and shooting, script writing, storyboarding, basic editing. The second-tier class expands upon those skill sets and adds advanced editing, advanced camera, and lighting. As a part of their class work, students produce airable material such as music videos, videos about a particular class at CEC, and public service announcements.

“In general, we teach students how to tell a story using the medium of video,” said Britt. Britt’s program also partners with Newnan-based digital media company NuLink, among others, and NuLink houses its local production studios on the charter school’s campus.

The GPB donations are the latest boost to the program. CEC was also recently awarded a Georgia Career Academy Project grant of $150,000 to upgrade the school’s video and recording equipment.

“The grant’s purpose is two-fold: to purchase new video equipment and to renovate the classroom into a working television studio,” said Britt. Britt has acquired the video equipment, and is in the process of converting one room at the school into a working television studio, complete with a lighting grid, ceiling mounted lights, a cycling curtain and backdrops. The grant also is being used to upgrade sound and recording equipment for the Dr. Lyn Schenbeck’s Business of the Arts classes at CEC.

The combination of the grants and GPB donations will allow students to produce higher-level video projects, including possible projects done in conjunction with business or community partners.

“These set pieces will be used by a new generation in their production of student videos,” said Britt. “We are receiving such a large donation that we will be able to use them for all kinds of local programs that we intend to pursue with business partners in the local community.”

“For example, we received the set pieces for GPB’s ‘Georgia’s Business.’ We could easily adapt it for a local ‘Coweta Business’ program,” he said.

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