Students Tap Telestream Wirecast to Create 'Unleashed' Daily News

NEVADA CITY, CALIF.–Students in the broadcast media program at Whitney High School arrive every day at 7 a.m. to prepare “Unleashed,” a 15-minute daily newscast featuring news, sports and lifestyle segments. Using Telestream’s Wirecast live video streaming production software, “Unleashed” is prerecorded by 9:07 a.m., in time for the students to leave for their first period class. The award-winning program has expanded into a community television station, branded as WCTV19, which is watched on the school’s TV channel, two local cable channels and the school’s social media outlets.

“This program is designed to teach [students] broadcast journalism skills and then apply those skills to actually producing all of the features and content that we need to make “Unleashed” a professional looking newscast,” explained Ben Barnholdt, teacher/director of the Broadcast Media Program. Barnholdt said his students can put a show together in 40 minutes because Wirecast is user-friendly and fairly automated with presets. 

During the production, a student crew runs the cameras and teleprompters in the studio. In the control room a separate student crew handles the technical execution of the show. While Wirecast integrates the functionality of a video production switcher, Barnholdt has one student switching the four camera feeds using a third-party production switcher. Then that switcher’s output flows in real time into Wirecast where the show’s finishing touches are added.

Students can capture on-screen graphics and video clips from their social media sites using ScreenFlow from Telestream. These assets are moved into Wirecast, which keys them into the bluescreen background on-set. Data displays, such as weather and sports graphics, are created on separate laptops using Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator. For each daily show students update key data, such as temperatures and scores, without having to recreate graphics from scratch.

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Another student uses NewBlue Graphics software on a separate laptop to animate those static graphics and make the show more visually dynamic. Once the graphics are ready to go, they’re transferred over an NDI video over IP network and saved on the Wirecast laptop for playout during production.

Through a Go Fund Me campaign and a technology grant, the media program recently acquired a 25-foot broadcast production trailer pulled by a pickup truck for remote live-streamed shows. The broadcast trailer uses the same Wirecast-driven workflow that is used in the studio control room.