BRUNSWICK, OHIO—The BEAT (Brunswick Educational Access Television) is an award-winning program run almost entirely by middle and high school students. Since 2000, more than 500 students grades 6–12 have written news stories, conducted on-camera interviews, edited, shot, and directed more than 2,000 programs that air on Educational Access Channel 22. In 2011, the students began to take over management of the station.
What started out as primarily a video program—with students working solely behind the camera—has become a training ground to learn about every aspect of production. Our students must be proficient behind the camera, be good storytellers and write/produce stories, and be comfortable in front of the camera. In return, they get real-world experience before they leave high school.
Since The BEAT is sponsor-supported and receives no funds from the city or school district, we work hard to build relationships. That’s why our partnership with The Vitec Group and its brands is so special. In fact, Vitec brand Vinten was one of the companies that helped us get started years ago by donating a tripod—and the donations have kept coming. Our entire studio and all on-location gear came from our relationship with Vinten, and to this day we only use Vinten and Sachtler tripods—seven in total.
The Vinten tripods are a perfect fit for our studio cameras—JVC ProHD 750s with On-Q accessories—because they can handle the extra weight. Meanwhile, we use Sachtler tripods with a variety of cameras for multicamera sports production, concerts, single-camera shoots to gather news and footage, you name it. With Sachtler and Vinten tripods, we have gear that’s very flexible in any location. We can easily drop the tripod down, set up very quickly, and start panning, tilting, and zooming to grab quick camera shots. With lesser equipment, we would have to compensate for the pans, tilts, and movements, something I don’t want our students to have to do. Thanks to Sachtler and Vinten, we’re not only training students to shoot good video, but we’re giving them gear that supports them as they learn.
I’m amazed at how durable the Vinten and Sachtler tripods are—they’ve been through years of use with no breaks. The durability and reliability have really paid off in the form of no repair or replacement costs. Furthermore, knowing how to use and care for high-end, industry-standard equipment looks great on students’ resumes.
We’re drawn to The Vitec Group and look to them first before we purchase any gear. They are tomorrow’s video professionals, after all, and the Vitec Group always has their backs.
John Wasylko is video program advisor for Channel 22, Brunswick Educational Access Television (The BEAT). He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please visit www.vitecgroup.com.