Bedford TV classes are back.
Executive Director Katie Duval on Monday welcomed seven middle and high school students to the week-long session on documentary story-telling – the first class since the shutdown that followed the arrival of the global pandemic in mid-March 2020.
Long-time volunteer and retired teacher Ralph Hammond was also on hand, monitoring students’ community service under the Rotary Club of Bedford BRIC (Bedford Rotary Ideas Challenge).
Square one for the documentary sessions was the interview, and the subject of the conversation was Mike Davis, Bedford TV’s production manager. “The interview is the basis of every good documentary, and every good interview starts with a story,” he told the class.
Part of Davis’s story is that he began his local career four days before Covid-19 closed everything down.
Monday’s introductory session primarily consisted of familiarization with the equipment in Bedford TV’s Old Town Hall studio.
Duval explained that the interview itself is the “A roll,” while the “B roll” consists of video and images “that show what your subject is talking about supporting features that help guide the story.”
Editing additions “supports my story and makes it more interesting to the viewer,” she said. Video editing was a focus of a session later in the week.
Duval and Davis set up three cameras used for recording and assigned a two-person team to each, explaining the purpose and showing how to focus, truck, and zoom. There is a transmitter and a receiver built into the camera, she explained.
Davis demonstrated how to properly attach a lavalier microphone to the speaker’s clothing, hiding the wire that connects it to the transmitter, then adjusting it for maximum clarity. “That’s how you see it done on the news,” Duval said.
When everything was in place, Davis explained that the first thing the subject is asked to do is identify herself or himself, stating and spelling first and last name. That is not for the documentary content, but for the text graphic.
With the class stationed at their cameras, Davis began his introduction. On Friday, March 13, 2020, as word of the shutdown spread, “We thought it would be for two weeks,” he said. “Little did we know that wouldn’t be the case.”
On Tuesday, the students interviewed Christopher Payne on Zoom. Payne, a 1999 Bedford High School graduate planning to compete in the Boston Marathon, is running to raise money for the Cam Neely Foundation.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 781-983-1763