Production Technologies: A Class that Cultivates the Curiosity of Cinephiles

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In the Career and Technical Education wing of West High School, there is an exciting, robust program offered to  students: Anchor Media Productions. In this program, a student has the option of either exploring the field of journalism, or trying their hand at Production Technologies. Production Technologies provides students with an opportunity to learn about camera work as well as the basics of cinematography. This article will take a closer look at Timothy Davis’ Production Technology classes.

Mr. Davis addresses his third hour Production Technology students in his classroom on January 15, 2020.

Davis is experienced in the realm of filming, as he has been teaching Production Technologies for eight years. Davis’ love for filmmaking began in high school, when he saved up money to buy his first video camera. He bought this camera with the intention of making snowboarding highlight videos, but he soon realized how much potential the field of filmmaking possessed. He began to expand his repertoire, making commercials, highlight videos, and even filming weddings in order to pay his way through college.

Davis is a big believer in the financial benefits of making movies, and he is confident in his student’s abilities to reap these benefits. He acknowledges that it really is easier than ever to get into the field, claiming that all students need to be successful is “YouTube and a vision.” Along with the entrepreneurial opportunities associated with filmmaking, Davis also loves the creative license that students are given in this program, because, “[production technologies] gives you a place to come create…everybody needs that outlet,” he says.

Lorena Blackwell is a junior and an advanced student in Davis’ program who is currently taking Production Studios. She was introduced to the world of cinema by watching countless videos on YouTube as a child, and she wanted to learn how to replicate the video techniques she saw. Blackwell is a huge advocate for Production Technologies, as she thinks the class forms “a great community and it’s really fun.”

As an advanced student, Blackwell notes that the progression from her first year to Production Studios is very rewarding. “Production studios is a lot more hands-on, and you’re a lot more in it, and, working with it instead of just learning it,” she says. Taking Blackwell’s perspective into account makes a strong case for a student to continue progressing through the levels of the class.

Levi Butcher, a junior, is another advanced student who has taken Production Technologies for a total of four semesters. Butcher absolutely loves the class, and he plans on taking it both semesters of senior year, as well. He has noticed extreme growth in his filmmaking abilities throughout his years in the class, and he claims that “the more you want to learn, the more you will learn.”

Not only does he enjoy the class itself, but he also really likes having Davis as a teacher. “He’s just a great teacher. He makes it fun and he makes it a good learning experience for everyone,” Butcher says.

Raven Bowie is a freshmen in the entry-level class for production technologies, known as Media and Broadcasting Productions. Bowie entered the class in order to explore the behind-the-scenes aspect of the movies and television shows that she loves so much. Her passion for film developed early in life because of her older sister, and she has many fond memories of watching clips that her sister had spliced together on iMovie. Bowie is happy she made the choice to take Davis’ class.

“I like creating things, and this is a class to create things,” she says. Additionally, she cites the easygoing nature of the class as a reason that she enjoys it so much. Bowie likes that, unlike in her core classes, she can learn a lot without the high levels of stress that normally accompany the learning process.

Production Technologies is an enticing elective choice in which students not only learn about the basics of cinematography and editing, but also have a lot of fun while doing so in the laid-back environment of Davis’ program.

Neil Ludwig studies a camera angle closely in Mr. Davis’ classroom on January 15, 2020.