Students at Tullahoma High School are getting an opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of the film and broadcast industry thanks to THS instructor Aaron Miller.
While Miller is known as the high school’s theatre arts instructor, he is also branching out to educate students in the both the broadcasting arts and most recently, filmmaking.
Behind the Film
The the high school’s first film class was introduced this semester.
According to Miller, the class came about thanks to THS Principal Kathy Rose and a $37,000 grant from the Tullahoma Educational Foundation for Excellence.
“Dean Rose approached me about it,” Miller said. “Offered annually, you submit a proposal. Once submitted, they loved the idea of the proposal and awarded our program $37,000. The grant allowed us to purchase a lot of the equipment for the class. There was also an opening in my schedule and I proposed a film making class. We had all this gear, it just seemed right to have a class.”
Miller said the class was a perfect fit with the school’s media arts program.
“To me it all fits into the storytelling thing. Theater is storytelling, broadcast journalism is nonfiction storytelling and so teaching filmmaking just seemed like a really fun thing to do,” he said.
The class teaches students how to storyboard, do scene analysis and scriptwriting.
“There is also some on-camera acting, but I didn’t want that to be the emphasis as that can sometimes scare students,” Miller said.
“They aren’t sure or comfortable about acting on camera. They’re also going to learn documentary filmmaking and how to use the camera along with all the other equipment we have at our disposal. Our goal by the end of the semester is to make a 10-minute film.”
Miller added that in an age when shooting a video is an instant process thanks to smartphones, it’s important to educate students on the importance and skill behind making a film.
“This is what these students live in,” he said. “Right now, they are the first generation that can literally go home right now, shoot a video, put
it up on YouTube and become famous,” he said. “While that’s not what I’m trying to promote, we still have to realize this is the culture they live in, so why not teach them the right way to approach it.”
The art of broadcasting
Along with learning about the film industry, students are also getting to dive into the world of broadcasting.
Miller has been teaching the broadcasting class for the past couple of years and said the class has grown both in terms of the number of students and their technological abilities.
“We have a media studio where we broadcast our TTV every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” he said. “We have green screens, studio cameras, tripods and special software that we can also use for the film class to present quality video content. The show is aired on YouTube and students, parents and the whole community can watch it. We’d love for the community to watch it.”
Like a kid in a technological candy shop, Miller said he has enjoyed learning more about the film and broadcast world with his students.
“I knew a little bit, but I love to learn,” he said. “So I’ve been learning along with the kids. I know enough about most of the equipment to be dangerous, but it’s been fun learning even more. I’m so glad that Mrs. Rose allowed us to branch out. Everything was packed into the media arts class. Now that we have these different classes, we are able to focus more on different things, such as a news package and what all goes into one.”
Miller added that classes such as these are beneficial not only because students live in a society where one can broadcast or film anything at any time, but also to help them in the future.
“I love it,” he said. “I think nowadays for a high school student to be able to say, ‘I know how to work a tri-caster, I can step a camera and I can do three-point lighting and I also know to mic somebody.’ These are skills that they can go get an internship and a job with.”
For more on T-TV, visit online at http://www.tullahomahighschool.net or on YouTube under Tullahoma-TV.