VTV was launched in August 2006 when Viera High School opened its doors the very first day. Located in Brevard County, Florida the facility was designed to teach students all the aspects of shooting, writing, and editing a variety of productions including news, commercials, documentaries, music videos, reality TV, sports, drama, entertainment and talk shows. The station produces a 10-minute daily news show and covers several school and community events. This website is also published by VTV students.
A Day in the Life of a VTV student
A Career in Television?
Have you ever wondered how someone pursues a career in television or film? Does anyone actually go to school to become a TV producer, director, or camera operator? Yes, they do. And until recently only colleges have offered students high-end professional programs in journalism, communications, and TV production. Today, however, students at Viera High School in Viera, FL can get started on an exciting career in communications through the Broadcast TV program. Students enrolled in this program have opportunities available to them that would astound many working in the television industry today.
Instruction by media pro
With over 15 years of full-time experience working in television, video, multimedia, and communications, Viera High Television Production Instructor Elizabeth Sivco teaches students what they need to know to be successful in the world of media. Originally from New Jersey, Mrs. Sivco has garnered awards throughout her career as TV producer and multimedia production manager. Now in her sixth year of teaching TV at Viera High, she has recently been named Central Florida region Journalism Teacher of the Year by the prestigious Florida Scholastic Press Association.
Competition is always tough in this business but Viera High’s students have a serious edge over all others. VTV students learn on pro-level equipment and produce programming for cable TV and web-based productions. Whether students want to continue their education, start their own business, or get a job, those with the willingness to work hard will be prepared for the future.
Exploration is Key
Viera High School offers students the opportunity to explore exciting careers early on in their education in the hopes of sparking an interest that will last a lifetime.
Even if students choose not to pursue a career in television or entertainment, Viera High’s TV production courses aim to develop their appreciation for the industry and its professionals.
Students may be surprised to learn that there are many varied roles in the business of television, video, and film that require all kinds of skills and talents. Not everyone is cut out to be an on-air reporter, and that’s okay. People who are strong in other areas are just as vital — technicians and engineers who are good in math, science, computers; creative types who enjoy camerawork, graphics and 3-D animation; and people who enjoy the business side of the industry such as negotiation, budgeting, and management all have important roles. More than likely, most students can find roles in the industry that suits them well.
Students in this program produce the school’s daily news program, VTV News, and create a variety of commercials, music videos, dramas, and comedies for airing in school and on Bright House Networks TV. Some of our students have even worked for local media outlets producing videos for company websites. That’s real, paid, professional work experience that these students can show prospective colleges or employers even before they leave high school.
The spacious production facility is equipped with 25 edit workstations, all with Avid Media Composer; the same software used by professional broadcast stations and high-end production companies in the nation. Students also learn how to shoot on-location using state-of-the-art professional HD cameras, audio gear and lighting equipment. The large production studio is equipped with professional sets and green screen capabilities for live special effects. In year three of the program student have the opportunity to become Avid certified users as video editors. With colleges seeking qualified, talented students for admissions and scholarships, certification could be the edge students need over other candidates.
With all this amazing equipment within reach, students are limited only by their imaginations. Regardless of the career they ultimately choose, students learn key skills that will help them in any job.
While most students enjoy the Broadcast TV classes at Viera High, they are not for everyone. Students considering the courses should like working with all kinds of other people and shooting after school and weekend events outside of class. The ideal students enjoy writing, editing, and shooting video. Meeting deadlines is also a big part of a student’s success in this program. For many students, the Broadcast TV program has definitely sparked an interest that will last a lifetime.
The Viera High School production facility features a studio and control room for live productions, as well as a classroom lab with Avid non-linear editing stations. In addition, there are six fully-equipped edit suites with dual monitors. Students also have access to a complete array of professional-quality field cameras, microphones, and lighting kits typically used by local and national camera crews. Classes also cover web publishing, special effects, and recording live events with multiple cameras.
VTV Students Excel at State Competition
For the last four years now, Broadcast TV students at Viera High have brought home THE biggest and MOST coveted awards at the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) convention, the top journalism competition in the state. In 2010, VTV entered in seven categories and won five of them. VTV’s David Sotelo even took home first place in Video Photojournalism, one of the most competitive on-the-spot contests at FSPA.
Here’s how Viera High TV performed in 2011:
- Second Place – Commercial Production: Kyle Post
- Second Place – Cinema Editing: David Sotelo
- Third place - Sunshine State Standout: VieraHighTV.com website
- Honorable Mention – Anchor: Heather Pituch
Here’s how Viera High TV performed in 2010:
- First Place – Video Photojournalism: David Sotelo
- Second Place – Commercial: Trevor DeSaussure
- Third Place – Cinema Editing: David Sotelo
- Third Place – Photography: Joseph Elliott
- Honorable Mention – On-Air Talent: Heather Pituch (first-year student!)
At the 2009 competition, VTV students won the most broadcast TV awards at the FSPA convention in the state, garnering six awards out of the eight categories entered.
Each year, only 20 top VTV students are selected to attend the three-day competition. Students enter in the “carry-in contests” where the productions are pre-produced at school and handed in at the convention, as well as “on-the-spot contests” where schools bring their own cameras, audio and editing equipment to the convention. Students love the FSPA contests because they are exciting and give them a good idea of what life is like for most professional journalists. Students receive their assignments just minutes before the contest begins and then they must shoot, write, and edit their video packages before the deadline.
The FSPA convention also hosts professional workshops over the course of three days so the students get to network and meet journalists working in the industry. FSPA maintains its office at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville. To learn more about FSPA, visit http://www.jou.ufl.edu/fspa/about/.