Brainerd High School junior Cameron Pedersen doesn't like to watch TV. He's into being behind the scenes of a TV program.
Pedersen works on "Warrior Update," the high school's TV newscast that runs every Friday and is produced by the advanced TV production class.
Pedersen's main role with the TV program is editing news packages and playing the director or producer roles.
Dave Henschke, advanced TV production adviser, nominated Pedersen as this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week. Henschke said, "Cameron is a producer, a director as well as a class leader. He's extremely creative, hard working and he puts in extra time and effort."
Brainerd High School junior Cameron Pedersen relaxed recently in his advanced TV production class in the high school TV studio.
Following is a question-and-answer session with Pedersen, who has been in TV productions since his sophomore year.
What interested you in TV productions?
"I was more into the electronic side. I like to take things apart. I also was in Web design and that made me more interested in the whole aspect of TV productions."
Was it hard to learn how to use the equipment in the studio?
"I picked up on it pretty quickly. I spent a lot of time with it and I like to do that sort of stuff. My dad worked for Microsoft and he's a computer programmer."
What aspect of TV productions do you enjoy most?
"I like editing projects. I like the feeling you get when you finish a package and people say they like it."
What type of packages have you done?
Art focus: Advanced TV production.
Art activities: Knowledge Bowl and independent study for TV.
Artist most admired: Leonardo da Vinci.
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Making the "Warrior Update" every week.
Favorite TV program: "Warrior Update."
Favorite movie: Independent films.
Favorite song: "Invisible" by Fischerspooner.
Favorite food: Shrimp stir-fry.
Parents: Shannon and Pete Pedersen of Baxter.
"We've done a lot on the referendum and the activity cuts at the school. We've done three and I worked on all of them. We did a really good job on showing both sides of the issue and getting the kids to realize what's going on.
"We have a larger class this semester so we have four and five students working on one package - two doing interviews, two doing video and another person edits it. That's what I normally do."
Do you mainly take the director and producer jobs?
"Yes, I usually pick them because I enjoy them. The producer usually works all week up until Friday and then the director is in charge of the show Friday. The producer can still help if the director needs it.
"I've played most of the jobs, except audio."
Which job do you like most - producer or director?
"The producer because you do everything before the newscast and then sit back on Friday. The producer checks on all the packages and keeps the students motivated to get their stuff in on time."
How do you keep them motivated?
"I just talk to them and make sure they're doing their job. Everyone in class is really good about making deadlines because they're really into the class and they like it. We do some pretty quality stuff."
Where do you get your creativity?
"I try to make things look different, unlike anything else that's been done before. The ideas just flow when I'm editing. I spend a few hours editing and something good comes out of it. I'm not sure where I get my creativity. It could be inspired by watching skateboarding videos."
Are you a class leader?
"I hope so. I do my thing to make the best program I can and I get what I can from them. People will ask me questions and I try to teach them what I can. I don't try to be a leader. I do my own thing and if someone likes it, that's cool."
Talk about your work ethic.
"This is something I want to do after high school so I put in as much time as I can into it. I work on it during class, after school on Thursdays and in my independent study class."
Where do you want to go to school for TV?
"I'm not sure what college I'll go to. I just want to do something in the TV industry. I'll try to get in somewhere and work my way up. I'd like to do editing work and see where that goes. I'll just go with the flow."
What's your biggest strength in class?
"I'm a hard worker and I know how everything goes together."
What are you working on in independent study?
"I'm working on a music video. The music is from Fischerspooner and it'll come together like a movie. The secret with the film is the plot. I'll incorporate my own style and camera angles into it. This will be my first major movie."
Why do you like independent films?
"Because the films are about what the people want, not what Hollywood wants. The directors and producers in independent films have their own style."
But the Hollywood people are the ones making the money?
"Yeah, but it's not all about the money. It's about expressing an idea."
Sarah Watzky, senior, Fifth Street Journal: Fifth Street Journal adviser said, "Sarah has been an ambitious new member of the Fifth Street Journal. Her story on the meaning of music in student musicians' lives was nicely developed and she is willing to help whenever and wherever needed."
Trevor Ericksen, junior, drama: The drama adviser said, "Trevor had roles in two shows now. He brings comic moments and a fun energy to every rehearsal. Plus, he's a hard worker and someone dedicated to creating excellent productions."
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@ brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.
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