Even though Brainerd High School junior Hannah Burchill says her advanced television production class is chaos, she loves every minute of it.
Burchill, who has played numerous roles with advanced television production this year, was named this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week. Dave Henschke, television production teacher who nominated Burchill, said she is a class leader who is usually the first to arrive in the studio each day and quite often the last to leave.
"She is quick to volunteer and/or sign up for various jobs and assignments that go into our various productions," he said. "Hannah recently took on the role of producer of the Warrior Update and did an outstanding job."
Burchill said being the producer of the Warrior Update is a hard job, mainly because of the stress she puts upon herself.
"It's your baby," she said of her role as producer. "You want things to go well. You feel so responsible for it."
As a producer, Burchill's responsibility was to oversee the whole news production for the Warrior Update. Responsibilities included making sure everyone made deadlines for the news packages and making sure the directors knew their duties, such as where the cameras should be located on the set.
"It's a motherly thing," Burchill said of being a producer.
Burchill said things went well when she was producer and she'd like to play the role again.
"It's nice to have a little power," she said. "It was fun."
Burchill joined television productions this year because she wanted to help with the Warrior Update. The Warrior Update is the school's newscast that airs every Friday morning for 15 minutes.
Art focus: Advanced television production
Art activities: Speech, Knowledge Bowl, drama and basic design (visual art)
Favorite subjects: Advanced placement literature and composition
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Being an alternate at the speech sections in 10th grade
Artist most admired: John C. Reilly
Favorite movie: "Magnolia"
Favorite TV program: "Saturday Night Live"
Favorite song: "Company Calls Epilogue"
Parents: Steve and Patti Burchill of Brainerd
Burchill also joined because she wanted to be part of a fun group. She said there are many people in the class with different personalities and social cliques who work together as a team to accomplish the same deadlines.
"This is the highlight of my day," said Burchill. "I'm definitely going to take the class next year."
One of the numerous roles Burchill has played in advanced television productions is the talent. She said the talent, or the anchor, is one of the easier roles because she just has to sit and read.
Being the technical director is also an easy job. However, she said she is not very good at it. She said one time she was supposed to hit the button that would run the news story for the next segment. She hit the right button, but then accidentally hit another button that aired the studio, not the news package.
"Mr. Henschke hit the right button and saved me," she said. "I'm not very good with a crisis."
The role of editing news packages is one of Burchill's favorite things to do. She said it is neat to see the final product after working on the interviews and shooting the necessary footage. Burchill said she works harder on the news packages because she knows the whole school will be seeing them on TV.
Burchill always makes her deadlines when writing stories. She said if she didn't make the deadline, it would set everything back and make all the students in the class scramble to fill in the missing pieces.
The deadline for the Warrior Update is Thursday night. Burchill said there are more students at the studio finishing their assignments Thursdays.
Churchill usually comes to class at 7:50 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and at 8 a.m. Thursday and Friday. She usually works on advanced television production assignments after school until 4:30 p.m. and on Thursdays she'll stay until 5 p.m.
"It's a big commitment," she said. "A lot of people think this class is so easy, but it's not. You can't just do it in one hour (during class). You need to put in the extra time. They (other students) don't see all the extra hard time we put in."
Mondays, the students brainstorm four story ideas for the Warrior Update that they can begin to work on. Wednesdays, they need eight more stories that require written work only.
The news package Burchill is most proud of is the story about the high school walkout. About 100 students protested for and against the war in Iraq during the school day.
Burchill said about five students covered the protest for advanced television productions.
"Everyone got together and it turned out good," said Burchill on the news coverage. "(It also was good because) we did something that was actually newsworthy."
Besides the Warrior Update, students in advanced television production do the programming for Channel 15, the daily morning announcements at the high school, and Mondays produce a live show to talk about school activities and to release public service announcements.
Burchill said she never knew how stressful live television could be until one experience during a shoot. She said the person who was going to be on television for an interview was three minutes late and the studio was chaotic.
"We really had to shuffle things around," she said.
Being in the class this year has taught Burchill how to work as a team. She said it also has taught her to watch the newscasts on television with more appreciation.
Burchill said one thing she needs to work on is holding the camera steady. She said right now she has to rely on the tripod.
After high school, Burchill would like to go to college to major in journalism, history or advertising. She definitely enjoys writing.
"It is a good way of releasing (stress)," she said. "I always have wanted to take someone's story and make it public.
"I'd like to do it at a television studio, but I would be satisfied at a newspaper."
Jackie Lentz, junior, Symphonic Band: Lentz has been a member of Symphonic Band for two years. She received a superior rating at the solo and ensemble contest when she played the flute.
Andrew Kubas, eighth-grader, speech: Kubas placed third in extemporaneous speaking at the Central Lakes Conference Speech Tournament recently. "He has consistently been an award winner at varsity speech tournaments throughout this speech season," said Kubas' speech adviser.
Natalie Vasquez, senior, art: Vasquez's art adviser said, "Natalie has taken a number of art classes throughout her high school career. She works hard to meet criteria and deadlines and always manages to do so with quality artwork. Natalie is a fast and efficient problem solver who consistently produces creative solutions to the problems posed for various art projects."
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