Brainerd High School seniors Andrew Christensen and Rusty Caughey have had their share of deadlines and stress.
And they love every minute of it.
The two seniors were named this week's Fine Arts Students of the Week for their work in advanced television productions. Usually one student is honored for the week, but teacher Dave Henschke said it would have been impossible to choose one without the other.
"They are class leaders and are not afraid to volunteer to help out wherever necessary," he said. "They often work as a team in creating and producing some of the finest graphics that we have ever had in television productions.
Art focus: Advanced television productions
Art activities: Photography, advanced television productions, metal arts and drums
Favorite subjects: Advanced television productions and photography
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Won the Fine Arts Festival for best worship group
Artist most admired: None
Favorite movie: "Super Troopers"
Favorite TV program: "Simpsons"
Favorite song: "I Swear"
Parents: Randy and Connie Christensen of Brainerd
Art focus: Advanced television productions
Art activities: Video productions, metal arts, drums and guitar
Favorite subjects: Video productions and advanced outdoor adventure
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Video productions final project
Artist most admired: Steven Spielberg
Favorite movie: "Dumb and Dumber"
Favorite TV program: "Seinfeld" and "Friends"
Favorite song: "Bittersweet Symphony"
Parents: Russ and Kathy Caughey of Fort Ripley
"It is fun to watch them discover and become proficient in using the various graphics programs and character generation tools that we have."
Students in television productions do the programming for Channel 15, the Warrior update that is aired Fridays and the daily morning announcements at the high school.
Both seniors have been in the class that is an elective for two semesters. Caughey said he joined the class because he has always been interested in films and movies. Christensen said a lot of his friends were in the class and they told him the class was fun and easy.
"It gets pretty crazy," Christensen said of the class.
Before first hour begins, students in class have to produce the morning announcement. School begins at 8:20 a.m. and the class tapes the announcement at 8:10 a.m.
The class is split in two: One team is in charge of the deadlines for the week and the other team works to learn more about the equipment and help the other team when needed.
Christensen and Caughey, who spend an additional 14 hours a week on their work, are on separate teams and always help each other. They also have sixth hour open and spend the hour in the television production classroom working on the week's deadline.
Christensen said he is mainly in charge of the character generator that creates the graphics, such as titles on the screen and the background. Christensen said he is the only one who knows how to work it.
"I try to train people, but they lose interest," he said.
Caughey works mainly as a technical director. Part of this responsibility is directing the camera people to switch cameras or to change screens.
Christensen said the best part of the class is working with the equipment the school has.
"The cameras are amazing," he said. "We are trusted with a lot of money and that is really cool. ... Whenever I have free time I come in here."
He said the worst aspect is the stress of the deadlines.
Caughey likes seeing the outcome after working hard for the week. He said the worst aspect is when one of the programs goes horribly wrong.
"Many times it is too late (to fix it)," he said. "We tape it live so (if it goes wrong ) we have to deal with it."
The Warrior updates are 14 minutes long. The update is about school and community events, mainly on high school sports and clubs. When the students cover a community event, they try to involve the school in some way with the event.
The class covered the 2002 elections. Caughey said a lot of teamwork was involved. He did a lot of the Photoshop work and the backgrounds for the candidate forums and Christensen transformed the work on screen.
"Elections was hectic," said Christensen. "It turned out, but we had a few glitches."
Best shots came from the election debates, said the two students. They liked the virtual backgrounds and enjoyed creating their own graphics.
Christensen wants to pursue a career in the graphics field. At first he wanted to do independent films, but found out there would be a lot of traveling. He would prefer to do smaller video productions.
Caughey is more into the filming and directing. He plans to take college courses in editing, producing and special effects.
"I want to keep it open so if I like one more than the other I can change," he said.
Besides working as a team in class, the two are also friends. They hang out together after school and both play the drums.
"He plays in a band so I watch him practice a lot," said Caughey.
Adam Dobson, junior, Symphonic Band: Dobson is a two-year member of Symphonic Band. He received a superior rating at the solo and ensemble contest and is a trumpet section leader.
Alissa Ritchie, senior, A Cappella Choir: Ritchie is a two-year member of a cappella choir; a one-year member of concert chorale; a member of Windfall and the Smith Sisters; the alto section leader with a cappella choir; and she received a superior rating at 8AA solo and ensemble contest.
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