Spartan TV crew on the Rock

Spartan TV photo Evan McBride does an on-camera segment with Devon Strong on the main camera and Ben Ford on the second camera during their time at the recent MusicNL festival.

ST. STEPHEN – A crew from Spartan TV at St. Stephen High School (SSHS) embarked on its longest trip to work on its biggest project yet.

The three-person crew and their teacher, Scott Legge, spent a week in Newfoundland and Labrador covering the MusicNL festival for an episode of their Atlantic Spotlight series.

Evan McBride and Devon Strong spoke with The Courier about their experience. Ben Ford was the third student on the crew and not able to join the discussion.

Both Evan and Devon were students at St. Stephen Middle School when Legge was a teacher there and were involved in his Badger TV crew. When they went to high school and got into Grade 10, they joined the Spartan TV crew.

Evan likes the experience of working with Spartan TV because of the skills it helps him develop that may be useful in future. His goal is to work in physics or astrophysics and the soft skills he is developing working with Spartan TV will be helpful as he progresses in his scholastic and professional careers.

Confidence and being able to speak with important people are two that he cited specifically. He also noted that one of the bigger things he has learned is that if he wants something, he needs to work to make it happen.

“I need to seek out anything I want. If I want to do it I need to get it done myself. I can’t sit around and wait,” Evan explained.

Devon appreciates the more flexible aspects of working with Spartan TV and that the possibilities of what he can do with the program are nearly limitless.

“With personal interest (classes), we can learn what we want to learn and it’s awesome to have that freedom,” Devon noted.

Problem-solving skills is another area that Devon mentioned he has been able to improve upon with his work in the program. Having to work and be ready in an instant means there are going to be things that go wrong and he has developed the skills to be able to deal with these as they happen; adjust and move forward.

Devon is the primary editor for the crew and this year another student has come in to help with the editing. Devon has been responsible for teaching the new team member and acknowledges that his ability to teach and transfer knowledge to others has improved as a result of the work he’s doing with his new colleague.

The crew did a lot of advance planning so they could make the most of the time they had at the MusicNL festival. They established a storyline and scripting so they could get the video sequences they needed and be able to assemble those in editing to tell a complete and cohesive story of the festival.

Devon said that, for his work, having the general idea for the flow of the story in advance makes his job much easier.

“We’ve done an episode or two where we didn’t have that groundwork and it made things a lot more difficult when it came to the editing,” he said with a chuckle.

Both students emphasized the fact that the productions are a team effort. Changes to the original storyline are discussed and decisions made by the crew working together.

Being able to embed with the festival and the artists for an entire week allowed the crew to go deeper in their storytelling than they have in the past. They had the chance to have in-depth discussions with artists about how the artists create music and develop their art.

“How they came up with their lyrics and you could ask personal questions and we got interviews with them. We got an in-depth look at how they come up with their music, the production and tours,” said Evan.

The crew was also interviewed by CBC Radio to talk about their work.

Neither student sees staying in media as a career objective. Both appreciate that the soft skills they’re developing will be important in whatever career choices they make in the future.