Career Ready Lancaster video project puts students in the director’s chair and behind the camera
Thursday, May 4th, 2023
A video production doesn’t just start when the camera is turned on, or end when filming concludes.
A group of PCA&D students has had the opportunity this semester to experience the full range of a production — from storyboarding to editing — creating four videos highlighting local businesses as part of a project for Career Ready Lancaster and the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board.
“We’re going to four companies to capture ‘How Cool Is That,’ promoting and showcasing industry clusters in the area and the job potential for high school students,” says Justin Phillips, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. “It’s geared to be shared on different platforms to inspire young people.”
On a recent Spring day, students Hannah Aust and Leona Hatch were tasked with interviewing Sheldon Horst, the second-generation leader of Premier Custom-Built Cabinetry, and capturing behind-the-scenes footage in the high-end manufacturer’s workshop.
With Aust ’24 acting as interviewer and Hatch ’25 behind the camera, the two Photography & Video majors conferred with PCA&D instructor Gregory Timmons on the best angles and discussed how to capture everything that will be needed for a finished video.
“My main role for this video internship is to create a scenario for students that seeks to mimic larger-tier professional video projects,” Timmons says. “The idea is to rotate students between differing roles to build their confidence in a wide array of positions, while bridging technical knowledge gaps that may exist.”
That means, Timmons continues, that students who signed up for the video internship were refining their skills “in scriptwriting, storyboarding, pre-production, call-sheet creation, location scouting, basic cinematography, continuous video lighting, capturing digital video media, video editing, animation creation, client management, and more.”
For her part, Hatch learned about the video internship through the College’s weekly Student Opportunities newsletter. “I saw that this was in my field as well as something that I would be interested in learning more about. I also was looking forward to the hands-on experience that I would gain from being in the field gathering footage for videos.”
So far, she says, the experience has been one of quick learning and deep discovery.
“I’ve learned that there’s a lot more that goes into three- or four-minute videos than what I originally thought,” Hatch says. “I have also learned more about audio systems for the camera and multiple microphones. Another important part that I have learned is more editing styles and techniques in Premiere Pro. I feel as though I still have so much more to learn in the near future and I’m very excited and ready for that.”
Aust says that she’s “learned a lot about what goes into the whole process of creating a video that is only three to four minutes: how to set up a professional lighting situation, handle a gimbal and think on my feet during filming. I have also expanded my knowledge of editing tools like Premiere Pro.”
That wide variety of new experience, Timmons says, is partly the result of a project that’s required heading into the community and documenting four very different businesses and non-profit organizations. The other three “How Cool Is That” projects being tackled by the PCA&D crew include Major Mega, a virtual reality media company; produce wholesaler Four Seasons; and CWS, an organization that works with refugees.
Along with Aust and Hatch, the “How Cool Is That” team includes James Echevarria ’26, Illustration; Megan Einolf ’25, Fine Art; Alisdair MacKenzie ’25, Graphic Design; Rachel Sinclair ’23, Animation & Game Art; Vivian Tu ’23, Graphic Design; and Ashley Vazquez ’25, Live Experience Design & Production.
Top photo: Instructor Gregory Timmons assists Leona Hatch and Hannah Aust with setting up a camera shot at Premier Custom-Built Cabinetry.