COVID-19 has put a hold on quite a few things at Athens Academy. However, the advanced media production (AMP) team has been able to use these times to grow as a class and produce weekly videos for the Upper School students in an effort to keep everyone connected.
Zach Daniels, executive media specialist, is a current senior at Athens Academy and has been hard at work with the other members of his team to assemble the videos for Monday mornings.
“It’s week by week, we figure out what is relevant, what is not. It is really dependent on what we hear from administration in terms of announcements and what current events at Athens Academy are,” Daniels said.
Before AMP began working on the Monday morning videos, most of their time went into their webcasts for sports. Unfortunately, with no sports to webcast at school, they had to find another way to still be productive during this time. From there sprung the idea of weekly Monday videos, which give AMP students a new platform to showcase their talent and what is happening around campus.
Popi Marquez (center-right) and other members of the advanced media production team broadcast a football game during the fall semester. Photo by Mike Callinan.
“Before this quarantine we planned to move into webcasting baseball and soccer, so that was our initial plan. Unfortunately we are not doing that anymore, so this is an outlet for us to help a broader range of our community, not just sports, but the whole student body, faculty, administration, et cetera,” said sophomore Popi Marquez, webcast leader and sports specialist.
Behind the scenes of the Monday morning videos is a ton of hard work from each student in AMP. They find challenges in scheduling, both with their team and other students, as well as in learning how to interview people virtually rather than in person. However, they are slowly adapting and getting better each week.
“Working with every individual schedule, it can be very difficult sometimes, one to have patience with everyone’s schedule, and two to communicate during these troubling times,” Daniels said.
Junior Eliza Everson, editor, hopes that the AMP team will be able to use their knowledge from this year to reach a wider audience in the fall.
“We are always improving and every time we do something it definitely gets better, like the Monday morning meetings have already gotten so much better, so I think that as we go forward we have more knowledge about what works and what doesn’t,” Everson said.
Eliza Everson shows the Upper School how to make brownies. Still from the May 4 edition of Monday Morning Meeting.
Mike Callinan, the teacher for advanced media production, has been with Athens Academy for 23 years and has always been a big advocate for consuming informed media.With students being away from campus, he sees AMP as incredibly important in keeping everyone connected and well informed more so now than ever.
“People need to be aware of media and understand when they are getting good information and the truth and when they may be being misled. This is an important time in history, and I would suggest that when we produce media, we are being educated in receiving good media,” Callinan said.