The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 2, 2012

Pymatuning Valley multimedia class seniors to present final video projects

Star Beacon

ANDOVER — On May 17, seniors in the multimedia class at Pymatuning Valley High School will show their final projects to the community beginning 6 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Performing Arts Center. Admission is free and anyone is allowed to attend. This year, 10 seniors have been grouped together to form four groups, and each group will show their own video.

The multimedia class at Pymatuning Valley High School is a program provided to the school through Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus. In the class, students learn a wide variety of skills in the area of electronics over the two years they take the class. Their final projects give them a chance to put to work everything they have learned from the class, and combine their skills and imaginations to create one last video before they graduate. The students put an enormous amount of work into the videos; even a video less than 10 minutes long sometimes takes weeks to perfect. This final project is a great opportunity for the students. They have the chance to use the (very expensive) technology that A-Tech provides. Most students studying in multimedia would never have the opportunity to work on a project of this magnitude and with the technology until college.

The group of Richard Slusher, A.J. Lynagh and Alan Fink are working together on their video, named “’Stan.” “’Stan” is the sequel to the group’s junior final project, “’Nam.” In “’Nam,” a soldier is sent to Vietnam to perform various tasks, and is pronounced dead as 9-11 occurs. In “’Stan,” the story is continued as the soldier’s son is sent to Afghanistan.

“Right now, we think the video’s going to be very good, because we continue the story of “’Nam’s” main character through the introduction of this new character,” said Slusher.

Shana Darby, Zane Feydo and Doug Smith have produced a video showing “A Day in the Life of a PV Student.” The group regularly pulls aside students in the halls or in classes to ask them different questions.

“My biggest worry is that we will have to cut some footage out because of time limits. I don’t want it to drag on,” Darby said.

What’s so special about this project is that a QR code will be put in this year’s yearbook that will link to their video. A QR code, or Quick Response Code, can be scanned by smart phones to quickly direct the user to a website, video, picture or a multitude of other things. The QR code placed in the yearbook will link to this video, the recently filmed mock crash video and videos about longtime English teacher Chris Pruitt’s retirement.

Damien Cordwell and Nathan Sabol took a new approach to their final project. Their video is about two super troopers attempting to destroy an enemy base before the enemies can strike their country. However, instead of filming their project with actors and video cameras, the two instead are creating their video based on the video game Halo Reach. The two first play out the scene they want to create using their Xbox. They save this part, then plan out their shot. The game has a special feature, called Theater Mode, that allows for a free-roaming camera to film what they have already played out from different angles. They use this feature, and during editing, voice-over the footage to create their own unique story line.

Cordwell said, “It’s turning out much better than we hoped. We thought the video would be difficult to put together, but it’s turning out to be simpler than we thought.”

Austin Lynch and Cody Turner also continue the story of previous videos they have done with their final project, “Survivor's Revenge.” Austin, a survivor from a show called “Not Survivor Man,” tries to get revenge on the hosts, Cody and Curtis. He hires a hit man, Mike, not knowing Mike is friends with Cody. In former videos, Austin had participated in “Not Survivor Man,” a show that no one is supposed to survive from. Austin, however, escapes.

“I feel like it’s a good experience for someone going into the media job field,” Lynch said.

With such varying topics, and such different approaches, the 2012 Multimedia Showcase looks to be impressive and very entertaining.