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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Learning by doing

Broadcast instructor Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and student Tim Finn work in the broadcast studio. (Chris Corbin/The Inquirer 2010)

Tucked away in the DVC engineering building, a mini broadcasting studio is filled with cameras, props and other equipment.

Downstairs, about 30 students scramble to make set backgrounds, test the cameras and double check that the sound is functional.

Two girls tape paper to the wall to create a background against which the guests and hosts will stand.

Three cameras face the stage, ready for the action to begin, and monitors in the corner display images of what appears on the cameras.

Upstairs in the control room, students attend to the technical aspects.

An hour later, filming of DVC’s variety show, “The Cave,” is underway.

“It’s kind of like a job,” Nicholas Jefferies, 20, said later. “Everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing.”

The class is a combination of three classes – beginner, intermediate and advanced – that meet together.

“Advanced students pretty much become the teachers to the beginners,” Jefferies said. Students can take the class up to three times in order to move up to the advanced level.

“In the beginning, I recommend the new students shadow the advanced,” said instructor Kristy Guevara-Flanagan. “It’s pretty hard. If you don’t do well, you probably won’t take [the class] again.”

From the control room upstairs to the “live room” downstairs, jobs are assigned for each project and alternated so students get a taste of different roles during a production.

So far, students have made a public service announcement and the variety show.

The latter included such guests as a fire-spinner and a snowboarder.

“[This was the] first project where everyone has come together,” Jefferies said.

Guevara-Flanagan said, “Students learn a lot. It’s a pretty jam-packed class.”

The first full-time instructor for the class in the past eight years, Guevara-Flanagan has produced several documentaries and short films, including “Going on 13,” which aired on PBS.

She is currently working on a documentary about Hurricane Katrina, titled, “A Village called Versailles,” and a documentary about female superheroes called, “The History of the Universe as told by Wonder Woman.”

“She brings energy,” said program chair Ken White of Guevara-Flanagan, “She has a lot of focus and plans.”

“That’s hard to do with the part timers, who come and go.”

The next scheduled project for the students is a news broadcast.

“Get to know us because we might be famous one day,” said Kat Ranillo, 19.

Contact Julie George at [email protected]

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Learning by doing