What was once a classroom that contained risers and dozens of students at Callaway High School (CHS) has now been transformed into an audio-visual laboratory for students looking to pursue a pathway and future career in the film industry. The staff and administration at the school recently opened the Audio-Visual Film (AV/F) classroom doors to great fanfare.
Zikei Brooks, CHS freshman, was giving tours and taking photos of attendees as they entered the open house event. Brooks, a morning news anchor on the school’s news team, is familiar with being in front of the camera thanks to his culinary skills. He said, “I like to help out in the AV/Film and Broadcasting classes when I can. It’s amazing – from the resources, to the equipment, to the teachers and principals that we have at Callaway that support this program.”
Guests toured the facility that is now equipped with Mac computers and the latest editing, film, and video technology thanks to a $120,000 Career, Technical and Agricultural Education Construction- Related Grant from the Georgia Department of Education. Students who are a part of the program demonstrated a morning news segment and editing techniques to onlookers. In addition, attendees were able to sit behind the news desk and give a weather report from a green-screened background.
DeMarquis Cobb, AV/Film Instructor was proud to see students, parents, board members, business partners, and school officials embrace the idea of updating the lab. “AV/Film is a new wave for students to choose as a career. Georgia is the new capital for filming and the industry is producing a lot of films that have Georgia locations. Right now, they have to reach outside of the state to fill those positions. This pathway gives our students, and the industry, the opportunity to fill those positions with people who are from the area,” stated Cobb.
He added, “When I was in high school, I had keyboarding, marketing, and home economics. I never thought these type of opportunities would exist. Now, our students have the chance to work with state-of- the-art equipment in high school. With what they are able to do here, they can go directly from high school into film.”
Hayleigh Sebaugh is a sophomore at CHS who looks to become a teacher when she completes high school. For now, she is learning about editing in Cobb’s class. “It helps me learn techniques that are really fun and outside of the box. We get to work on individual assignments, but we also work on projects as a team or class. This event today is a good thing because we can show the community what is happening in our school,” she said.
CHS Principal, Jonathan Laney, was showcasing roving camera equipment and sharing classroom expectations with visitors at the open house. He believes in his students and shares that, “It’s amazing what our kids can do. The AV/Film pathway is enormously important because it gives our students reallife experiences that they can go out and immediately apply. They can go to college or tech school and go directly into the industry. I already hear some saying they have decided this is going to be what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. They (students) have been able to make that connection.”
As for Brooks and Sebaugh, they said they will continue to be on the morning news broadcast and enjoy everything the pathway has to offer.