New Camp COFAC class helps high school students produce videos
Why simply watch videos when you can produce them? Camp
COFAC at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point gave teenagers professional
experience doing that.
College of Fine Arts and Communication faculty members typically
welcome high school art and music enthusiasts to a week of learning and
experiencing college life. This year for the first time, they also welcomed 12 high
school students eager to learn about video production.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and for them,” said Assistant
Professor of Communications Chris Shofner, who led the new video course. “We
have students coming from very diverse backgrounds. For some, I need to hone
their skills. With others, I need to teach fundamentals. They seem to be having
a good time, but it’s not just about fun. It’s a unique and interesting
experience. And students don’t need to audition. If you’re interested, join us
Shofner’s class created a story about paranormal
investigators, reminiscent of Scooby-Doo characters, who look into paranormal
activities in Stevens Point. Students started with video pre-production
including scripts and storyboards. They proceeded through lighting, camerawork
and acting. They concluded with post-production techniques such as editing.
Day two of the camp involved clapperboards, Teleprompters,
lighting, sound and camerawork.
Shofner pointed to class participant Lee Goodman, who had
been operating the clapperboard, the familiar filmmaking device that helps synchronize picture and sound with a sharp
“The purpose of the clapperboard is to give something visual
and something auditory so we can line them up,” Shofner told his class. “What
does the audio person say?”
Shofner: “What does that mean?”
Class: “The sound is ready.”
“When we start the camera we want to make sure the red light
is on,” Shofner said. “We don’t want the action to start right away. When I
yell ‘action,’ that’s when you take off with your beautiful script… Action!”
That was the cue for Gina Nagro, of Ashland.
“Good evening, Stevens Point,” she said. “This is your 6
o’clock news. I’m Melinda Greenstorm.”
Nagro introduced a news story of the estate of the infamous
Birdman. The home, which was about to be torn down, had baffled paranormal
investigators because of its strange occurrences. Nagro’s pace guided a student
assistant who operated the Teleprompter with a foot pedal.
Hands-on activities like these prompted Goodman to travel
from St. Louis after learning about the class through a Google search. At age
17, Goodman runs his own photography and videography side business called
Goodman Image. He thought Camp COFAC’s video-production class would be a golden
opportunity, and he was right.
“It’s really cool how two total strangers here can become
friends,” Goodman said. “We’re together with music camp students and art camp
students all in the same hall. We have a little college experience and we get
to learn new things. This class is helping me prepare for my professional life.
(Shofner) is an amazing teacher. He’s full of great knowledge.”
The class ended with an airing of the video production June
28. Shofner said he would like to offer the program again next year and hopes
to accommodate more students.
Those interested in taking the video-production class next
year should watch the Camp COFAC website at www.uwsp.edu/campcofac
or the Camp
COFAC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UWSPCAMPCOFAC
for more information. Next year’s camp is scheduled for June 21-27.