‘7 Minutes’ gives students chance to shine

'7 Minutes' gives students chance to shine

Photo by Amy McCoy

Senior Ashley Diggs and junior Morgan Norfleet shoot a scene from the second episode of “7 Minutes.” Watch the second episode now.

TigerVision

Story by Elizabeth Cook, Co-managing editor

A marriage of some of the best actors and actresses from Texas High and the tech-savvy TigerVision students has shed new light on the capabilities of both programs for the school community. Now two episodes into the series, the new sitcom 7 Minutes has potential to grow into a hit with students and teachers alike.

“Throughout the years I’ve always tried to get a feel of what the students are hungry for. Our main drive is broadcasting but we try to have fun,” TigerVision teacher Charles Aldridge said. “We’re not moving away from broadcast journalism, we’re adding that element of film making to have fun and to learn [the process] because it’s completely different.”

With new talent emerging in the technical aspects and writing both, the show has had a successful start.

“Students don’t understand that in this business, without the writers, you got nothing,” Aldridge said. “More and more students are willing to write it and apply writing skills. On the technical side, more and more students have been willing to film and do the film making style. Not just telling the story broadcast journalism style, telling the story in drama.”

Learning the ropes with this new style of production has been well-received by the tech crew and actors.

“Since I’m in front of the camera in some of the scenes, I don’t too get too much while we shoot on site,” said senior DJ Ingram, who is a writer, actor and editor for the series. “After shooting everything, me and some other crew members do the majority of the editing. It takes the most time, but it’s my favorite off-screen thing to do because it allows us to turn most of the raw footage we have into something great.”

Of course, any great production comes with hard work.

“All the shooting sessions get pretty tiresome, but in order to have a quality product, it’s best to try and get most shooting done in one day,” Ingram said. “During one day of the break, we shot for a good eight hours or so. It was really long and tiring, but the final product is definitely worth the time we invest.”

The sitcom, while a worthy cause, is only the beginning of a long and potentially highly successful road of videography catering to the students’ wants and needs.

“We’ll do some short film movies, but we thought doing the sitcom would be a good way to start,” Aldridge said. “There’re so many different fields you can go into when you learn this stuff with TigerVision.”

Aldridge also said that it’s been a good opportunity to collaborate with other departments.

“Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been asking drama to do a project together. No one’s answered to the challenge until [theater arts teacher Micah] McBay,” Aldridge said. “We combine the talent of the drama students, the actors, with my TigerVision kids, the tech, and we really make a good product.”

Although the production is primarily TigerVision-driven, both the theater department and McBay himself both play a pivotal role with acting.

“What we’re doing is just consulting,” McBay said. “Mr. Aldrigde came to me when I got hired as the theater director and said, ‘This is something I’d like to do, but I don’t feel really comfortable with it.’ All he really wanted me for was to consult with the acting portion of it.”

With thousands of student-raised dollars invested in the program, the production has means to be the next big thing on the ever-lengthening list of opportunities for students to get involved in. Whether it be a training-opportunity for students hoping to go into acting or production fields, a chance to be around or meet new people, or simply an entertainment outlet, being a part of the production has something to offer everyone.

“My schedule is always so hectic with things like clubs and swim, but this is the one thing I can dive into and forget about everything,” said senior Ashley Diggs, scriptwriter and actor. “I love the guys I’m working with and it’s rekindled my love of writing. I want people to feel my work, my writing, my words, and this is a fantastic opportunity for it.”