Lights, camera, action!
Stories come to life through film. Whether it be a dazzled Cinderella dancing the night away with Prince Charming or a badly beaten, bloody Rocky refusing to surrender to Apollo, there is an art to film-making. As an audience, most people only see the story of the actors unfold before them on an over-sized screen with popcorn in hand, but what they typically fail to understand is the story behind the story; the story of those who work tirelessly to create a final product of which they can be proud. Most do not see the tedious work of trying to align a video with its audio perfectly, zooming-in to hundredths of a second. Most do not see the average of 10 hours of work that goes into producing one-minute of footage. Friendswood High School junior Amanda Archer not only sees the work in video production; she does it, and she does it well.
Her love of film started at an early age.
“I’ve always loved movies and just watching stuff. When I was younger, I did a film program at Bales where I made a short film in a week and I loved it,” Archer said. “My sister was in MCS and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.”
Years later, Archer is now in the Friendswood High School Mustang Cable System (MCS) Program, a class where students learn about broadcasts, podcasts and film-making. The students produce a news show every day alongside additional projects and sports-coverage. A select few students have additional assignments as a part of an internship they are completing with the City of Friendswood and Friendswood ISD. Archer is involved with all of these elements.
“I love this program so much because we get to be hands-on and do everything. We’re not going to be babied, so we have to be good with time-management,” Archer said. “It prepares us for the real world.”
Being prepared for life after school is important to Archer because she wants to pursue a career in videography.
“Videography is what I enjoy,” Archer said. “My plan for the future is to go into post-production because it’s what I love. A lot of people think it’s boring to sit at a computer for hours, but I could do it forever. I’m eager to learn more.”
This desire to learn more is evident in Archer according to Alphonse “Tag” Taglialavore, FHS MCS teacher.
“We always tell our MCS class there are always opportunities to do things, it’s just a matter of taking those opportunities. Amanda is one who takes them, so every chance she gets to help out and go beyond, she takes advantage,” Tag said. “When it comes time for her to find a job, she’s going to have a leg up because she’s got that drive and that desire that other people don’t have.”
Unlike most classes, majority of the MCS work is done outside of class time, but Archer said it is worth the time to her.
“Most things we do for projects are done outside of class and take up a lot of time, but I feel like if you want to do this, you will find a way to put it in your schedule because it’s important to you,” she said.
Tag said he believes Archer is an example for other students.
“She’s taken on a role as a leader,” Tag said. “She’s very positive, her attitude is one that I’d like other students to emulate.”
In all her work, Archer is producing her own story, hoping to tell a beautiful tale and inspire others along the way.