The Tribe Team
The highlight of third period on Fridays: Tribe News. Their segments tell the stories of Maine West’s events and highlight students’ personalities. Behind the scenes, the Advanced Television and Film Production team brainstorm, write, film, and edit each video for weeks before they are broadcast at school. “It takes about a week and a half to make the roughly 5 minute video,” junior Jackie Sepulveda, an editor for Tribe News, said. Significant work goes in on their end, and not many people realize it.
“It takes about a week, maybe two weeks, to edit, depending on your segment. I do pop culture, so that takes half a week or a week at best, but other segments like ‘Here and There with Evan and Claire’ take about two weeks of filming and editing because they have to find different places in the school to film footage and that takes longer to do than a club coming to film on the green screen,” said senior Tribe News editor Quinn Clerkin.
Not only do certain shows take longer to film, but some require different equipment and extra help. “There are multiple people involved with filming. When we are filming ‘Hallway Karaoke,’ for example, we use a camcorder and a handheld mic, whereas when we are filming StuCo events in front of the green screen, we use a boom mic and more technical cameras. It takes at least two to three people to film one singular segment,” Sepulveda said.
The Tribe News team is also responsible for creating segments for others. While filming the segments, it can take between an hour to an hour and a half to get enough material. “The amount of time that the students put into each segment is insane, and it’s not that people don’t appreciate it, but more so that they don’t know exactly what goes into the making of each show, such as the hours of footage to comb through and then edit down to just a five minute show,” Sepulveda said.
Brent Shaphren, the Advanced Television and Film Production teacher, agreed, saying, “It’s deceptive because people come in and film for 20-30 minutes and they walk out and assume it’s done, but then we spend hours in post production making it ready to be on air. On occasion we experience hiccups such as our footage being deleted by a faulty SD card, or realizing that we are over the time limit by a significant amount, which also slows down the process.”
The Tribe News team works with other clubs, like Student Council, to incorporate their segments as well. When Student Council has big events coming, they spread the word through Tribe News because they know that a lot of students watch each production. “When we get to filming, everything is pretty easy because we have a teleprompter giving us our lines. We rehearse and go over our lines before actually filming, and it normally takes a few takes in order for us to get everything right because we all end up laughing or forgetting a word. The process is really fun because Mr. Shaphren is a great teacher, and he always gives us fun ideas to make our videos more entertaining for students,” senior and Student Council vice president Katelyn Aragon said. Not only do the producers of Tribe News help out the participants of each segment with lines, but, “When filming Warrior Code, many people find it really awkward to answer the questions because in real life, there isn’t music behind them or a joke popping in every few seconds. We film in the hallway of the rotunda, and it’s usually very quiet and throws a lot of interviewees off guard. The world of editing really makes all the difference to make Tribe News entertaining,” Sepulveda said. So, much of the process to make Tribe News ready to be on air happens behind the scenes to make certain segments more light-hearted.
With the incredible amount of time it takes edit film content, the team has devised a successful way to stay on track with their deadlines. “We have a DEFCON chart on our board, and as the days get closer to having to have the show finished, we get closer to nuclear war. We usually get to DEFCON 1 on the last day to upload the show,” Shaphren said.
Although it takes no less time to create it, Tribe News has changed this year. In previous years, the segments were much longer at around 10-15 minutes, but this year new time restrictions were introduced, which has created more challenges. They still have to cover key events thoroughly, but now have to cut things even more carefully to make everything fit without losing context or information. “When there are important events coming up we dedicate at least one and a half minutes to directly address them, and when the show isn’t as information heavy and includes more ‘fun features’, it makes more people laugh and people enjoy, but then it also makes others upset if there wasn’t a sports segment or otherwise. A minute and a half doesn’t seem like that much, but when trying to stay under 5 minutes, which include the title at the beginning and credits, it leaves little to no time for there to be elaborate productions,” Sepulveda said.
The editing needed to make a Tribe News segment is necessary, but the inspiration behind each episode is of equal importance.