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The Next Generation of Video Producers

December 18, 2018 by Scott Carroll

Penn Trafford High School outside of Pittsburgh, PA caught our attention when they were one of the first public high schools in North America to experiment with NDI®. It is stunning to see how far they have come in a short time, which is clearly visible in the short video below. PTHS underscores a broader trend of a new and very young generation of story tellers producing “TV magic” at an increasingly high level. Daily news programs, live sporting events, theatrical performances, graduation ceremonies are all fodder for live streamed content produced by students who are learning valuable skills that can lead to a career path.

This video was made by PTHS students for “The NDI Show” on Facebook Live: 


Conversation Starters
“Video is the new literacy.”

Huh? Especially when well done, video is simply a better, more powerful form of communication than anything else outside of the live, face-to-face encounter. In our day, the tools required to make good video are far less expensive, more accessible, easier to use, and more powerful than ever. 

“My 5-year old can tell the difference between television and dorm room video.”

Although we all can live stream to the Internet in a matter of seconds with technology available in our pockets, audiences are demanding and viewing standards are high and form at an early age.

Students at Penn Trafford High School learn to produce live video content with NewTek equipment

Learning the Highly Skilled Art of Video Production

Learning how to make high quality video once required entrance into an elite, exclusive and expensive Radio, Film, & Television program at a major university endowed with the capital intensive tools used only by TV stations. These advanced programs had a lot to do with access to and learning how to use incredibly expensive tools. Thanks to digital processing and advanced software, professional grade production tools sell today at a fraction of the traditional cost. High schools like Penn Trafford, middle schools, and even elementary schools - (it’s true!) – are using them as teaching tools.

As a result, we see more and more public grade schools across North America and other parts of the world developing and implementing video production programs for students much younger than college age - a phenomenon that appears to be picking up steam with no turning back. 

We all know how young people tend to become proficient at anything computer-driven than their older counterparts - unafraid to fearlessly hit buttons and see what happens, try new things, new technologies and learn them from the ground up. Like NDI. For kids in high school, they don’t know any different so how things “used to” work doesn’t affect them as much as older producers.   

It is highly likely that this unprecedented, new generation of video producers will never need or want to touch a traditional piece of baseband broadcast hardware.

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