Peep inside Irvine Television

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Director of Photography Senior Josephine Lee frames her shot to begin rolling camera.

From bi-monthly productions, all-nighters and 24-hour challenges, Irvine High Television Video (iTV) is doing it all.

The crew is back in full swing after being set back by COVID-19 restrictions last year. While they were still able to produce episodes remotely and apply to competitions, they weren’t able to attend in-person film festivals.

“The cohort schedule last year had made it difficult to form a connection with the crew and COVID-19 requirements restricted our ideas,” senior director Zeliha Acar said. “Although we still face difficulties like filming at a distance or not being allowed to film indoors without masks, we have found ways around it and have discovered new ways to present our projects to the best of our abilities.”

The crew took on a challenge that they weren’t able to do last school year: the 24 Hour Film Festival on Dec. 4-5. Coupling cinematographic skill and stamina to pull an all-nighter, they were tasked with making a music video to the song “Middle of Love” by Jake Wesley Rogers, where it was showcased at Northwood High School.

“We were very happy about the product. When it came out, I immediately shared it with a bunch of alumni and the feedback was great,” executive producer and adviser Rebeccah Phillips said. “On top of that, we won the Best Hair and Makeup Award, which we were ecstatic about.”

The general process of producing each broadcast varies. However, it all starts in the same place: the story room. Once the whole crew unveils all of their ideas, they work closely with the directors to create a united vision. This is when an idea manifests itself onto the big screens.

“After the idea is set in and follows the general outline, the crew works closely to create the project,” Acar said. “We then create scripts, shot lists, storyboards, production schedules and the logistics of equipment checkout, props and location. It’s a very tedious and time consuming aspect, but the organization of each step and completion really helps tie the whole project together.”

The editing team waits on the shots to come in, whether those are shots of “Student on the Street” or sports montages. Unlike their competitions that have a time crunch, their normal broadcast takes around two to three weeks.

“I’m currently teaching two underclassmen so that I can ‘hand off’ the job to them next year,” senior director of editing Julian Smith said. “Without editing, there’s only raw footage, and we need editors to make the broadcast the most time efficient.”

Only five schools brought back awards for the 24-hour challenge and Irvine High’s iTV was one of them, but they’re not done yet. The crew is doubling to 48 with the upcoming 48-hour short film competition on March 11-13.

“It is definitely easier this year to collaborate and complete larger productions,” senior lead anchor Yoni Cohen said. “We’re starting from scratch but it’s fun to learn from each. [The competition] really helped our crew bond as a unit and be better than ever for our upcoming projects.”