Behind the camera with RBTV
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RBTV is one of RB’s largest clubs. Students are encouraged to join and have their work be portrayed on live TV for everyone to see. RBTV was established 33 years ago when the RB television station was constructed. Gary Prokes is the teacher who runs the program. Freshman Beckett Nolan and junior Casey Whisler are students in the program. Nolan’s group produces events and games. Whisler talks in front of the camera and produces a talk show.
“My dad’s in film and my sister was in the program sophomore year; they recommended it to me,” said Nolan. Nolan decided to join because of the large family influence.
“I started sophomore year. I had the class for only a semester, but it felt like it lasted longer because we kept filming after,” said Whisler. Whisler joined because she thought it might help her in her future acting career.
RBTV goes on the air to televise sports and talk shows. Although it seems simple, there’s much more to RBTV than just producing the show.
“For football games, we usually have to be at school at 3:30 P.M. to start running wires from the cameras to the booth in the stadium. We have to start doing tests for Columbia college. The truck works the audio and video while we work on cameras inside,” said Nolan.
RBTV starts setting up hours before the event goes on air.
“I’m usually inside setting up the computers to be able to run the switcher, which is telling us which cameras are on right now. There’s about 20 different roles that students are doing. Typically I’m inside changing the screen,” said Nolan. He sets up the switcher before air time and takes on the role to change screens during air time.
Sometimes the RBTV crew encounters some problems.
“We’ve had the fiber that we use [start] breaking and cutting out so that causes audio and video display issues,” said Nolan.
The program quickly fixes issues and keeps moving.
Even after airing the work does not stop. Students in the program often stay late to help pack up.
“Usually it takes another two hours or so to take everything down and organize the equipment in Mr. Prokes’ room. We get home at midnight usually,” said Nolan.
Students learn a lot about film and technology while participating in the program.
“It’s really cool to learn about all the technology behind TV shows and be able to produce your own television show,” said Whisler.
The students typically love what they do and underestimate the fun that comes with the program.
“It’s a really fun group of people and it helped me learn about time management and technological things I would have never known otherwise,” said Whisler.
“Sometimes Mr. Prokes buys pizza for us. I knew I was going to love it and I do love it,” said Nolan. He suggests joining to students and is planning on joining RBTV again next year.