Many community members and Kaufman Lions fans view videos and live broadcasts on social media and streaming platforms during sporting seasons.
Not everyone knows how much production is happening behind the lens or who is handling all of it.
Upon entering the Homer Norville Field press box or the KHS audio-video course taught by Stephen Armstrong, known as Coach Armstrong to his students, a different perspective is seen when projects are posted on the platforms of district and class social media. All video projects and live streams are produced by KHS students.
Armstrong’s students say he’s a great teacher, but he’s also a believer and a mentor. Students in Armstrong’s class rave about how they enjoy his class and all of the aspects they learn from his teaching.
“I love Coach Armstrong because not only does he teach, but he goes into the details of life and is truly an inspiration in my life,” said Daylon Dickerson, senior video editor. Armstrong aims for his students to leave his class with skills that will help them in their future careers, as well as a confidence that they can do anything that seems too difficult or impossible. With the education and mentorship Armstrong provides to his students, they are able to take control of Friday night live football production, as well as filming on the sidelines and for team coaches. .
Students can take an audio-video course at KHS even if they have no audio-video knowledge or experience. Colby Wood, another senior, wanted to join Armstrong’s class because he loved watching YouTube videos and wanted to learn how to create his own and start a YouTube channel.
Now Wood is filming clips during college football games to make the game’s highlights. “I like being on the sidelines on game night and seeing the videos that I took and then put into a final draft,” he said. “When people watch and react to our videos, it makes me happy that people are actually enjoying what we’re doing. ”
A viewer reaction means the world to these students. Sometimes video editors deal with tapes that are difficult or seem boring, but that won’t stop Armstrong students from producing entertaining content.
“I like to take something that seems bland and boring and make it something that people actually enjoy,” said Hudson Grylls, a senior. Receiving a positive reaction to the final projects gives these students confidence in their abilities and prompts them to continue to expand their abilities and creativity.
Kaci Horton, a senior editor and music writer, said she and other students appreciate the creative freedom they get when working on projects.
Sophomore Hunter Morales said the best feeling was “to have a really good play and when the crowd goes wild it gives you a big adrenaline rush”. Students enjoy their work as well as the atmosphere of a Kaufman Lions football game.
“People don’t always understand everything that goes on on set,” said senior cameraman Chandler McBride. “You have to hold the camera straight and live up to all the hype while remaining calm and collected.”
Students spend countless hours producing top-notch content while juggling their academic work and other extracurricular activities. Many video editors explain that projects can be stressful at times. The smallest details take time and can become very frustrating if they can’t get a fair portion because their deadlines are tight. But overall, it’s a class that students “look forward to the most,” said Hudson Grylls.
“Shout out at Coach Armstrong,” Dickerson continued. “He said to me, ‘I’d rather people come and give me a mark of five for what my students have done rather than give me a mark of five for what I did.’ “