Video Production: Q&A with John Hoist
Seven years ago, John Hoist took over the video production program at Newport Harbor. Since then, he has increased the presence of film and it’s mark on the school through the development of TarTV episodes that inform and entertain. Hoist, who also teachers Yearbook, spoke with the Beacon‘s Kate Sacuy about experience and expectations of video production.
KS: What is your class?
JH: I teach intro to video production, and I teach an intermediate and advanced course. The intermediate course is what you see on TarTV. Advanced course is kind of behind the scenes on TarTV, management, and also putting the whole big picture together for the episode.
KS: What made you want to teach this class?
JH: When I was in high school, I was in a video production class and I loved it. I wanted to go into that industry. Through a series of circumstances, I found out that wasn’t the world for me, and so I got my teaching credential. I taught English for a while. Then when this opportunity came in, I offered to teach it and was denied. Then the year after I offered again, and the rest is history. We are now at seven seasons of TarTV.
KS: What kind of student would enjoy this class?
JH: Students that are open to creativity, students that are outgoing for sure. We have a lot of students that are shy in front of the camera. But we definitely encourage you to get in front of the camera every once and a while. And students that enjoy filmmaking or want to learn more about how things are made in the film world. We also kind of attract the kids that want to be YouTubers. And students who can dedicate time to this class, because it takes a lot of effort.
KS: What is a typical day in this class like?
JH: Our work schedule is broken down into three elements: planning phase, production phase, and editing phase. There is research that is done, putting equipment together, filming, editing. It just depends on the place we are in in our production cycle.
KS: What kind of work is expected outside of class?
JH: They are expected to edit, plan with their teams inside of class. Outside of class they are expected to shoot scenes and get what needs to be done, done.
KS: What kind of feedback do you usually get from students?
JH: Some students take this because it’s fun and they never do film again. But I have a number of students that take this class say how much it prepared them for college, prepared them for their career. I have some students that now work in the field.
KS: What benefits would students obtain from taking this class?
JH: There are so many skills they learn. They learn how to work in groups, how to interact with others, social skills, how a camera works, basics of professional editing software, how to write a script, and maintain deadlines. Ultimately, everything needs to be turned in on time so that our producer can make sure the episode is put together.
KS: How do students get a good grade in this class?
JH: Mostly deadlines. Deadlines are key. If it makes the cut to be on air, that’s an A. If you completed it but didn’t make the cut to be on air, that’s a B. If you fail to turn it in but I saw you working a lot, that’s a D.