Seniors are the spotlight of student production

Shaker High School students are wrapping up filming on the first installment of a community series aimed at keeping senior citizens safe.

Members of Shaker's Broadcast Club hope to produce the series, called Safe at Home Colonie, for the town's public access channel. They also hope to make the videos available to various town departments. School staff said the series will act as a template and guide for future projects of the high school's new course in broadcast journalism.

"This gives them an excellent cut of what the (broadcast) industry looks like -- the stresses of production and the stresses of the work," said Dave Arnone, career and technical education supervisor for North Colonie Schools.

A half dozen broadcast club members braved the cold outside the town's public operations center on Old Niskayuna Road Thursday, Jan. 11, to film the introduction to the series, which deals with fire safety and preventing falls.

Town Supervisor Mary Brizzell joined Colonie Senior Service Centers Executive Director Edward Neary, superintendent of North Colonie Schools Randy Ehrenberg, and department heads from the town's police, emergency medical and fire services to read scripted introduction to the series.

It was the last bit of filming, which began in the fall of 2006, to go into the installment.

The project began last September as members of the Broadcast Club and students enrolled in the school's new Production Media course set out to produce a series.

They filmed staged rescues put on by police, EMS and fire personnel, and followed up with department interviews and informational scenes. When finally spliced together and edited, the footage will be a monumental achievement for many of the first-time producers, writers and filmographers -- not to mention what they hope is a vital community service.

"They are very serious about it. It is a great project. It has all the seriousness of a written script, capturing and editing video properly and doing something important for the community. It is more than a school project -- this is building the framework and template of this program," said Kevin Smith, teacher of the Production Media class.

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