Behind the scenes of PTV


Kevin Healey

Mike Smith (15) and Lav Patel (16) prepare for PTV’s Halloween broadcast while Ana Villarama (15) works the camera.

Megan Beach, Reporter

Ever the informative way to start the school day, Palatine’s morning announcements have undergone some serious changes the last few years.

From the announcements’ humble beginnings second hour over the loudspeaker, last year’s announcements were online videos that could be accessed and viewed with a homeroom class. PTV, as they’ve been dubbed, was more comprehensive, more engaging, and did NOT eat up into a teacher’s second period class.

Feeding off of last year’s positive response, PTV is getting an upgrade. The art department is lending its considerable expertise in media. Moving from last year’s announcements that were filmed the morning of, there is now an art class eighth hour, Advanced Digital Media, taught by art teacher Nick Hostert. There, students can work on independent projects and help create and edit the morning announcements.

Hostert describes the switch as “pick[ing] up with the good work done last year.” He compliments the homeroom committee on their forethought in seeing the need of multimedia announcements, and hopes that the production this year moves from the shoulders of the faculty to the “hands of capable students.”

Those making PTV are making do with the equipment on hand – not the highest caliber, perhaps, but it still is the closest thing to an authentic broadcast experience the school has to offer.

“The technology we have access to this year in comparison to last year is amazing,” junior Susan Jablonski says.

Hopefully, as technology keeps advancing, everyone in Digital Media will be able to obtain more advanced equipment akin to a professional broadcast studio.

Access to a green screen environment at PHS, such as the Digital Media Center in the Palatine Library, would benefit the school in countless ways. The announcements would look cleaner and be more efficient, and students would be able to use it a resource while doing school projects, which are increasingly more media-based.

Being a part of the class provides countless benefits as well. Students taking part in creating the morning announcements gain a great experience and new skill set. The hands-on environment can’t be beat. The teamwork necessary to make a production like this is monumental, and the sooner students learn how to work together, the better.

Hostert says that it’s “definitely a real world learning experience that directly translates…. into broadcast media work.”

Anyone interested in communications or media would certainly have a positive and extremely beneficial experience working in Advanced Digital Media.

Senior Michael Smith describes the experience as a “wonderful honor that I have been lucky enough to work on. You meet such talented and experienced people, I am in awe.”

Hostert and the whole crew in the class and Art Department are eager to get as many students as involved as possible. Announcements cater to the entire student body, and that should be reflected. Russ Horvath, Art Department Chair, says he wants to see “lots of new faces,” especially younger students.

Anyone interested in being a class representative (particularly freshman) should get in touch with Hostert.

Changes in this digital world as a whole are happening at light speed, and Palatine is doing its best to keep up. Just look at the Cutlass itself, now in a completely online platform. PTV and the Cutlass will be working together closely this year, as all of the announcements and shout-out videos are being and will be archived right here on