The Harbinger Online

Senior Discusses This Year’s Improvements on the Announcements

Senior Chandler Pruneau and junior Maddie Connelly shake off last minute nerves as they step in front of the camera. It’s go time.

3, 2, 1…action.

The video announcements have commenced.

This new Friday tradition all started when transfer student and east alum Kate Grumbles, approached Pruneau, then a sophomore, about starting the video announcements.

“She talked about how they have a news station at her old school and how she thought we would have something like that,” Pruneau said. “But we didn’t so I came up with the idea for video announcements”

The announcements started that next school year with lead anchors then seniors Drew Auer and Grumbles, produced by Pruneau. Since it was the first year, Pruneau was just learning how to run everything.

“Last year [the announcements] weren’t very structured,” Pruneau said. “If one of the girls were sick we just wouldn’t do them instead of finding someone to do it for them.”

This year, her goal was to make the announcements more professional by adding more segments like sports and activities. With that goal in mind, she began looking for someone that was serious about being a part of the announcements.

That’s when fellow anchor Connelly stepped in. Connelly expressed interest to Pruneau last year about doing the announcements after Grumbles and Auer left.

“Last year everyone was really big about it being seniors,” Pruneau said. “But I’m about it only being people who will take it seriously and Maddie obviously will.”

After finding a new lead anchor, Pruneau was faced with another challenge. With only one seminar a week, the announcements would be harder to film and could only air on Fridays.

“At first I was upset that it would be way to hard to come after school to get both episodes done,” Pruneau said. “But then I realized that we could just make one good episode a week instead of two mediocre ones.”

Thankfully Pruneau says that this lack of time has led to efficiency and focus when filming.

“If we didn’t have that set seminar we would just kind of let ourselves take as long as we needed so they would probably take around three hours,” Pruneau said.

Video by Nathan Walker.

One thing adding to the crunched time for filming is “Sports Picks” with juniors Will Cray and Nick Kraske.

Kraske had never thought about being on the announcements until his debate teacher and the supervisor of the announcements, Jennifer Hunter, asked him if he wanted to be a part of them.

When she suggested that Kraske find a co-anchor for the segment it didn’t take long for Kraske decide on friend Cray.

“When Mrs. Hunter told me I could find someone else to do it with me I had a number of people in mind that I thought would be really great and funny,” Kraske said. “When it came down to it though I knew Will would be responsible, trustworthy and dedicated to the announcements.”

From there, Cray and Kraske came up with “Sports Picks”, a student favorite segment filled with general sports information including upcoming games and scores. “Sports Picks” also often contains special guest appearances from various athletes including seniors Jeff Cole and Mimi Fotopoulous, junior Garrett Raibble and sophomore Annie Kuklenski.

Their ideas for the segment, ranging from coach Hair spraying skaters in the skatepark with a squirt gun to getting mauled while riding a bicycle, are devised the night before or often on the spot.

“Will and I will get together or on the phone the night before and we just throw ideas around,” Kraske said. “A lot of the [ideas] are crazy and I mean really out there but that’s how we narrow them down to ideas that will actually work and people will actually get.”

With the regular announcements and Sports Picks, the total editing process for Pruneau takes about two hours.

“This year I make sure to double and triple check [the announcements] before they go online because I don’t want anything that’s not perfect,” Pruneau said.

In the future Pruneau hopes that the video announcements gain more advanced editors and a more professional look and feel. When Pruneau graduates and moves on to college she hopes they will continue and grow.

“It’s night and day compared to last year,” Pruneau said. “But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still room for improvement.”

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