Issaquah Responds to the Change of iVision’s Format


Roman Levashov

HIGHER QUALITY With the switch to a once-per-week timeslot, the iVision crew has more time to edit videos.

Aedan Henry, Staff Writer

It is 8:00 a.m. on a Monday morning, and the iVision room is packed. Students fill the desks and
line the walls in the back of the room. After a 10 minute meeting with iVision teacher Buddy Bland, they break off into work groups. At their desks and spilling into the hallway, groups of four brainstorm, writing scripts and hooks. Every iMac is taken by pairs of students, engrossed in their edits on Final Cut Pro. The back studio edit room is full of second and third-year videographers assembling clips and projects into the iVision show that will be made in two days. Over their heads is the iVision mission statement, in the front of the room for all to see: “Our mission is to highlight student and staff accomplishments, be informative, educational, and hopefully entertaining.”

This is not the rushed scramble of iVision’s past. This is a well-thought-out video-making machine, eager to give iVision a new face. Last year, iVision shows were every day and featured school announcements. This year, they are only on Wednesdays, and the content takes a different approach to student media.

Senior Max Karpman, one of the most recognizable faces of iVision, is in his third year of the class. “I think it’s better,” he said. “At first we were all kind of upset about it, like ‘no we don’t want to just be once a week,’ but it’s really allowed us to focus on our video production skills rather than always rushing to get our video on time. I like that we have more time to make a video, because they are definitely a lot better quality than they were last year,” he explained. “There’s now a focus on making videos, not just announcements,” said senior Isobel Grudin, also in her third year of iVision. She explained, saying, “I think iVision is important because it gives a lot of recognition to students who work really hard. It gives awareness to different issues, to different things offered at IHS that people might not know about.”

When iVision began in 1999, it was a live broadcast that only did announcements. In 2008, it switched to the format that continued until last year: announcements filmed the day-of, with student-produced video segments in-between. This year, with the creation of the block schedule, iVision dropped the announcements altogether and shows are filmed over the course of three weeks.

To decide on the new format, Bland held a series of meetings with returning students. Ideas were presented based off of professional news broadcasts. The format chosen, with two to three videos introduced by hosts standing in a studio, was suggested by Bland and based on the show ESPN E60 . With the increased focus on video quality, Bland hopes to enter some segments into contests. He is specifically looking at the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for High School Broadcast. Bland explains, “I want students to focus on creating good meaningful content, and not just silly stories. And I get that silly stories are important to high school kids, and there will always be a place for those, but they also need to be able to tell serious stories, too.”

New iVision sophomore members Vincent Mejia and Mollie Ohrt think that the new format will open up new opportunities for video making. “I think it’s made iVision able to show other stories that are happening around the community, not just focusing on the school aspect of it. We have more time to go places to get more in-depth stories for higher quality videos,” said Mejia. Ohrt added, “We have a lot more time to come up with better and more complex stories, which is really fun. And I think it gives us more opportunities to really go out and find things that people really want to hear about and not so much just boring announcements.”

Other students at Issaquah have more mixed reactions. Junior Matthew Perry prefers the way things used to be. “The announcements last year were a really helpful feature that would have been nice to be carried over to this year,” he said. “I liked having it every day. I preferred the stories last year a little bit better. I felt like they were a little more connected to our school,” said Perry. Junior Viren Uddanwadiker agreed, saying, “It feels really concentrated because you’re trying to spread out information that would be given to you over the course of a week into one day.”

The lack of announcements appears to be the least popular change among students. Junior Meghana Annamaneni said, “I think it’s more negative than positive honestly, because I liked the announcements. That was the biggest part of iVision.” Junior Atticus Slossen thinks that the changes were overall positive, but added, “It’s a lot less informational this year. It’s more about stories that happen around the school, rather than events with dates and times.”

About the change, Bland said, “This whole process is being refined as we go, because it is new. I was open to the kids that things were going to change, and we’re going to have to always reflect on how we’re doing things.”

There have been many changes to IHS with the new block schedule, and iVision is a product of that. As with everything else, there are advocates and critics, but the changes will nonetheless remain a part of life. As Bland said, the hope is that the student body will be open to the changes, but still be able to reflect on them.