Although separated because of the coronavirus, a group of ASIJ students is working to generate community spirit through periodic videos, called Mustangs Weekly. The show is dedicated to “boosting morale,” says grade 11 co-founder Jeti Edwards. Providing a variety of content such as club interviews, sports highlights, and advice columns, Mustangs Weekly has already become a staple at the school, with their first episode amassing over 600 views. The crew may make the work seem easy, but Hanabi wanted to find out what it really takes to make an episode.
When Mustangs Weekly first began producing shows earlier this semester, the students involved would forego lunch. The team would set up the green screen, camera, furniture, and print the scripts within the short lunchtime. Now under our distance-learning schedule, the crew has more flexibility.
Scripts, consisting mostly of bullet points, are usually written by various members, and the content is based on what is happening with school, which now includes how we are handling the coronavirus crisis. Many emails to both students and teachers are sent back and forth to arrange interviews. When we were all still on campus, footage had to be taken before and after school; now footage is gathered virtually.
After filming, the process of creating a video is not over. Emma Diderichsen, the primary editor of Mustangs Weekly, explains that her job is to “insert background music, subtitles, transitions, interviews, and cut the videos smoothly so as not to distract the viewers from the content.” On average, it takes her five hours to edit each ten-minute video.
The whole process takes about a week, with members playing different roles in creating the final product.
“Our goals for the club is to raise school spirit and make people more engaged in the ASIJ community,” says Emma. Jeti and Selina’s enthusiastic reporting, along with the talented filming and editing crew, is what really makes the series possible. Putting the show together takes a lot of the students’ personal time but their passion for Mustangs Weekly and for ASIJ is certainly evident.