What exactly is Media School?
Grade 11 students from Saskatoon and surrounding area come together for a full semester to be immersed in an intensive film- and television-focused program. The 500-hour practical education course, coupled with hundreds of hours of the students’ personal time, provides a wealth of opportunity for these future industry leaders.
Media School integrates five traditional secondary course curriculums into a modern educational format that explores the real-world environment of the film and television industry. The students of this program receive a thorough introduction to storytelling, stages of production, roles on a film set, equipment and technology. The course provides hands-on experience and professional training that fuels the passion students have to be filmmakers. This is the program that anyone in the film and television industry would have wanted in high school.
Media School provides an opportunity to connect students with quality production equipment and create trust and dedication to a brand. Brand introduction and hands-on tangible experience with technology are essential marketing tools that would benefit any supporter of the program.
Who teaches the program? Roddy Gall is the lead teacher of Media School and is passionate about filmmaking. After graduating from Capilano College film school, Roddy worked on various films in Vancouver before returning to Saskatoon and starting a media company that produced over 50 video projects, including music videos, web series and commercials. As a teacher, he has taught communications media for most of his career and has taken students to Skills Nationals for video production. Roddy’s passion for teaching, especially teaching film, allows students to discover their skills and creativity through the art of video production.
How is the course structured? Media School began in 2006 and became the first program in North America to integrate five high school educational credits into the study of the film and television industry. Ron Berntson created the concept and research for the Media School program as the final project of his master’s degree. The foundational objectives of the program are to introduce students to the film and television industry and to inspire them to pursue the art of storytelling through video production. Media School is a Saskatoon Public Schools program housed at Evan Hardy Collegiate and is open to any Grade 11 student within Saskatoon and surrounding area.
Media School integrates five credit classes (English 20, Active Living and Fitness Leadership 20, History 20, Communication Media 20 and Communication Media 30) into one cohesive educational environment. Integration of courses allows for greater depth of material and exploration of teaching methodology, as it removes the redundancy of teaching objectives covered in multiple curriculums. For example, Media School uses script writing as English exploration (expression), sound source recording as practical physics application, and film analysis as an assessment for learning the storytelling craft and physical methods of creation. Students are engaged in the learning given, as the program directly relates to their interests and future goals. Having a unified educational focus for an entire semester allows students to become immersed in the course without interruption.
The concentration on the film and television industry becomes much more of a “real world” experience, teaching students to be effective members of society. These lessons of professionalism, communication and personal growth have a life-altering impact on Media School students — it is the program's true strength.
Breakdown of Media School
Media School offers activities and assignments that support student learning and provide the most accurate representation of the film and television industry within the parameters of a high school education.
Media School regularly invites guest speakers who are representatives of the local and national media industry to converse with the students. These discussions have been praised by the students and are paramount in creating a real image of the industry.
Media School views and analyses a number of the historical films and television events that have had a impact on the film and television industry. The program begins with the first moving pictures ever created, proceeds through the silent era, the golden age, the French and American new waves, and continues the trend into modern films. Students view films from all over the world to increase their appreciation of the depth and methodology required to create these artistic productions. These viewing opportunities provide inspiration to the students and may lead to more expressive and stimulating student productions.
Finally, Media School uses various techniques and collaborations to develop a learning environment of trust and respect.