Toreador Spotlight: Video Production and Photography

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Toreador Spotlight: Video Production and Photography

Anache Varteressian, Writer

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Fifteen years ago, the Taft media program was merely for learning how to use computers but today video production and photography are thriving. With the addition of photography and three levels of video production, Mrs. Jacobs has advanced Taft High School’s arts and sciences program.


“If you can understand how media is created, it won’t have power over you.” Mrs. Jacobs’ programs teach students how to express themselves but also how to interpret media literacy. Although most may think that to be in video production and photography you should have to choose specific titles like director or editor, but there are many roles to be filled within these courses. “They rotate between being a writer/director, being a camera person, being responsible for audio, finding music, editing; all the different professional levels.” Through Beginner Film Production, students are able to grasp basic technical skills and better understand creative storytelling. Intermediate Film Production is “run like a production company.” Focusing more on the stories the students would like to express, the intermediate class has longer pieces and more advanced tools. They are able to choose the role they would like to take on, and even earn college credit. Mrs. Jacobs was the first to implement college credit into her video production class and many schools have followed her lead.


At Taft, there are many different students from many different backgrounds who have very powerful messages they want out there. The video production and photography programs help to elevate the diversity of our campus. In order to find inspiration Mrs. Jacobs advises her students to “… write what you know… write stories that come out of your life, the way you look at the world, what you find important. Use the media in that kind of way. Communicate something that has meaning to you.” Through these programs students are able to find their voice and tell their tale without having to speak up.


Mrs. Jacobs received her Masters in broadcasting, and it was while in college that her father suggested she obtain her teaching credential. Although she worked on many feature films, when Mrs. Jacobs turned to teaching, she never looked back. “Of course, [my father] was right because this has definitely been the best job of my life.”


The video production and photography programs at Taft, bring together students through the resources available to them. Through digital storytelling, our campus has become more aware of each other’s mindsets. Mrs. Jacobs and her students provide a window to the perspective of those around us. In the 21st century, our generation experiences a great wave of media like never before. “There’s so much media out there and it’s being manipulated and its being used and its extremely powerful. I would like people to understand that they can learn the tools to use the power of media responsibly.”


If you would like to join Video Production or Photography, talk to Mrs. Jacobs to learn the interesting art of media!

Click the link below to check out some awesome student work!