Creators of original, youth-oriented television and film programming
Academies of Loudoun - Television Production & Digital Moviemaking
The Academies of Loudoun Television Production and Digital Moviemaking MATA pathway functions as a hands-on classroom and fully operational studio, led by instructor and director Tara Wall. Junior and senior high school students work in teams to produce start to finish films, television episodes and live cinema productions while gaining real-world experience; learning hands-on television and film techniques; honing studio and field production skills; and exploring media industry opportunities.
Television Production and Digital Moviemaking is a one-year general studies elective course, covering Year One and Year Two competencies from Virginia’s Career & Technical Education requirements. Students who are enrolled can review the class syllabus, study guides, and other time sensitive materials required for each class session, by signing into Google Classroom.
Grades 11-12 Credits: 6
Prerequisite: Competitive application process; Strong communications/language arts/writing skills
In the first semester, students learn how to think and work like media producers, gaining proficiency with the media production process and technology while learning basic operation of industry-standard equipment and software; understand the impact of media and its function to entertain, persuade, inform, and instruct; and work in teams to develop script-to-screen content for a television drama. During the second semester, students work independently to direct, produce, shoot and edit a short film, further enhancing essential digital media production skills; will explore jobs and careers in the dynamic and growing industry of television and film production; and put their knowledge of storytelling and digital media production into action through competition.
This is a rigorous program designed to help students determine what avenue of media production they might want to pursue as they cover over 200 competencies, complete a short film and television series episode, develop a digital portfolio and perform essential skills to work in the demanding industry of media production. This program works well for students with a strong work ethic, who work well under pressure, exhibit a primary interest in the planning and production side of television and film, and who plan to attend college and/or intend to begin careers immediately after high school. Entry-level jobs, as well as paid and unpaid college internships exist in this field for motivated individuals with strong high school/college academic skills and technical expertise.
Upon completion of the Television Production and Digital Moviemaking pathway, students are workplace certified in Television Production and prepared for immediate work and/or a post-secondary degree path in a field where employment of media and communication occupations in general is projected to grow four percent between 2014 and 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, with demand stemming from the need to create, edit, translate and disseminate information through a variety of different platforms. For film and video editors and camera operators, growth is estimated at 11 percent, and growth for producers and directors is expected to be 9 percent, faster than the average for all occupations. Production companies and video freelancers are working with new content delivery methods from mobile devices to online TV, while strong public demand for more movies, television shows and U.S. produced films for foreign audiences continues to drive growth in the motion picture and video industry. This presents a strong outlook and wide-ranging opportunities for students pursuing this exciting career field.
Tara Wall leads Television Production and Digital Moviemaking at the Academies of Loudoun. She's been an instructor of the Monroe Advanced Technical Academy (MATA) pathway since 2017, where she directs and executive produces student films and television programming designed to support instructional goals.
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications & Film, Ms. Wall earned her teaching license from Shenandoah University with endorsements in Television and Media Production, Business and Information Technology, and Marketing.
Ms. Wall has more than two decades of professional experience as an award-winning television journalist, documentary filmmaker and executive media strategist. She also owns an independent production company, where they create and distribute documentaries and digital content for a broad spectrum of clients.
“With a successful career in broadcast television and running a media production business, I am passionate about paying it forward by sharing my 20+ years of industry experience to help develop future creators. The secondary teaching environment and Career & Technical Education (CTE) in particular, is an ideal pathway for young people to take ownership of their education and set the course for their professional development.”