In February of 2022, the High School Media Collective piloted its first event at Lake Forest High School on the north shore of Chicago in collaboration with founding sponsor Blackmagic Design.

LFHS’s Talent Show was celebrating its 60th year as a community event that celebrates student creativity. Cirina Catania, the founder of the High School Media Collective reached out to New Media teacher Steve Douglass about supporting the great student work with guidance and advice from her extensive career in media and new gear from Blackmagic in the form of the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K G2 cinema cameras.

Tom Fletcher, head of Marketing for Fujinon USA, stepped up and shared two zoom lenses while Apple shipped out six MacBookPros and a MacPro for behind-the-scenes storytelling. Students and teachers from media programs came to visit and support the hands-on learning the students experienced including Live Production professional Bill Allan from Lyons Township High School and Charlie Alves, the Live Production Director for Lady Gaga’s next tour.

The live production experience was an incredibly rich learning experience for the program and especially for the large numbers of students involved over the week of shooting. The High School Media Collective is building on this experiential learning with many more programs around the world over the coming months.