Video production classroom a haven for lovers of film, graphics, and editing

Students in one of Lee Larcheveque’s classes at work on a project.Photo: Will Eveleigh

In the back corner of the first floor of the high school, in room 187, is a small space with about 10 computers: Lee Larcheveque’s Video Production classroom.
In the front of the room is Mr. Larcheveque’s desk, recognizable by its clutter of wires, speakers, sound input board, and an extremely comfy chair.
A table sits next to the desk, usually looking like a filing cabinet has been emptied out on top of it. There is also a jar of Twizzlers, each individually wrapped.
There are some tables with a variety of chairs around them where students sit while Mr. Larcheveque gives lessons on film and journalism.
There are three classrooms in all, where students can do editing for videos or broadcasts, depending on the class.
They can use the main classroom, where there is a computer and a printer. There is also a larger space with a set for a kitchen and a curtain for news shows, as well as a costume closet and a dark room.
In this larger space, there are many more computer stations.
For this reason, a lot of students end up editing here. There is also a smaller side room with a green screen and a side room for filming anchors in Broadcast Journalism. Since classes range in size, every computer station is not guaranteed to be used. This allows students some flexibility in terms of seating.
Students interested in taking Video classes with Mr. Larcheveque, or “Larche,” his nickname, get a lot of creative freedom. The very first project is audio only, so one would learn what types of audio files there can be, types of recording devices, cables and their differences, etc.
The student, now knowing how to set up and record audio, is capable of making a public service announcement for an approved company or non-profit organization. These can be tonally very different.
Some students opt for a humorous or lighthearted take on a real world issue. Others are more serious and more realistically imitate a professionally made PSA.
A benefit, though, is that Mr. Larcheveque is flexible about allowing students to shape the feel of their projects. He’d just as soon give an A to a comedic music video as he would give an A to a documentary about how school faculty and students deal with stress.
By far one of the most important things about these classes is how laidback they feel but how much students learn in the process.
Students use their time in any way they deem appropriate, so long as their project is completed on time and fully realized.
While most projects have some places where students have to start (choosing a song for a music video, planning out shots, etc.) the rest is mostly up to the student. Shots can be taken in any order since Mr. Larcheveque has put Adobe Premiere Pro, a top-tier video editing program, on each of his computers.
If one is in Advanced Video Production, the student can take cameras and tripods out of class as well as GoPros or more advanced shoulder mounts for cameras.
Video 1 projects are shot entirely in the school or on its campus, and Video 2 projects can be shot effectively anywhere.
If a student goes on vacation, they can get special permission from Mr. Larcheveque to bring a camera on their trip and get extra footage while they are away from class.
For both video classes, once projects are completed, the class comes together and views them, then votes on a winner to go into the “best ofs” folder so that future students can see that project as an example for what theirs may look like.
There is also a “what not to do” folder, which is mostly comprised of poorly edited or shot projects. These are not to call out the students who made them, but rather to show how simple human errors that make it through editing affect a final product.
I asked former students of Mr. Larcheveque’s classes, Spencer Cliche and Benjamin Bernier, about their experiences in the class. Cliche appreciated the courses he took and noted, “My favorite part was editing videos.”
“I enjoy being in his classes,” added Bernier. “He’s a funny guy, very smart. What he teaches is just so interesting and I could be working on his projects for hours if I had to.”
They both said that learning film editing techniques was a good part of the school’s elective program. “His classes teach us skills that we could use someday to [maybe] pursue a career,” said Bernier.
“I think it’s amazing that us students have the chance to make films in high school, especially while having access to camera equipment and industry-standard editing software,” added Cliche.
Cliche also said that he felt the material was relevant.
“I believe that what I am learning is important because the world revolves around video advertisements, and one of the most popular pastimes internationally is watching films and videos,” he said.
“I have found that I love editing videos, so I think it would be a lot of fun to pursue as a career,” he continued. “Also, after taking one of his classes, I decided to attend a pre-college program at the School of Visual Arts to see if I may want to pursue film making or editing in college.”
Both said they hope these courses remain a part of elective offerings at ARHS.
“Making films and videos is a crucial part of living in the 21st century. Having an extremely basic understand of the different elements of making them can offer you career options in the future,” said Cliche. “I think the best part is getting hands-on experience with making videos and being able to experiment with telling stories through film.”
“I think people should take more classes with ‘Larche’ because these skills are helpful in the future, and also [his is] just a fun class to be in,” added Bernier.
Mr. Larcheveque teaches Computer Graphics, Video 1 and 2, Broadcast Journalism, as well as Yearbook.