I teach film production/broadcasting in South Carolina to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. Needless to say, many of our teachers, myself included have felt like we’re being lead to slaughter with no hazard pay, and cancellation of the pay raise that was approved last year.
Teaching has been strange, to say the least. Students are separated by plexiglass barriers, grouped by schools, and very little work that gets them out of their seats. Thankfully, we haven’t had many quarantined students from our school, but our feeder schools (I teach at a tech school and we support 4 different high schools) have been having more and more students get quarantined each month.
I’ve started the year with theory and critical analysis to keep everyone as separate as possible, but imagine yourself in their shoes… Bored to death cause you’re not getting to actually film anything or tell your stories. We are now, very slowly and carefully, transitioning to making our own projects. Starting with testing making videos with smartphones and Chromebooks (using free software because the feeder schools won’t pay for editing software to install on Chromebooks.*) so that if we do have to go fully virtual we have already addressed and fixed or come up with alternatives to the problems we in counter. Then we’ll start using our cameras and lighting equipment, in small groups. Time will tell if this creates problems.
On a personal level, I am terrified that I’ll lose my job. I teach a career that has been devastated by our current situation, on top of the fact that South Carolina is a fairly hostile state when it comes to production. The only hospitable place in the state being Charleston, which is more than 3 hours from where I teach.
It’s good to see that productions are picking up, but I live in a state so disinterested in production, that I fear the business here may be on its last legs.