high school student operates DaVinci Resolve on a computer

High School Student Led TV Campaign Posted End to End in DaVinci Resolve

Blackmagic Design today announced that the Media and Commercial Production program at the Salem-Keizer Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) in Oregon has switched exclusively to DaVinci Resolve editing, grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software, recently completing a student led anti vape and tobacco digital campaign airing on regional cable channels and across social media.

CTEC Media and Commercial Production Teacher Jack Shay worked with the Marion County Health Department to create a student led campaign addressing the issue of reducing the growing rate of people ages 11 to 18 who start using tobacco, especially by vaping. The campaign required the creation of two ad spots for regional cable and YouTube, and two ads for TikTok and Instagram.

“About half of the students used DaVinci Resolve’s new export to TikTok preset in the delivery workspace, while the other half changed the timeline setting before editing to ensure compatibility with the platform’s vertical format,” said Shay. “Similarly, the students were split when it came to the edit and cut pages. I use cut myself and teach the students how to use it to three point edit while doing the assemble edit of their content. Some students use this format and finesse their edit in the edit page, while a handful of students edit exclusively in the cut page. The flexibility of DaVinci Resolve’s toolset and workflow allowed us to complete the project based on the individual preferences of the students, and it caters to the multitude of deliverables for today’s production landscape.”

The final ad spots for the anti tobacco campaign have delivered more than 57,000 impressions, accrued nearly 460 hours of interaction and have been viewed in full by 95 percent of those interacting with them.

“As far as I know, we are the only program in the country where student created commercial work is aired on cable television,” said Shay. “This was a tough undertaking, but the students rose to the challenge and created some of the best high school level work I have seen. Blackmagic Design created amazing software that is not only easy to learn and use, but free with no catch. Our program sees access to software as an equity issue, and we always push for freeware.”

Over the course of two months, CTEC students created concepts, pitched their ideas to the health department and shot material before entering a short two week post production window. Shay had been using DaVinci Resolve with the students for several prior projects and knew it had the right workflow to address the students’ needs for the anti vape project and for continuing their journey in the post production space beyond high school.

“I love the way the workspaces in DaVinci Resolve are configured to follow the proper production pipeline, from left to right. This helps create a proper discipline in how students work. The color workspace is very useful, and students pick up the basic usage quickly,” said Shay. “We also teach VFX compositing and 3D modeling. The effectiveness of the matte tools like Delta Key and 3D Key are crucial to keeping students from getting frustrated and having to use too many workarounds in other software. The VFX industry is almost exclusively node based, not layer based, so the introduction to node editing and VFX helps prepare students for work in the real world after CTEC.”

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Shay was first introduced to DaVinci Resolve when it was solely a color grading software. “It was obvious how powerful a tool it was, but at the time color correction was only about five percent of what I did, so I simply used color correcting tools in my NLE. I kept my eye on Resolve’s growth, and as new features were added I grew more interested in making the switch. I moved to Fusion VFX over six years ago. When the Studio version of DaVinci Resolve and Fusion merged, I knew it was time to dump the ‘clay’ and move to Resolve. I spent the next year working to get familiar with the full platform and implement it in our program at CTEC.”

Shay also uses Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro digital film cameras for his personal video work and plans to implement them into his curriculum at CTEC once the current department cameras are ready to be replaced.

“Our program is deeply invested in EF mount glass, and I would like to continue to use these lenses with our next cameras. I also like the OS of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera platform, which is now available for free on iPhones, making it even more accessible. Students need a simple and straightforward interface. Blackmagic Design does this better than any other camera in its class.”

He concluded, “When I took this position nearly seven years ago, the policy required different post production software across the district, but I worked hard to get exceptions made specifically for our program. My long term goal is to introduce Blackmagic Design cameras to the classroom to accommodate a full Blackmagic Design based workflow.”

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