Behind The (Green)screen: A Look into CVU Student Council News

Ms. Elena Crites

Every-other Tuesday at 10:00 am, CVU Student Body Co-President and Student Council News Anchor, Nicole Eaton, is hard at work. Along with notorious CVU AV expert Gary Lambert, Nicole produces bi-weekly news segments in order to inform the student body on the goings-on of the CVU community.

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Nicole Eaton rocking the SCN anchor spot (and cross-promoting CVU Basketball)

 This is Nicole’s first year anchoring, and she was selected not only due to her Student Council position but also because of her strong interest in broadcasting and her experiences within the field. She says that while filming this year’s welcome video, she talked with Gary regarding her college plans to study communications as well as her experiences during an internship she had with FOX 44 and ABC Local 22.

The CVU anchor position was still yet to be filled, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. “ I [love anchoring the SCN], just because this summer, when I was watching the anchors for the FOX 44 and ABC Local 22, it was really inspiring, and I didn’t really get a chance to actually practice the skills that I was seeing them use… [Now] I’m using [those] skills and it’s fun that people get to see me and that I get to see myself do something that I want to do in the future.” For Nicole, anchoring is not only an enjoyable extra-curricular activity, but also a great addition to the resume of a future communications major.

The news segments are produced in a fairly straightforward manner, utilizing the vast AV resources provided by CVU. In preparation for Tuesday, Nicole writes her script for the week, using a variety of relevant content. She says that when deciding what to include in new episodes, she likes to talk with the Student Council during their Thursday meetings to gather new content and ideas. “It takes me about thirty minutes to write the script just because I research certain things that are going on with the community, what happened within the community, then I send it to Gary and he [makes] edits,” says Eaton. This script acts as the baseline for the Student Council News episode created that week.

During their Tuesday meetings, Nicole sits down at the desk in front of the AV lab’s green screen, which was brand-new as of last year. She reads the news from an iPad teleprompter into the camera facing her. The lights above her are bright and hot, illuminating the area around her as well as her face, while her live image is relayed onto multiple television screens, superimposed on top of an animated news studio. The AV room provides all of this fantastic tech, which is also open to other CVU students to use.

“It can take fifteen minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes to record, just depending on how I feel that day: If I can’t speak it takes a long time, if it’s smooth it can be really fast, which is nice. Then Gary edits it that night, I make graphics, and by the next day, it’s usually out. The whole process probably takes a 24 hour period.” claims Eaton. This is a relatively quick turnover time, especially with a crew of only two people.

 Nicole says that the most important task of the CVU Student Council News is to be sure to include everyone. She says, “I really want to incorporate everybody. [For example,] I don’t want it to be specifically directed towards athletes, since then non-athletes, faculty, parents, etc. wouldn’t want to watch the show.” The news is sent out to the entire student body and all the faculty & staff and is also attached to the weekly CVU celebrations sent out to the whole CVU community, so a seemingly universal appeal is important.

Nicole says that they’d love to see more student involvement within the bi-weekly production of the news since at the moment the bulk of the workload falls onto herself and Gary.

For those who would like to get involved with the news, please contact or reach out to Gary, Nicole, or another Student Council Representative.

See the latest episode of SCN Right here:

Or check out CVU Media Labs YouTube channel here.