Mary DeChambres, ACE, an Emmy award-winning television editor, visited Blanson CTE High School video production students for a week-long intensive. Before making her way to Hollywood, DeChambres began her career as an art teacher at Eisenhower Ninth Grade School. While teaching, she taught herself how to edit photos and videos. It wasn’t until she took an editing course at the University of Southern California and interned at a video music production company that she realized she could do this full-time.
The more she worked with the editing tools the more she became passionate about storytelling through video. When deciding to take on video editing full-time, her first opportunity was with a company that produced reality shows. She has worked on shows from The Real World on MTV to Project Runway (Bravo and Lifetime) and American Ninja Warrior (NBC).
During the intensive at Blanson, DeChambres spent time explaining the creative process and techniques used to take reality show film and create a story. She also emphasized the importance of collaborating with others and using ethical practices in the industry. DeChambres showed the students raw footage from American Ninja Warrior before editing and walked the students through her process, using the tools that they have access to in their video production classrooms. The video production students were excited to have a professional television editor show them the different possibilities and opportunities they have after leaving high school.
“After exploring the different styles of editing and production, I’ve decided that reality television production is what I want to focus on after graduation,” Ilona Guillory, Blanson CTE High senior, said. “My week with Ms. DeChambres inspired me and helped me realize what is possible in this field when you work on your skills.”
DeChambres left the students with a video editing assignment. Students were tasked with highlighting the different programs offered at their campus in a one minute video. They split into groups and interviewed students from each program and will edit the footage to make one final video. DeChambres walked the hallways with students providing them support and offering them suggestions as they chose how and where to interview their peers.
“I love teaching and I’m incredibly impressed with the students and this program,” DeChambres said. “I want the students to understand that I used the same tools that they are using to change my career.”
Blanson CTE High School offers audio video production courses starting in ninth grade. The program provides training for entry-level employment in a wide array of industries. These include audio, video, television and film. Other work possibilities could lead to work in cable television, education, radio and business. The students use professional grade equipment and software and will create student-led productions during the program. This will give them a solid foundation in audio, video, and film style production projects. Skills students develop include video recording/editing, audio recording/editing, video production, scripting/writing, motion graphic video/animation, lighting techniques and crew positions.
“I found my niche in post production,” DeChambres said. “There is a lot of creative control for editors in reality programming and I have the opportunity to make the story. I make it a point to honor each story I am working on.”
DeChambres explained that each of the students can graduate from this program and get jobs in the video editing industry right away. She reiterated that there are various opportunities in the video editing industry and that creativity is something that artificial intelligence can never take away.
The students will be sharing their finished video project with DeChambres at the end of the month.