pictures were taken by APTRA's very dedicated Rachel Ambrose.
She's been a huge supporter of APTRA Academy since the day
we started the program. Let me tell you a little about these
pictures. The camp, at Cottontail Ranch in Malibu, is a role
play program. Aspiring anchors play the part of anchors at
Pepperdine University's television studios up the street from
the camp. Aspiring reporters play the part of TV reporters
at a fiction station called Malibu News 12. You can get more
detail on the workings of the camp in Joy Short's article
on this site, but these pictures reflect what some have called
two incredible days.
camp's dining hall is the meeting place for all program activities.
Here they're broken up into teams, assigned mentors (who work
in all aspects of television), have their meals, write and
have their packages edited on laptop editors provided by ICTN,
KFSN, KGO, KSBY and KVEA/KWHY. More editing takes place in
live trucks outside the hall. This year's microwave trucks
were provided by KCBS/KCAL, KTTV/KCOP and KMEX. The KCBS/KCAL
truck was also used to simulate liveshots done by all of the
students in the reporting camp. Additional gear was provided
by NBC11 in San Jose.
are mock news conferences help by real agencies PIOs. This
year by DEA, L.A. County Fire and LAPD. L.A. County Fire provided
a real hand crew. They could be seen hosing down a hillside
battling the fake brusher going on. File tape was used to
show flames, aerial water drops, a methlab explosion site
and so on.
had 3 wonderful actors. Conrad Bachmann (The West Wing) played
the part of a U.S. Senator on recess from D.C. when a methlab
explodes in his neighbor's home. As the story plays out the
methlab explosion triggers a brushfire. Victims played by
Nancy Sinclair and Brittny Roberts have tragic stories to
tell as one, Nancy, comes running out of a building screaming
in pain. The other (Brittny) ultimately faints. She was walking
her dog when the explosion occurred. She seriously bumped
her head, can't remember much and can't find her dog. All
three actors performances were made all the more realistic
by incredible special effects makeup done by Saeid Rastegar,
Carin Impionbato and Jessica Edwards. All, graduates of Joe
Blasco Make-Up Center, were just amazing to watch and so helpful.
next in the story is soap-operish! Senator Conrad appears
before a news conference to demand tougher laws. Then, not
from a real looking methlab (setup by DEA), two brawny DEA
agents arrest the suspect played by Anthony Smiljkovich. Every
other word is a four letter one as the suspect, handcuffed,
tries to fight off the men arresting him. Within seconds,
the Honorable anti-crime/anti-drug Senator Conrad realizes
the suspect is his son-in-law and goes berserk tearing his
way through the throng of reporters trying to get to him.
the hours that follow the drama, the students will write their
stories, have them edited and then, after a session on how
to send out resume tapes to News Directors, show them for
anchor academy has a similar drill in that it's dealing with
the breaking news of the brusher and other stories of the
day. They also interview the PIOs on the set.
methlab explosion-turned brushfire-turned national scandal
was memorable. The tapes the camp's students made were top
notch. Their level of enthusiasm and commitment couldn't be
beat. The mentors were absolutely remarkable! Enjoy the pictures!
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