It began with a simple question between friends, inspired by a scene from the popular 90s television show, Saved by the Bell.
Senior Monty Mitchell (Groveport High School) asked, “Why don’t we have this?”
The “this” he was referring to was creating and broadcasting morning announcements at Eastland Career Center.
Monty and his friend Ousmane Moungnutou (Senior, Canal Winchester High School) pondered but could not come up with a good reason as to why not. The next day, the two presented the idea of a regular production to deliver important announcements to the students of Eastland Career Center, and with the approval of Director Jackie Kuffel, the project was born.
Monty Mitchell Ousmane and Monty quickly started generating ideas as to how they could begin creating and delivering announcements to the student body but knew they could not do it alone. Monty is actually a senior in the Pre-Engineering program at ECC and Ousmane a senior in the Interactive Media program. While both had an interest in filmmaking and video production, neither had much experience building and publishing content from scratch.
(Sr., Groveport HS)
Knowing that they needed some help, Ousmane and Monty turned to their fellow students both in and outside of the Interactive Media program for assistance. While the duo takes pride in serving as directors and producers and switching roles to allow experience in each, they recruited videographers, editors, reporters, and on-air talent to complete the team.
And that is how Eastland TV was born.
Interactive Media instructor Todd Seymour was intrigued at the idea brought forth by Ousmane and Monty, which was completely independent of anything he had planned for his class. In fact, the entire production is something the group does in its spare time and now that the group has momentum, Mr. Seymour only provides minimal guidance.
Ousmane Moungnutou (Sr., Canal Winchester HS)
“They [Monty and Ousmane] saw a need for better communication of policies and to enforce the positive things that Mrs. Kuffel really wants in this building and to make it more of a community kind of feel,” said Mr. Seymour. “I think it’s amazing that they do it on their own.”
Eastland TV produces a 4-6 minute video, bi-weekly, which includes important announcements, upcoming events, and also spotlights a different ECC career-technical lab in each installment. The completed video is distributed to academic and lab instructors throughout the building to play for its students in their first period classrooms. The Eastland TV staff is now working on Episode 5, and as each edition is released the progress the students are making becomes more and more evident.
The inaugural group of Eastland TV staff members invited students from different labs - including Dental Assisting, Medical Office, and Pre-Engineering - to work together. Some Eastland TV staff members are gaining valuable experience which they intend to take onward in their career pursuits. Others are simply enjoying the opportunity to try something new and having fun doing so with friends.
Ousmane says that he will be using this experience to break into the entertainment industry as a content creator in a major city, build his following while traveling the world, perhaps to his native country of Cameroon.
Monty is switching gears, so to say. While dabbling in content creation and audio/visual work over the last eight years, he is changing course from a path in engineering toward one in videography. He plans on attending Atlanta Technical College to major in Interactive Media, and aspires to film a movie, work for a major entertainment company, like Tyler Perry Studios. Eventually, and own his own company in due time.
The next challenge ahead for Eastland TV is having their work continued beyond the 2021-22 school year. For now, Eastland TV is staffed by seniors only. Ousmane wants Eastland TV to continue beyond his time at ECC, so he recognizes that this semester is a time in which the group needs to start recruiting juniors and those with special skills to learn about the project and continue building upon their foundation.
“I think [this experience] is invaluable. The lab spotlights that they are doing, they are bringing cameras into those labs. There is lab pride that happens. The labs want to show off what they are doing,” said Mr. Seymour. “It’s not necessarily all about the collaborative of the production team but of the content that they are showing and the decision that the production team is making to go out and make this campus a little smaller.”
To see the most recent episodes of Eastland TV, click Episode 4 or Episode 5
For more information about the Interactive Media program at Eastland Career Center, click here.
Eastland TV Full Crew
Monty Williams (Sr., Groveport, Pre-Engineering)
Ousmane Moungnutou (Sr., Canal Winchester, Interactive Media)
Lapri Rigsbee (Sr., Gahanna Lincoln, Dental Assisting)
Kayden Ganey (Sr., Reynoldsburg, Criminal Justice)
Julian Meacham Dean (Sr., New Albany, Interactive Media)
Nanyeli Encarnacion (Sr., Groveport, Dental Assisting)
Mr. Todd Seymour (Interactive Media instructor)
Ms. Kathryn Anderson (Library Media specialist)