Training turns out video specialists, military PR
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Nov 30, 2000
Defense Information School home page
Public support is vital to the armed services' ability to carry out their
mission of protecting the nation. Spreading the word to engender that support
is where the Defense Information School comes in.
DINFOS takes students from all
the military services and trains them on leading-edge broadcast and video
technology, said Army Lt. Col. Rick Sims, director of broadcast and video
production at DINFOS.
The students, who often do not have prior public affairs experience,
are trained in less than 60 days to produce broadcast and video projects
to be viewed by troops and the public worldwide.
"We need to turn 18- and 19-year-old kids from story consumers to storytellers
in just a few months," Sims said Thursday after his keynote presentation
at the Government Video Technology Expo in Washington, D.C.
To help make that accelerated learning curve possible, DINFOS has a
shared-storage computer system that serves as an archive for all of the
school's digital footage.
"There are 24 students using the editing system to pull pieces of footage,
take parts out and build a product," Sims said. "They use it independently
but can get it all at one time," which saves at least a day, compared with
the old method of making video duplicates and passing them around.
During the expo Thursday, Sims showed examples of student-produced pieces
that included a short documentary from the Marine Corps about the Korean
War and a video about an Army training program in a Pennsylvania town that
encourages kids to avoid drugs.
Sims, who is also a pilot, has produced videos in remote locations,
including Bosnia and Fairbanks, Alaska. He helps train more than 650 students
a year in six major courses of instruction, including basic broadcasting,
electronic journalism and video production documentation.
He said students often end up teaching instructors the best way to do
things using the latest technology. "It's the environment we live in," Sims
said. "These kids grow up with computers. They are sponges when it comes
to anything digital or with automation."