Video puts fire department in spotlight - It may be just over 10 minutes in length, but a video produced by students at the Niagara College fit the bill for Niagara Falls firefighters.
“It was interesting,” Niagara Falls Fire Department (NFFD) Chief Lee Smith said of the process which created the film, which details the work of the department, including fire response and prevention and the diversity of challenges faced by the department in a city with numerous bodies of water, high rise hotels and mix of urban and rural areas.
“We wanted to provide customer service and a video was a way for us to do it.”
So the department had a need and as it turns out, so did the third-year students in Niagara’s Television Broadcasting program.
“It was a really good opportunity to get the kids into the community and work with groups in the community,” said Bill Boehlen, professor for the broadcasting program.
He said it wasn’t the first time the college has worked with Falls firefighters, Students from the program has previously put together a video on emergency responsiveness involving the NFFD and Niagara Emergency Medical Services (NEMS). Students have also done safety and firefighting-related productions for Ontario Power Generation.
The video had been in the works since the start of the school year in September, Boehlen said.
Each year in the fall term, third year TV production students take on a number of corporate promotions for local organizations. The fire department video was conceived entirely by the students with final approval being in the hands of the NFFD.
Students met with department officials to get an idea of what they were looking for, taking notes, Boehlen said.
“Then they rewrite those notes into a proposal and seek approval.”
From there a shooting script was created and submitted to the department for approval, Boehlen said.
When it came time to making the actual video, the department provided access to people and locations to the students.
Once a rough cut was completed, it was submitted to the fire department for approval of “content, coverage and quality,” Boehlen said. “And to see if re-shoots are needed.”
From beginning to end, it was a three-and-a-half-month process, And it was an experience producer Heather Farrer wouldn’t trade for the world.
“The firefighters were great to work with,” Farrer said. “If there was anything we needed, they’d do it.”
Farrer, who is interning with CTV said she and her fellow students — director Storme Garwood as well as Kindra LaPier, Amber Vescio, Austin Munday, Mike Roi and Max Coleman — all pitched in.
“Everyone who was on it did a lot,” Farrer said. “Overall it was a good experience for all of us.”
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