Behind the Scenes of the Daily Ramble

Natalie Yilanjian, Student Writer

It is the daily news of Pennridge High School that every student and staff member knows and loves: The Daily Ramble!  I had the privilege of going behind the scenes to see all the dedication, laughs, teamwork, and focus it takes to produce an episode for the news network of the school.

The PennridgeTV channel (on YouTube) logo.

The production process starts with written announcements coming to Mr. Friedman, the anchor of this team, from the main office.  “We hope to give people the tasty news that they crave,” he said.  These announcements are approved in advance by the administration so that they are good to go when the Ramble crew hits the record button.  But before that red record light is on, a camera schedule is sent out to all the members where the roles for the episode being filmed are established.  On the day that an episode is being filmed, the students come into class, view the camera schedule, and conference with their peers or Mr. Friedman to go over what they will be reading on the teleprompter.  This is so that each member of the cast is familiar with the material being said in order to avoid pronunciation errors or minor mistakes along those lines.  Then, the cast and crew make their way into the recording studio a few steps outside of Room 120.  Everyone gets into their place: in the booth, at the desk, or in front of the green screen.  Last minute touch-ups are made, a sound check is run, the set gets quiet, and the team calls action.

Elise Gilles controls the teleprompter while Logan Arnold reports on the weather and lunch.

When watching the process that I just described to you, it is evident that the production of the Ramble is an all-out team effort.  If you are not in front of the camera, you are behind it in the booth.  About half of the crew stays in the sound-proof booth, controlling meticulous details like the volume of the microphones on the cast members being recorded, the speed at which the teleprompter runs at, the timing of images and graphics appearing on the screen, and the times at which one of the multiple cameras is recording at the right spot in the studio.  All of which come together and give the PHS population their source for all the news on what is happening within the walls of the school building.

As perfect and (somewhat) simple as the entire process sounds, I got to see when observing the Ramble be filmed that we are all human.  Everyone makes mistakes, nothing is perfect, and it is a process that takes learning.  You may not do everything perfectly on the first try, and that is okay.  Most likely, you will laugh it off with the rest of your crew members and get right back into rerunning it with the whole class’s support.  Tyler Menzel, a member of the Daily Ramble team says “I think a lot of people do not expect all the prep that goes on, and the bond between cast members.  We all become like a family, not just classmates you are forced to work with.”

Mr. Friedman supervises and helps the crew in the booth rerun a snippet of the Ramble.

The final part of producing an episode of The Daily Ramble is taking the cover shot.  The crew gathered around the desk, did a quick pose, and captured the moment.  The hard work and dedication that every single member put into the process, which was about 25 minutes total, was now complete.  Another addition to the hundreds of episodes over the years is ready and will soon make its way to a classroom projector near you!