Kent students coordinate infomercials for new GPS program

Rachel Hagenbaugh

Three Kent State students are producing a set of infomercials to help attract students to think about the Graduation Planning System (GPS).

Deborah Barber, executive director of degree planning, pitched her idea to Mark Warzinski, production manager of TeleProductions, and explained that she wanted students to help create the infomercials.

“She understands if you make a video for students that you need to make it appealing to students,” said Shane Roach, senior media specialist for TeleProductions.

The majority of the projects done for TeleProductions are geared toward students. Roach said they took it a step further than he originally anticipated by letting the students produce the infomercials.

“I saw how dedicated they were and felt comfortable letting them produce it themselves,” Roach said.

TeleProductions organized a focus group of students who formed ideas about the GPS infomercials. All the students in the focus group were told to write their own scripts for the project.

Carla Johl, senior electronic media major, said becoming a producer of one of the infomercials was “spur of the moment.” The students had some experience writing scripts for class, but never professionally.

“We wanted to make it humorous,” said Daniel LeBeau, junior electronic media major. “We wanted settings where you didn’t think it would be about the GPS.”

Johl and LeBeau said they’ve seen the typical advertisement before, and they wanted something that would be different and fun and catch students’ attention.

They’re learning valuable hands-on experience, Roach explained. Until someone has to fully coordinate the productions, it’s difficult to anticipate the complications.

“They’re teaching us things that we can’t learn from a textbook,” Johl said.

A lot of the planning is done on their own time, Roach said. The students don’t get paid for the extra work they put into the infomercials, but they understand the dedication it takes to create a good, finished product.

“The TeleProductions staff have a lot of faith in us,” Johl said. “They’re willing to step back and let us do it.”

Filming is scheduled to begin this week, and each student’s infomercial will take about five hours to film. LeBeau said it would take a week to finalize all the details. The infomercials are scheduled for completion for Fall 2011 semester.

Rachel Hagenbaugh is a Summer Kent Stater reporter.

Contact her at [email protected].