Youth Become Zoom TV Stars

Did you know Zoom isn’t just for conference calls? Midpen Media’s first-ever “Zoom to Be a TV Star” youth workshop proved that entertaining and educational TV could be produced on the video communications platform. Four students aged 11-18, located in Arizona and California, came together to learn how to create media content and stage fun TV shows over Zoom. 

The class was taught by Associate Director of Programs Sara Bennett. She admits it was a little weird teaching over Zoom because she couldn’t demonstrate things in person and had to rely on her verbal communication skills. She worked with the students to develop content for three shows. One was a quiz show, another a cooking show, and the last a talk show that took on a serious topic. “It was interesting to get the kids’ perspective on COVID-19 and going back to school since, in the mainstream news, all we hear from are school officials and parents,” says Sara.

The quiz show “You’re a Quizzard!” fills the screen with four squares containing contestants, host, and a quiz master. Students learned how to use their virtual backgrounds and find good set choices within their homes for visually appealing backgrounds. Two commercials were included in the half-hour show, one for pet food and the other a PSA reminder to wash your hands to stop the spread of COVID-19. The cooking show “Yolkers” was a live in-kitchen cooking demonstration showing how the students like to prepare their eggs with a host guiding the audience through the process. The talk show “Chit Chat” delved into the pros and cons of going back to school before COVID-19 is under control and underscores the comfort level of students faced with going back.

Sara says all the kids had fun, and they were especially excited to see their shows appear on Midpen Media’s cable channels. Watch them anytime on our YouTube channel.