Venzina, who worked in the aviation industry before teaching at Burroughs, said his class opens students up to career possibilities that they may not know about.
“Most students just don’t know that they could become an aircraft mechanic in a short amount of time,” he said. “And there’s a big need for mechanics.”
In the four years Venzina has taught the class, he has seen students move on to aviation programs, and others often set their sights on the Air Force.
Senior Matthew Larin, 18, said he has developed an appreciation for the importance of exactitude in aviation, especially where wings are concerned.
“I’m learning a lot in this class about airplanes and stuff like that,” he said.
Students who may have career leanings toward the film industry start with the basics, presenting still shots in video form, video production teacher Patrick Carman said. Then they move on to doing a video voice-over for a children’s book and a commercial spot, he said. The final project asks students to write an interpretation of a favorite song, portray that interpretation through story-boarding and then make a music montage using video, he said.
“They get the idea that understanding film is really about understanding montage,” he said.
Students who perform well in the first class progress to the advanced course, where they create silent films before making a short comedy or drama with sound, based on a 10- to 15- page screenplay.
“They do all aspects of the film,” Carman said. “They’re the writer, they’re the director, they’re the editor and in some cases the actor.”