"I had a major turnaround," the 16-year-old said. "Now I want to do journalism and broadcasting."She's not the only one whose life took a turn after joining the non-credit club that produces a weekly program beamed into the Middle Village school's homerooms. Senior Daniel Filandro, 18, was curious about the behind-the-scenes work of movie-making but never had any hands-on experience. After the club's first after school meeting in October, his interest became a calling - he's heading to St. John's University in the fall to study television and film production. "I think it's really fun. I love the whole technical aspect of film and television. Once I heard about it (the club), I joined right away," Filandro said. "It definitely helped me make my decision that this is what I really love." He is among the 23 students who help produce five-to-seven minutes bits in a basement studio that was converted from the faculty weight room last fall. The room has four setups: a news desk, a sports banner for the athletics segments, a couch for a features bit called "The Lighter Side of Christ the King," and a pink and blue backdrop for administrative announcements. The six reporters cover academic programs, talent shows, sporting events - anything that is going on in the school. The first segment in February focused on Black History Month and featured a student re-enacting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a Dream" speech. The club meets two days a week under the supervision of building maintenance technician Frank De Biase, a retired correction officer. He was put in charge because of his expertise in electronics. "We teach them every aspect of it - of broadcasting. We teach the kids how to work the lights. How to do the cameras. How to work the sound board. Editing," De Biase said. "We seem to be attracting kids who are not that interested in sports for the most part." Reach Matt Monks at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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