On Nov. 12, the BOE announced that President of Marvel Studios and WHS Class of 1991 alum Kevin Feige donated $500,000 for new equipment in the TV studio. With the studio undergoing renovations, the donation will fund state-of-the-art audio and video equipment.
After administrators reached out to Feige, TV Production Teacher Jason Ruggiero and Media Coordinator Kristine Kowalczuk had a conference call with him, explaining the TV production classes currently offered at WHS.
“He was very interested in what was happening since he left and what we would do with the money if he donated it,” said Ruggiero. “It was a great conversation. He was extremely down to earth and I could tell how much this program meant to him when he was a student, and he was happy to be able to help give that to other students.”
The previous equipment couldn’t keep up with the demands of Kowalczuk and Ruggiero’s curriculum. When their TV Production 2 class tried to simulate a studio production, it didn’t pan out due to poor equipment and limited space.
“With the equipment we were using, it was hard to set everything up and break it down. Now everything is in its spot, and we’ll be able to do three-camera live productions,” said Kowalczuk.
Students are excited about the updates as well. “When I was in the TV studio, everything felt so old and outdated,” said senior Anthony Merlo. “This is definitely a big step up compared to a few MacBooks on a folding table. Now they will have some professional equipment in there.”
The studio will welcome a new production switcher, lights, cameras, a graphics machine, a green screen and a control room. “Everything you need to do a live studio production, we will have,” said Ruggiero. “It will allow us to finally have a morning show class which is in the process of being approved and will hopefully be offered next year.”
WHS senior and TV production student Matt Goldman took into account how these renovations and Feige’s donation will draw in the next generation of students. “I definitely think that it will impact students greatly,” said Goldman. “Hopefully it will populate down to the middle schools where people will be picking their classes for high school and they’ll be like, ‘Wow, maybe I am interested in TV and maybe it’s a class I want to take eventually.’”
In the meantime, TV production courses will take place in the library during renovations. The studio is expected to be finished by the second semester of this year.