“For Students, By Students” is the tagline for the Ferris Out Loud talk show produced by Ferris students. Ferris Out Loud provides insight to the student experience at Ferris State University while also hitting on current events, trends, and music. Various students put a lot of time into producing these shows each week, and not many know about the work they do.
Ferris Out Loud is produced in the IRC by the Television and Digital Media Production students as a part of their TDMP 385 Television Studio Production course. The goal of the course is for students to learn the various roles that are involved behind the scenes of live production and to produce content weekly to gain those experiences. Some of the roles students have in producing Ferris Out Loud include producer, director, camera operator, stage manager and technical director. Each week students are graded on their ability to perform in these different positions.
“As part of the class, lab students produce two half-hour shows,” TDMP 385 professor Glen Okonoski said. “For each show, students rotate through different crew positions. The first time slot of the lab each week rotates through a few different shows. This semester those shows are Making the Grade, FSU Student Life, Expect Diversity and It’s Academic. These shows are produced once a month, on a rotating basis–three [shows] per semester. The second time slot then is producing Ferris Out Loud, which is produced weekly–11 times per semester.”
Okonoski explained that a student producer is assigned to each show, and that student is responsible for developing the topic and content for their specific episode. The producers typically start working on their content weeks in advance, and the whole crew will do a practice run on Wednesdays before their lab.
“It’s a lot of content that you have to come up with. Another thing that gives people trouble is being aware of how long each segment should be. This is hard to determine depending on what kind of hosts you have to work with,” TDMP student Junio Ellie Hardy described regarding the difficulties of being a producer,
There are three hosts chosen each semester: one main host and two co-hosts. The hosts do not have to be a part of the TDMP program and is usually someone selected by the TDMP students.
“As a co-host, I help fill in the topics that the main host leads. There are times where co-hosts lead the conversations, but that is usually up to the main host to decide,” said digital animation and design sophomore Derek Franciosi, a co-host on Ferris Out Loud.
Public relations students have also been co-hosting Ferris Out Loud for years. Public relations professor Patrick Bishop said, “My students have partnered with the TDMP program for years in co-hosting Ferris Out Loud. Typically, one of my seniors will co-host one episode as part of a class assignment. After being a co-host, my PR student uses their communication skills to help promote awareness of the episode and gain viewers.”
Bishop finds that his students do a great job and really break out with something most people would find very stressful. He said, “When a student achieves something they once thought was impossible, their confidence soars, and you can see it come out in everything they do.”
Hardy confirmed Bishops statement, “I love the adrenaline rush and the pressure to do well. It’s cool to see how live TV is produced. Gaining knowledge with this kind of technology makes me more confident within the other areas of the industry. It is challenging, and that’s why I like it.”
As a non-TDMP student, Franciosi finds that being a co-host is a great opportunity for him.
“Being able to work on your speech and language with a show like this is really an honor, as many don’t have this opportunity to be able to expose themselves to public speaking like this,” Franciosi said.
If you are interested in being a host of Ferris Out Loud, Franciosi said, “It doesn’t hurt to reach out to TDMP facility at the start of the next semester and see if they have an opening to host.” Check out the end results of the TDMP students production skills online at www.ferrisstate.tv (shows are available each Wednesday), or learn about upcoming shows on their Facebook page, Ferris Out Loud.