Zooming in on the behind-the-scenes of video production


Alex Gonzalez

Video production senior Daniel Johnson (left) and junior Sasha Flores (right) live stream the football game against El Modena on Sept. 3 at Buena Park High School.

Yeihn Lee, Staff Reporter

In his first year as a teacher at Sunny Hills, Daniel Flores has already elevated the level of video production of campus events.

Flores, the new instructor for the Regional Occupation Program’s video production class, made announcements in each of his zero to six period classes during the first week of school in an attempt to recruit a specialized team.

That team, which now stands at 20, would be responsible for learning how to record or live stream various campus events ranging from assemblies to football games to other sports events.

On Aug. 17, Flores said he held an informational meeting in his classroom in Room 136 during lunch that attracted around 10 students to work on the first live stream event – the welcome back assembly on Aug. 20. They would eventually learn the diverse roles of a production team, such as those of a director, photographer, cinematographer or videographer.

“It was exciting to see a lot of students’ support, and students wanting to be a part of the program, especially a brand new program to the school,” Flores said. “I think with all of the excitement came a lot of questions, and a lot of students wanted to know what roles they can apply for.”

Being among the original 10 students who signed up to join the video production team, junior Sasha Flores – no relation to the teacher – also contributes to the team as one of the directors, planning and organizing the team’s schedule.

“Being part of the production team is really fun; the people are really nice and interesting, and you get to learn more about how each of the film equipment works and how the minor difference could change an entire video,” Sasha Flores said. “As a team member, I hope to learn how to manage different equipment on the whim while also strengthening my bonds and communication skills with my fellow team members.”

It was exciting to see a lot of students’ support, and students wanting to be a part of the program, especially a brand new program to the school.”

— Daniel Flores

To receive a position, Sasha Flores said students were interviewed for roles ranging from videographers, photographers, editors and drone operators, and Daniel Flores offered director positions to students who actively participated in the shaping of the video production team during the beginning of the school year.

The team members go to the video production room every day, whether or not a meeting takes place, and meetings are scheduled in advance for certain events that require extra hands, Sasha Flores said.

Besides live streaming campus programs and events, the crew was assigned its first documentary – putting together footage of the 2021-2022 football season and recording interviews with coaches and key players. It shared the trailer at the football team’s banquet on Feb. 10, and hopes to share the finished product at its film festival at the end of the year. 

“Our goal is to create a functional space where everyone can collaborate on all the planning and editing,” Daniel Flores said. “Our long-term goal includes more practice and training with our industry equipment.”

As of the week of Feb. 15, Flores and his group have uploaded a total of seven videos on its YouTube channel, Sunny Hills Video Production, which has 156 subscribers and 10,319 views. 

Senior Nadia Valenzuela, one of the lead photographers of the team, plans on pursuing a career related to video production, and she held this interest even before joining the team.

“My time on the team has provided me with many opportunities to gain experience with new equipment and working as a photographer,” Valenzuela said. “I plan on [pursuing] a career in professional photography.”

Daniel Flores hopes to have a second year of video production as an advanced course so that students will be able to gain further experience by covering more videos on various events happening in the school.

“We’re looking at the possibility of students being able to take on more activities for the school, different internships, job opportunities within local and out of the community companies,” he said.