Every summer, Madison's non-profit community access television stationWYOU Channel 4 teams up with the Wisconsin Youth Company -- a network of recreational and informal educational programs for school-aged children -- to provide a video production experience for middle school students in the region.
Over the course of the weeklong WYOU Summer Youth Program, participating students work at the television studios to envision and produce a short film with the assistance of station staff. The experience teaches the basics of many elements of a production, including script writing, scene design, camera operation, and editing, all of which comes together in their final video creation. It is one of many opportunities in Middle School U, a ten week series of enrichment courses that is based out of Jefferson Middle School on the west side.
The most widely screened creation from this annual program at WYOU might be American Transport, a mock commercial for a travel agency that provides direct and instantaneous service to the destination of their customers' choice.
Created during the summer of 2005, the two-minute short was produced with the assistance of former WYOU executive director Whitney Wilcox and program coordinator Paul Schonfeld. It also features the song "8bit bEtty" by Bryan Teoh (MySpace), a Brooklyn-based electronic musician who originally hails from Wisconsin. This short film follows below, along with two others made through WYOU's Summer Youth Program.
In addition to playing on television and online, American Transport has also been shown on screen multiple times around Madison, including at the January 2006 screening for Wis-Kino and as part of the Young Visions and Voices series at the 2006 Wisconsin Film Festival.
Other short films created through the WYOU Summer Youth Program that are available online for viewing include The Making of Monkeys from Mars (2004) and Ms. Joneszilla (2006). This summer's video production course for youth at WYOU will be held in August. Hopefully this means that another creation from this growing series from may be available for viewing by autumn.