The budding Watertown High School television production program received several honors this year thanks to the work of one enthusiastic student.
Senior Rebecca Grossman won four awards in the Boston/National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences high school competition for her work this year in the WHS television production program, which is just a few years old.
“When I came (to the School Committee) in January 2015, one of the goals was within 3-5 years I hoped to compete in the student broadcast awards,” said WHS TV instructor Todd Robbins. “We are well ahead of schedule. Not only did we compete but we did very well.”
Last year, the school competed in seven categories, but did not win any awards. This year WHS students competed in eight categories and won four awards.
All of those awards went to Grossman, for two documentary films she made.
Those who attended the School Committee meeting on June 13 saw “Latent,” a film in which Grossman focused on a poem read by its author and then shot footage to go with the spoken words. The film features footage shot at night in Boston and Cambridge. When it was over, the room was speechless.
That reaction is typical for people who saw Latent, Robbins said. (See the video here).
Grossman won the award in the Editor category for Latent, and got honorable mention in the categories of Photographer and Short Form Fiction (both for Latent) and in the Arts & Entertainment/Cultural Affairs category for her film “A Home at Watertown High School.”
Robbins noted that Grossman,, who was unable to attend the School Committee meeting where she was honored, had not taken a TV production class before this year. He added that making a piece based on a poem is a challenging prospect.
“She came to me and said, ‘I have a poem, and I have a vision for a film,'” Robbins said. “She absolutely delivered on it.”
By winning the Boston area competition, Grossman will be entered into the National Academy of Television Arts & Science’s national high school competition, which will present awards in September. Robbins also plans to enter Latent into the Telly Awards, where it will compete against professional film and television producers.