EMAC visits Cowboys Stadium

photo by Rebecca Neumann

EMAC students experiment with pictures on Tom Landry's statue by Cowboys Stadium. Photo by Rebecca Neumann

Story by Rebecca Neumann
Entertainment Editor
Video by Davis DeLoach and Chris Reagan

Cowboys Stadium offers many things: great entertainment, great food, great facilities, and, for the students of the Coppell High School EMAC academy, a great opportunity to learn about media and technology.

On Tuesday, around 60 students, excited about the trip and the prospect of missing a school day, piled into two buses and visited one of the NFL’s newest stadiums. Upon arrival, they all split up into different groups of four, each including one advertising student, one photographer, one reporter and one videographer.

For the first part of their visit, they filmed video introductions, took pictures of the massive structure and scribbled descriptions in their notebooks. Then they met by the bronze statue of coach Tom Landry and began their official, behind-the-scenes tour.

The tour was conducted by Cowboys’ assistant public relations representative Joe Trahan. Trahan, who normally helps conduct interviews and press conferences, believes the students have a lot to learn from the stadium.

“[The tour] opens their eyes to the technology in front of them,” he said. “It can also lead them into different careers. But it’s not just a great learning experience. It’s fun, too. ”

He began by leading the students to radio press row, where the national, local and Spanish radio stations do their radio broadcasts. Everyone got the chance to look around at the equipment in the booths and take in the extensiveness.

After that, Trahan showed the students the control room for every television in the stadium, including the nine-story screen rising above the field. Director of Broadcast Engineering Services Dwin E. Towell, who is in charge of the televisions, gave students the opportunity to ask him specific questions about how everything was controlled.

Later, the EMAC students were taken into a luxury suite so that the photographers and videographers could get good shots and experiment with angles. EMAC team lead Irma Kennedy stressed the importance of angles and shots in her videographers’ assignment, but she also wanted her students to notice how cameras are used in the real world.

“As we came to this field trip, the students were able to see that, ‘Wow, all the different angles and shots that we practiced in class are used in a professional setting,’” Kennedy said. “You don’t just see one shot panning back and forth on the JumboTron. You see the director switching from camera to camera, there are six different cameras all over the field, so each angle is critical to the video in the end.”

Freshman Lance McCaskey, an aspiring sports columnist, thought the field trip taught him about his future career.

“I’m learning what it takes to be a big-time reporter and writer,” he said. “They’re showing us all of the equipment we have to learn how to use. I think we are being prepared because a lot of people wait until college to start to know this stuff so we’ll have an edge over other students in the nation because we’ll have the experience they won’t get to receive.”

The students got a chance to tour the locker rooms of both the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and the players. They captured shots of staged locker scenes and organized themselves for group photos. Then they were told about press conferences and got to play one out with the students being the reporters and the coaches.

Finally, for the grand finale, the EMAC students were led onto the field. They played around, look pictures of the star, the endzone,  JumboTron and laid in the turf.

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