AM in the AM

Behind the Scenes of Morning Announcements


iMac Inside Recording Room

Kazu Pang and Denny Lee

At the start of every second class of the day, Mr. Walker leads with a now-iconic quote: “Your AM in the AM is now available for your viewing pleasure. Please have a wonderful day.” The quote heard around campus is immediately followed by slides of various Mitty activities accompanied by pop music. As per any routine, students become accustomed to watching the campus’s daily news. But what actually happens behind every recording? 

It all starts with clubs and sports sending their announcements and Mitty Minutes to Ms. Stephanie Schoppe, the Assistant to the Office of Student Activities. In the corner of Sobrato, Ms. Schoppe works to organize all announcements sent to her in a concise fashion. Limited to at most three Mitty Minutes per announcement, club announcements come in at a first come first served basis. 

Your AM in the AM is now available for your viewing pleasure. Please have a wonderful day.”

— Mr. Greg Walker, Director of Student Activities

The filming takes place before the first period in the TV studio in Sobrato. Inside of the room, an iMac with a green screen presents itself for the reader to talk through the announcements. Within the group there are ten student announcers, each swapping out every week; logistically, this allows students to take breaks and be substituted for if absent. Recordings are mandated to be done in a single take–regardless of any faults and practice runs. 

The single recording makes the task of editing simpler for editors Mr. Walker and Ms. Rodriguez; instead of splicing various clips together in iMovie, trimming out errors is far easier to execute. By listening to audio cues, the editors are able to pinpoint which parts of the recordings are practice runs and which are the formal announcement. Mr. Walker mentions that “the clips are usually around twenty minutes, but we are only given five.” As such, carefully cutting out as much as possible while still saving the majority of the content is crucial to the editing process. As far as timing goes, it takes only around ten minutes to edit every announcement from start to finish.

Finally, when all the recording and editing is done, the editors are able to publish the daily announcements, making them available for everyone’s “viewing pleasure.” So, when you are wondering who is inserting the cheesy dad jokes at the end of the week, you will have Ms. Schoppe to thank for that. And, as the end of the five minute clip would say: “Go Monarchs!”