Rebecca Southward’s Media Design class from John Muir Middle School recorded their own takes on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles voices during a recent field trip to the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in April.
Twenty-four 13- and 14-year-olds from the class visited Nickelodeon, along with Southward, Muir Principal Dr. Greg Miller and BUSD’s Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Peggy Flynn.
As part of Nickelodeon’s ongoing partnership with Muir Middle School, the student took part in the mock recording session using rough footage from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode.
Nickelodeon’s Manager of Audio Production, Justin Brinsfield, along with audio engineer Matt Corey and assistant engineer Manny Grijalva, hosted the class in Recording Studio A at the studio complex.
Students were able to sit behind the recording desk and watch Corey run playback and record the voice overs.
The kids, in groups of four, took turns in the vocal booth, each speaking the lines on a script in front of them and making additional sounds as directed by the engineer.
“The Nickelodeon field trip was really interesting and fun,” said 14-year-old Andre Nazarian. “We went in the recording studio and saw how they record the different voices for cartoons.”
“Each one of us got to act the voices out,” he added. “I had a lot of fun and can’t wait to go back.”
“I loved when we got to say our lines,” said 13-year-old Alyona Kosogon. “It was really fun.”
As Muir continues to build its media program, Nickelodeon has provided a great deal of support including several enrichment classes every semester for the Media Design students. Professional artists, programmers, engineers and designers from Nickelodeon teach intensive classes on a range of topics related to animation, game design and film-making.
“I love doing these things,” commented Brinsfield. “Any time we have students coming in… it’s important teaching these kids there are other things they can do besides performing.”
“A background as an actor and performer can help bring out the best performance in others,” Brinsfield added. “But, there are so many other things you can do creatively besides being in front of the camera.”
Nickelodeon shows the Muir students the film-making process from beginning to end, for each new semester class. In May, students will work with an Avid editor and drop their dialogue into a scene. Copies of their work will be sent home with students.
“It was a cool experience,” added 13-year-old Matthew Porras. “It was fun because we got to interact with people who are characters in shows there.”