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UTTC student in the media
Job at TV Station seen as Stepping Stone
17 December 2007

BISMARCK (UTN) Jeremy Pettigrew wants to edit. The kind of editing done in the computer with moving pictures and sound. Where you tell a story using scenes shot on videotape.

Jeremy Pettigrew
Jeremy Pettigrew (gesturing behind the camera) a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, works as a studio camera operator at a TV station in Bismarck, ND.

      Right now he's pretty close to doing that having landed a job in the media. Pettigrew is employed as a studio camera operator at KFYR-TV, the local NBC affiliate in Bismarck, North Dakota.

      Several nights each week his work site is a TV studio on the second floor of a downtown office building. There he wears an audio headset and maneuvers a video camera in front of the evening news desk under rows of bright lights suspended from the ceiling. Using hand signals he relays timing cues to the news anchors from a director in the control room.

      "It's not exactly what I trained for but I like my job," said Pettigrew with a friendly smile. "Everything is so time oriented right down to the second. It's interesting. Pretty cool."

Jeremy Pettigrew
Jeremy sharing a laugh with TV station co-worker Lee Ellison. UTN photos Dennis J. Neumann.

      A member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pettigrew was raised in and around Wounded Knee, SD and educated at Red Cloud Indian School, where he first got his hands on a computer to work with media. He and his wife Elisha Yellow Thunder, a student in the UTTC Environmental Science Program, have three children ages two, four and five. He graduated with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in May 2007 from United Tribes Technical College. He studied film and animation, and editing in the college's Art-Art Marketing Program.

      It was during a class field trip to the TV station that he thought of applying there. So, he said, he gave it a shot. Three months later he received a call from the station's operations manager; he was hired part time and trained on the job for doing camera work. He also changes light bulbs and moves the furniture that makes the set for different programs.

      "The people are really nice to work with," he said.

Jeremy Pettigrew
Jeremy Pettigrew made this photo of himself at the controls of a studio TV camera.

      Occasionally it can be pretty crazy what goes on behind the camera, he observed, people running around to get things together. "You never see that on TV, of course. They're very professional."

      During the day Pettigrew continues to attend UTTC. He carries 19 credit hours of classes in Small Business Management, his second major. When it comes to working with media his ambition is to make his own films and videos. He'd like to try for more advanced media schooling when time and money permits.

      For now he sees the studio camera job as a good start a place where he can get more experience. In his next step he'd like to put his college training to work by editing videotape. After that? Well, stay tuned.


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