So, you want to know about Michael Harris?
It’s a good thing you’re on this page!
Michael Harris was born in Lakewood, California and spent his early childhood there. After his mother received a promotion through work, his family relocated to the Midwest state of Indiana. Michael grew up in Frankfort, Indiana and graduated from Frankfort High School.
At Frankfort High School, Michael served as many roles throughout his tenure in the broadcasting program, including but not limited to sound room technician, voice over personality, technical director, director, graphics operator, and producer. He was also a peer tutor his junior and senior year for the incoming freshman classes. Outside of broadcasting, Michael was involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Track and Field, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Marching Band, Concert Band, Pep Band, and Tech Theater. He graduated with a 3.4 GPA and ranked 38/188 in his class.
After graduating high school, Michael applied to several colleges and universities, and was accepted to his first pick, Ball State University. Michael is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Video Production with a minor in Leadership Studies.
After Michael arrived at Ball State, he got involved with several organizations.
At NewsLink Indiana, Michael started out as a camera operator his first semester freshman year. After Michael informed the Production Manager that he had previous experience in high school in the control room, he let Michael migrate into the Technical Director position. In this position, Michael worked alongside the Director and Producer to ensure the show ran smoothly. Michael assisted the Director with informing the camera operators of what shots were coming up in the rundown, and Michael controlled what the audience saw during the program (Video Switcher). While it was not his responsibility, Michael took it upon himself to learn the program that runs the virtual set called Maestro which works with a system called Orad. Michael also learned how to map certain destinations to certain buttons on the Grass Valley switcher. During his time as Technical Director, Michael was asked to take on the role of Assistant Production Manager so that he could be trained as the new Production Manager.
After Michael had done this for a while, he started directing a couple nights a week. This was a step above his last position and he worked directly with the Producer to ensure the show was on time. Michael also communicated to the Floor Director and Anchors via IFB earpieces directly. He is currently the Director for NewsLink Indiana as well as the Production Manager. As the Production Manager, Michael is in charge of the production team. Specifically, Michael trains everyone on various equipment, handles scheduling four days a week so that every position is filled and it is communicated weekly to the production crew, among several other things. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Michael also was “wearing another hat” as the temporary Graphics Department head. This entailed designing graphics (full screens, lower thirds, over-the-shoulders) for the show each day and recording them to the Lyric program and then calling them up during the show on the Chyron equipment.
In January of 2012, Michael was asked by the Executive Producer of Connections Live–a monthly human interest show on WIPB-TV–to join the show as a Technical Director shadow and a Segment Producer. From January through May he shadowed the Technical Director to learn the ins and outs of this show, as it was more complicated than NewsLink. While he was shadowing, Michael assisted in producing segments that paralleled with the show’s slogan: “Ordinary People. Extraordinary Stories.” In August 2013 thru December 2013 Michael served as a Segment Producer and Technical Director. As a Segment Producer, Michael conducted research to attempt to find stories to tell, would bring up the ideas at a crew meeting, and if he received the OK from the Executive Producer, Michael would contact the person he had in mind and see if they were interested in having a story produced on him or her. Some stories Michael produced or assisted in producing recently included Gina West and the Blue Ribbon Carriage Company in Indianapolis, Bob Mattax with Slop On Top, Muncie’s first food truck, Teri Ponzi and the Animal Rescue Fund (A.R.F.) in Muncie, Graham Brown and the United State of Indiana movement in Anderson, and Dan Meyer, a world record winning sword swallower from right here in Muncie.
In November of 2013 Michael was offered the positions of Director and Associate Producer with Connections Live. He has already started performing certain tasks as an Associate Producer such as generating the motion graphics for the show introduction, teasers, and credits, as well as gearing up for the recruiting event at CCIM’s Super Party, but he will not begin serving as Director until January of 2014.
With WCRD-FM/WWHI, Michael started working in August of 2012. He was the On Air DJ and Show Producer for the WCRD Countdown. The WCRD Countdown was a two hour show that counted down the Top 30 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 that week. Similar to Ryan Seacrest’s AT40. Michael unfortunately had to leave WCRD in October of 2013 so that he could focus more on the positions he now holds for NewsLink and Connections.
From August 2013-December 2013, Michael worked on an immersive learning project at Ball State working with Building Better Communities on a program called Primacy of Place. Michael assisted in producing three videos for this program: 1). Restoration and revitalization of the Whitely Neighborhood. 2). Importance of parks, bike trails, and other green spaces. 3). Growing interest and development of the local food movement (farmers, farmer’s markets, and local agriculture). This was a really great opportunity for him because it strengthened his liking of the Muncie community and influenced him to seek more involvement with Muncie and not just Ball State, and it also gave him great experience working on set with a lot of upper classmen that thought Michael was very mature and professional for his age. After discussing with the various project directors and faculty member Chris Flook, Michael has been asked to join yet another immersive project this coming semester (Spring 2014). On this project, his role will be the Assistant Camera Operator. The group he will be working with will be producing a short film entitled “The Blue.” Michael does not know much more because scripts do not get sent out until early January. Michael will also be assisting in Post Production of the Primacy of Place project during this semester.
As for awards and accomplishments, Michael has been awarded the William and Doris Mohr Scholarship from the Clinton County Education Foundation, The Outstanding Broadcasting Student award presented by Dale Snoddy and the Frankfort High School Broadcasting Department, The Clinton County Civic Theatre Scholarship sponsored by the Civic Theatre, The Otterman Scholarship sponsored by the Community Schools of Frankfort, and The IBA Scholarship sponsored by the Indiana Broadcasters Association. During Michael’s first year at college, he made the Dean’s List with a 3.5 GPA and completed the first phase of the Excellence in Leadership program. He will be an ambassador for said program next year and will be completing phase two.
Over the next two years, Michael plans to continue his degree and graduate in the spring of 2016. Production is Michael’s passion, and it is something he is looking forward to doing as a career for the rest of his life. Michael is still exploring what style and environment he would like to work in. After Michael has his round in the media field, he hopes to teach broadcasting at the high school level so that he may influence students to pursue a degree in the field just as his instructor did for him.
Should you need to get in contact with Michael, drop by the Contact Page.