Carroll chosen as site for filming of instructional tax video


April 18, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Next year, Carroll County high school students might see their friends and neighbors in social studies class -- in a video series called "Understanding Taxes."

For the past two weeks, crews from Vince Clews and Associates have been in the county filming two of seven videos meant to teach high school students why people pay taxes, about tax preparation and the various ways citizens are taxed, said Internal Revenue Service project officer Maureen Shaffer.

The videos are produced by the IRS through the Agency for Instructional Technology in Bloomington, Ind. Three other videos were filmed on the West Coast and the final two will be filmed next week in Northern Virginia, Ms. Shaffer said.

"We do this so it becomes part of their nature," she said with a laugh during a break at Carroll Community College on Friday. About 10 CCC students were used as extras in the "tax preparation class" scene for the

15-minute video on direct and indirect taxes.

The second, filmed partially at Western Maryland College the week of April 5, is about a group of high school students who decide to produce a video series on taxation. Crews also filmed in the community college's Great Hall on Friday and at a private home on Willis Street in Westminster on Thursday.

"These are all part of a series, but the story lines are independent of one another," said producer Carol Peterson, who has created several Vince Clews productions in Carroll County.

The videos, used by at least one Carroll County high school, are accompanied by work sheets, computer software and classroom suggestions for teachers, Ms. Shaffer said.

"The materials have been around since the '50s and continue to be widely used," she said. "Presently, 80,000 students nationwide are using the materials. We're just updating them to make them more contemporary for students."

IRS employees update the writ

ten materials every year and the videos every five years, she said.

"If there are any drastic changes in the tax law, we have to re-edit or re-photograph the videos," said Jerry Brownstein of Action Productions Inc. in New York. The project's original contract was through Action, he said.

The free instructional materials are distributed to the high schools through state departments of education, Mr. Brownstein said.

Gary Dunkleberger, Carroll County's director of curriculum and staff development, said he wasn't sure whether any of the county public schools used the instructional materials. But a spokesman from Liberty High said they are used in some of his classes.

Ms. Peterson and Mr. Brownstein said they were pleased with their reception in the county. "We have found that Carroll County is a very good place to shoot," Mr. Brownstein said. "The various institutions, private homes and small businesses we've shot in have made every effort to be cooperative."

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