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Sandy Journal

TV crew surprises Bell View teacher; she, class to appear on show ‘Random Acts’

Apr 09, 2018 10:24AM ● By Julie Slama

Will Rubio, host of BYUtv’s “Random Acts” show, surprised Bell View teacher Rachel Bingham when she learned she and her students would get help creating a video at a professional television studio. (Rachel Bingham/Bell View)

While seated in her early morning third-grade team meeting with other teachers, Rachel Bingham didn’t think it was odd that cameras were filming the meeting.

“I assumed they were for our team leader,” Bingham said. “She is amazing — a real role model teacher. I was just told to look nice.”

But during the meeting, a man barged in and addressed her.

“He said, ‘I’m ready, if you want to come with me,’” she said. “I had no idea what was going on.”

What was going on will be part of the third season of BYUtv’s “Random Acts” show that will air in April.

Bingham, confused, said, “What are you talking about? What is this? Who are you? I don’t go with strangers.”

At that point, the man introduced himself: “I’m not a stranger. You’re probably a little confused. My name is Will and I’m the host of ‘Random Acts,’ a show where we do nice things for nice people. You’ve been nominated by students, teachers, colleagues, the principal — everybody has told us how amazing you are.”

Bingham, who said she still hadn’t comprehended what all was going on, responded with, “I’m not. Wait, I’ve seen you before.”

That’s when Will Rubio explained how they had lined up a film studio and professionals to help her make films she enjoyed doing with her students. But they had to leave immediately and she didn’t have to worry, her class was being covered.

Sort of. 

As an added surprise, Bingham discovered, once the initial tears had dried up, that her principal, Chanci Loran, knew Bingham’s thoughts would turn to her students. She arranged for them to go to the studio as well.

“I kept saying to Will, ‘This is so cool. I’d love to have my students see this and have a field trip here.’ That’s when he told me, ‘I’m going to help you with that,’ and he opened the stage doors and all the students were there. I started crying all over again. I was totally blindsided,” Bingham said.

And blindsided she was, as while teaching class earlier that week, the film crew had been at Bell View, shooting footage that may be added to the film she and her students were making. 

“They even filmed my classroom when I was called to the office to help as a Spanish translator. They kept me in the office for 15 minutes expecting a call,” she said, adding that now she realized that there never was intended to be a phone call.

Through the years, Bingham, with the support of Loran and her former principal, Christine Webb, has taught her students about filmmaking, and together they have won several awards at Canyons School District’s annual film festival.

“I didn’t know a whole lot about films, but I learned on YouTube,” she said. “We’ve tried a lot through the years using apps to more crude methods, such as using butcher paper for a green screen. The kids love it and are excited to learn this way. They come up with amazing ideas outside the classroom and have so much fun, they don’t realize they’re learning at the same time.” She uses filmmaking to improve students’ reading and writing skills as well as to boost their confidence and creativity.

But Bingham’s surprise didn’t end with the arrival of the students. She learned her niece, Hannah Yeo, who graduated in film studies from BYU and now lives in Georgia, flew in to help with the student film project. She had nominated Bingham for the award two years ago and she was selected from thousands of submissions.

“She’s my favorite person in the whole world and she didn’t say a word to me about this,” Bingham said. “I started crying yet again. I was super emotional.”

She already had worked with the students on the outline of their three-minute video on anti-bullying and another teacher helped write a rap for it.

“We shot a lot of the video right then and there that day. They had a choreographer help us, taught the students moves and blocked scenes,” she said. “At first I was nervous, but they just helped me right through it. I learned they even had a drone that shot the kids getting on the bus and filmed them on the way down to Provo.” 

Bingham said it was a great opportunity for her and her students to be provided with the technology and support to create a professional film.

“The whole cast and film crew was there and everyone was so nice. I felt guilty I was having this amazing experience. I feel that everyone should have it. It’s something the kids will always remember and I will never forget,” she said. “It was so wonderful.”