Television production wins countless awards

Several of South’s Television Production students submitted videos and received awards from the Michigan Student Film and Video competition sponsored by the Digital Arts Film and Television organization (DAFT), Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA), and the Meijer Great Choices PSA contest.

The deadline for these competitions are between February, March and April, and the types of videos produced and submitted depends on the competition, TV Productions teacher, Steve Geresy, said.

Geresy said the Meijer Great Choices competition is strictly for public service announcements, which are 30 second commercials addressing a human message, MIPA has various categories in video journalism and video production, and DAFT also has a broad range of categories.

At DAFT, winning a Best of Show award for their public service announcement called Diversity, were students Alexandra Hughes ’17, Cameron Zak ’18, Dominique Maes ’17 and Jimmy Gallagher ’17.

Awards of Excellence were received by several students. Miles Dearing ’19 and Rachel Dearing ’17 were awarded for their PSA on domestic violence, Salvatore Cracchiolo ’17 and Lilly Weekly ’19 for their PSA called Peer Pressure, and Cracchiolo received another award for his news report on Metals and Ceramics.

Cracchiolo said Geresy submitted the videos he thought were the best.

“I’d say that the awards are just an indicator that I’m doing a good job.”

In addition, Oliver Lardner ’17 received an award of Excellence for the animated opener for the Feminist United Club, and the Freshmen Course Video received an award which was the result of 45+ students’ work.

Merit award winners were Hughes, Zak, Maes, Gallagher, Nathaniel Ferry ’19, Zachary Heimbuch ’19, Henry Ayrault ’19 and David Petrouleas ’19.

Receiving Honors at DAFT were Noelle Shaheen ’17 and Dearing for the Video Yearbook Opener, Sam Nehra ’18, Jack Coyle ’19 and Jeevan Telang ’19 for their opener called Texting and Driving Rap, and the Video Club for their PSA on confidence.

Nehra said his group was given the prompt of PSA’s directed towards teenagers from Geresy.  

“My group and I thought about it for about two or three days before one of my group members spent two nights creating the lyrics for a texting and driving rap,” Nehra said. “Soon after getting it approved we started to film simple short clips to form a well taught message that every teen can relate to.”

Nehra said his group wanted to make the video a bit comical to appeal to teenage students. He said after about a week of editing they showed it to the class to receive constructive criticism and incorporated their peers ideas to improve the video.

“Once we were all done we sent it into the Meijer Student film festival and waited for our PSA to be judged,” Nehra said. “Once we found out that we won an award we couldn’t be more pleased about how our video turned out and how everyone took it as a funny yet serious message.”

At the MIPA Student Competition on April 18, Ferry, Heimbuch, Ayrault and Petrouleas took third place for their Health PSA. Hughes, Zak, Maes and Gallagher received a first place award for their PSA on diversity.

Hughes said her group chose the topic of diversity over drinking and driving because they believed it would convey a more powerful message.”

“Our video included around 20-30 painted hands, and the different color hands represented the variety of races. As the video goes on the hands create a circle, which symbolizes the world and how we are one,” Hughes said. “To add a more relatable touch we wrote ‘I am..’ in the center of the circle and shot clips of people’s hands with a sign representing who they are, such as ‘I am.. athletic’ or ‘I’.”

Hughes said this award is an honor because their video is being shown to a larger group of people and they want this message to be heard.

South’s Freshmen Course Video’s production crew received a first place award. Joelle Reich ’19, Rachel Dearing, Nick Bojarzych ’17, Sharron Kerr ’20 and Raven Wittenburg ’20 received a second place for their PSA on confidence. Oliver Lardner received a second & third place for her animated openers. Cracchiolo, Weekly, Ferry, Heimbuch, Ayrault, Petrouleas, Addison Enders ’17, Caroline Calcaterra ’17 and Bridget Blondell ’18 received Honorable Mentions for their productions.

For the Meijer Great Choice PSA contest Hughes, Zak, Maes and Gallagher were named finalists for their public service announcement on diversity and could win up to a 1500 dollar grand prize.

Geresy said he is proud of the accomplishments of his students this year and he hopes to continue building on these success’ in the years to come.

“These awards given an acknowledgement that their idea had merit in someone else’s eyes,” Geresy said. “What started from having a group conversation ended up being a video, and then being judged, and you elevated it to be able to win a first or second or third place or honorable mention, and I think the students take pride in that.”