Minarets students win awards at state media festivals

Tiffany TuellSeptember 26, 2012 

Over the summer, Minarets High School students and alumni were busy racking up media awards for their work that included documentaries, a wedding video, and a short animation.

At the California Student Media Festival, two Minarets students, and one alumni, were recognized -- Sarah McGibbon, Haley Honeycutt and River Harmony.

Sophomore Honeycutt's winning video were part of the Veteran's Oral History project. They recorded stories told by veterans, including a Pearl Harbor survivor. Honeycutt received Media Excellence for her documentary on Vietnam and Korean War veterans.

Junior Megan Hilliard also won Media Excellence for her Veteran's Oral History project documentary, which featured World War ll veterans, at the International Student Media Festival.

"One excellent aspect of these two videos was that they were produced as part of their history classes, combining academic disciplines," said Jon Corippo, Minarets director of technology and media coordinator.

Hilliard said she entered the competition not expecting to get an award, but she was soon happily surprised.

"It felt really amazing to have my work recognized in the festival," Hilliard said. "I chose the project because I think it was a great opportunity to interview the veterans and turn their stories into a documentary. It was important to me because I feel like I've set a part of history in stone. Those stories can't be told the same way again."

Also at the California Student Media Festival, McGibbon entered an award winning video called "Insecurities. The video features real students talking about how they handle things about themselves that they don't like.

"It's an insight into to a teenager's all too fragile psyche and it shares how kids deal with their insecurities successfully," Corippo said. "It's a video that's full of hope."

"Insecurities" was also nominated as a finalist at the South Bay Media Festival in Huntington Beach.

Minarets alum River Harmony won Media Excellence at the California Student Media Festival and Best of Festival at the International Student Media Festival for her documentary, "Take My Breath Away." The film is about 7-year-old Michael "Mikee" Harmon of Madera Ranchos, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. It received best of category in Science in the California Media Festival and Best of Festival in the International Media Festival. Harmony is currently studying Film at Woodbury University in Burbank.

"The subject of Cystic Fibrosis had become a personal subject for me while I was filming the documentary," Harmony said. "The young boy in the film who was diagnosed with CF and his family became close to me, and made me more motivated to inform people about the disease. I knew that this film has the opportunity to be shown to many more viewers who can learn of CF."

Also receiving an award at the International Student Media Festival was animation team Jesse Evans, Noah Evans, Chris Wilson, Brett Hendrickson, Lucas Munton and Joe Lee. They received a Media Excellence Award for their animated short "Marked." It was the first winning animated film for Minarets.

The original script short film was developed and produced in a real production model. Different team members executed different portions of the project, with Jesse Evans directing, Noah Evans as the lead artist, Hendrickson producing an original score, Wilson doing theatrical lighting and 3D animation and Munton and Lee doing character design, sets and initial animations.

"Winning any contest feels great, but winning an award when competing against the best in the country and world feels unreal," Hendrickson said. "What we really wanted is to create a motion picture in the highest visual quality as possible that also made sense to everybody to viewed it."

A little different from the rest was a wedding video captured by Craig Talbot and Luke Dahlin of their very own ag teacher, Joey Silva's wedding. The video won an award at the International Student Media Festival.

"It literally made people weep and those folks didn't even know the wedding party," Corippo said.

Corippo said all of the winning videos used equipment that was acquired via grant money provided by the annual community grants funded by the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians.

"These monies provided an entirely higher level of production quality in Minarets Media Production videos," Corippo said.

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