OUS hands out EMMIE Awards

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2003

Lights, camera, action!

Potential stars in the television and entertainment industry had the opportunity to bring home some hardware at Ohio University Southern's fourth annual EMMIE Awards presentation.

While not quite the scale of television's Emmy awards, the Electronic Media Moving Image Excellence Awards honored schools from across the Tri-State for outstanding audio/video productions.

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With more than 220 students from 13 schools in attendance, judges spent the last four days agonizing over choosing 10 awards from the best of the 87 entries.

The competition winners are: Best of Show -- Fairland High School; Commercial -- Paul G. Blazer High School, Ashland, Ky.; Sports -- Chesapeake High School; Entertainment/Music -- Paul G. Blazer High School; Individual -- Fairland High School; News Feature/ Documentary -- Portsmouth High School; Multimedia Web -- Lewis County (Ky.) High School; Multimedia Presentation -- Portsmouth Notre Dame High School; News Cast -- Paul G. Blazer High School; Audio Pro-duction -- Western High School.

Dr. David Lucas opened the awards presentation by telling the students to follow their dreams, regardless of who tells them that something is not


"Maybe when someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, you should say, 'I don't want to grow up, I just want to live my dream,'" Lucas said. "I dare you to dream."

In her first year teaching video and English at Fairland High School, Tara Sansom said she was impressed with all of her students and the more than 50 entries they produced.

"I am extremely proud of their progress, individually and as a whole," she said. "We had a lot of setbacks because of equipment, and they did a lot to get past that. I do not think I could measure how proud of them I am."

Sansom was even more excited when the top award was given to "So Afraid," a music video created by Fairland students that told the story of a young girl who took a pregnancy test and must make a decision about her future. After thinking through her options, the girl decides that an abortion is not an option for her and looks forward to having a child.

Because the three students who produced it -- sophomores Jodie Waugh, Whitney Lewis and Kristen Berry -- were not able to attend, Sansom said she could not wait to get back and tell them how they did.

"When I first saw the video, I was terribly impressed," she said. "They put a lot of extra time into that project. I was impressed they chose such a mature topic and think they found an appropriate song."

"We didn't have any clue," Waugh said. "We just sent (the video) in to see how we would do. It was a shock to us, and a huge compliment to have our work recognized like this."

Originally, the girls wanted to do something fun, but then chose a more serious topic.

"We wanted to do something we believed in," Waugh said. "We chose a pro-life video because it has a strong meaning and could help teach a lesson."

Fairland seniors Caleb Adams and Andy Pittman worked on another project that was entered, a one-hour sequel to the "Ghostbusters" movies, where they saved Proctorville from a ghost infestation.

Although they did not win, they enjoyed the experience just the same.

"It is a good challenge to see how our creativity compares to other students," Pittman said. "The involvement we got from the community was great."

With its largest turnout to date, the event has grown each year after only having two entrants the first time around, said Don Moore, director of electronic media at OUS.

"The event brings all the schools together, and now because of the competition, they are working a little harder," he said. "It is more of a challenge to the students."

Josh Edwards, a junior at Chesapeake, was one of 10 students who worked on the sports category winner. He said he was nervous and excited as they waited for the awards to be presented.

"We worked really hard to improve the things we had done in the past," he said. "It was a feeling of total joy when I saw our names on the screen. I remembered all the hard work we put in."

Scott Spears, interactive media teacher at Portsmouth High School, said his students were excited about the opportunity to come again. After winning Best News Story last year, the group won Best News Feature this year.

"This is a valuable opportunity," he said. "Media is in everyone's homes. It is super valuable to understand how it works, how to make it work for you, understand the tools and how to get a job in the industry."