OUS rocks the EMMIE

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2008

High school juniors from far and close gathered at the Ohio University Southern campus in Ironton on Friday with one hope on their mind, to take home an EMMIE

The EMMIE, which stands for Electronic Media Moving Image Excellence, is the etched glass prize given out by the OUS Electronic Media department every year to students who have made the best video or audio.

To get the crowd pumped up for the presentation, OUS staff members lead the crowd of 400 students and chaperones through the OU chant and tossed T-shirts out.

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It was more like a pep rally than an awards show but that was the idea.

“The idea for this and the reason we do this is because kids who are into media don’t usually have competitions that they get involved with, they don’t have a cheering section,” said Brad Bear, who works in the Electronic Media and ran the EMMIE video show. “We wanted to create an environment for that as well as bring them onto campus and show them that they could do this in the future.”

Once the video clips of the winners were displayed on the giant screen and walls of Bowman Auditorium, it was easy to tell which group of kids came from what school.

Most of the cheering came from Portsmouth High students who took home seven awards including Best of Show and Fairland High students who took in six including Judge’s Choice.

Charles Ellis, a senior at Fairland High, picked up Judges’ Choice for “Crazy Light Switch,” which is about a kid’s room with a mysterious light switch that turns everything and everyone to black and white.

He said he entered the competition as part of his Video 3 class with teacher Amy Lewis.

“She said there was a competition coming up and asked if I wanted to enter,” Ellis said. He and his friends ending up ditching their original concept the night they were shooting.

“We started to record and then my friend and I came up with a better idea about the light switch,” Ellis said. “We put it together in about an hour and it took a couple days to edit on the Mac (computer.)”

As for the flipping between black and white and color, it was an editing effect on the computer.

“I just spliced it every time my friend hit the light switch,” Ellis said.

Lewis said she was quite happy with her student’s results.

“Six is a good number,” she said. “It was very exciting and I’m pleased with all of our winners.”

Lewis said that there were about 25 entries from Fairland High School students.

“I have some very creative students, It’s their creativity, I just facilitate,” she said.

The competition has been going for nine years now and is getting bigger.

Bear said in 2000, they gave out one award.

This year there were 220 students entering from 21 schools vying for 18 awards. Most of the students were from the Tri-State but some entries came from as far away as Dayton and Poca, W.Va.

“I’m always impressed by their creativity,” Bear said. “Every year, the entries get progressively better.”

He added the quality has been getting better. In part because home computers and its related technology has gone down in price in the past decade and making videos and putting them on the Web is part of the high school culture.

“I think a major factor is accessibility through social networks like Facebook, MySpace, You Tube, where people get to see what other people their age are doing,” Bear said.