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Students receive praise at annual EMPixx Awards

IRONTON — For nearly three hours Friday, future electronic media stars from throughout the Tri-State received a gift that only a select few are able to take advantage of — personal mentoring by some of the best in the business at Ohio University Southern.

Part of the 10th Annual Student EMPixx Awards, the small-group tutoring sessions allowed winners and nominees the opportunity to ask and listen to area professionals about their experiences in the electronic media industry and why they made a career in this rapidly expanding field.

One of those taking aspiring editors and videographers under his wing was Howard Miller, college sports producer for ESPN. He spoke to students on the techniques of editing and sound.

“There are so many more outlets for video nowadays,” the Ironton native told a breakout group from Fleming County High School. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do anything. You wouldn’t be here today if you weren’t creative people.”

Andy Dodson, owner and president of Piscotti Productions, a local video production company based out of Wheelersburg, explained how the industry can throw anything at you at any time.

“There will be a lot of highs and lows and things will go wrong in this industry. However, do not sweat it,” Dodson said during a question and answer session. “You will learn more from doing things wrong that you will from doing anything right and that’s OK.”

Dodson also explained to students the importance of creating a demo reel and production contracts.

Additional breakout mentoring sessions were held by staff members of WSAZ-TV, WOWK-TV, Ohio College Access Network, Time Warner Cable, WLGC Radio and OUS.

The morning mentoring session served as a preview for the other main reason students made the journey to OUS — the announcement of the annual EMPixx Awards.

The awards were attended by more than 300 high school students from 23 high schools throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The awards reward students for their creativity and innovations in the electronic media field.

Previously named the EMMIE Awards (Electronic Media Moving Image Excellence) the ceremony was renamed this year due to the partnership the college made with the American Pixel Academy.

“This year’s affiliation with the EMPixx Awards takes our award program to a new level,” said Ohio University Southern’s Don Moore. “We consider it an honor that Mr. David E. Carter and the American Pixel Academy would choose Ohio University Southern to administer the Student EMPixx awards.

“We will continue the regional competition, but beginning next year the Student EMPixx Awards will go national. That’s exciting. There are some very talented teachers who encourage students to push the envelope, now they will be able to compete nationally.”

The EMPixx competition was created by Carter, a multiple Emmy and Clio award winner for electronic media.

The 2009 edition saw Portsmouth High School walk away the leader with nine awards while Waverly High School was second with four awards including Best of Show with their student-produced television channel WCSN.

Ironton High School took home the first place award in Multimedia Web Design with its Gen-Tech Pets Web site.

2009 EMPixx Winners

Animation

First Place: “Mr. Grumpy Goo”/Wilmington

Second Place: “The Moooonsta”/Jefferson County JVS

Audio Production

First Place: “Remember the Whiskey”/Collins Career Center

Second Place: “Stay”/Paint Valley High School

Digital Photography

First Place: Crystal Carpenter/Portsmouth High School

Second Place: Matt Day/Southeastern High School

Entertainment

First Place: “The Sweetest Surrender”/Lewis County High (WV)

Second Place: “10 Minutes”/Portsmouth High School

Independent

First Place: “Cheerbulb”/Fairland High School

Second Place: “Message from C.R.A.P.”/Fairland High School

Multimedia Print

First Place: EMPixx Posters/Portsmouth High School

Second Place: Senior Trip Posters/Jefferson County JVS

Multimedia Web

First Place: Gen-Tech Pets Website/Ironton High School

Second Place: Multi-Media Website/South Point High School

Newscast

First Place: WCSN 11-25-08/Waverly High School

Second Place: FLS News/Fairland High School

News Feature/Story

First Place: “Wisdom Teeth”/Waverly High School

Second Place: “A Makeover Story”/Waverly High School

Radio Commercial

First Place: “Melanoma”/Portsmouth High School

Second Place: Not Given

Sports

First Place: “Big John Prior”/Portsmouth High School

Second Place: Hooks for Books”/Portsmouth High School

Sports News Feature

First Place: “60 Second Sports Blitz”/Portsmouth High School

Second Place: “Swim”/Portsmouth High School

Video Commercial

First Place: “The Sun Screen”/Fleming County High School (KY)

Second Place: “Neutrogena Protection”/Wilmington

Judge’s Choice: “Death’s Denial”/Paint Valley High School

Best of Show: WCSN 3-20-09/Waverly High School