COURTESY OF MAUI HIGH SCHOOL
Ernell Paz works on a video production at school. He was part of the Maui High School video production team that produced a Hawaiian Airlines television commercial. "From this experience, I learned how important it is to be organized, to work with others and how to deal with different opinions," said Paz.
Video class makes grade
Maui students are picked to produce a television ad
Anyone can upload a video on YouTube and reach a huge potential audience. Maui High video students, however, are expanding this audience in slightly more traditional ways.
Maui High School
660 S. Lono Ave.,
Kahului, HI 96732
The school has run a solid video production program for 10 years, but it recently received validation that the Kahului school has one of the best video programs in the state. A group of program students were recently chosen to produce a Hawaiian Airlines television commercial. Video students also were named finalists in the Student Television Network Video Competition and have had their work shown on OC-16's "Brown Bags" program.
At last count, more than 100 video students are competing for a much wider audience beyond closed-circuit broadcasts to the Maui High community.
Hawaiian Airlines chose Maui High School as one of five schools in the state to shoot a commercial for general broadcast.
"These are some of the best students I've ever had in my years of teaching," said Clint Gima, longtime program adviser. "I hope they keep on task and focus on their projects."
The airline presented the team producing the commercial with a Sony HD camera to shoot the spot.
"We get great shots with the HD, but it's hard to edit," said Ernell Paz, part of the creative team.
Groups of video students drew up storyboards and shot their proposed commercials. Starr Seigle, Hawaiian Airlines' advertising agency, then chose the most promising idea.
After the students finished shooting the commercial, the group was flown to Oahu to help with the final editing and do the voice-over.
Senior Toni Ong is one of the student filmmakers whose group has worked on the project since the beginning of February.
"We started shooting with hula dancers and other different local perspectives of the Hawaiian culture," he said. "The object of the commercial is to emphasize Hawaii's aloha spirit."
Maui High also has been chosen as one of 10 national finalists for the Academy of Art University-Student Television Network Music Video Showcase. The contest features students showing their ideas and video production talents.
The Student Television Network is a broadcast association working with schools nationwide. STN educates teachers and students who are interested in video production and broadcasting.
Eight of Maui High's best video production students were chosen to compete at this year's STN convention in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this month. A general topic for a video was assigned to the students at the convention, and each entrant was allowed a limited time to film and edit his or her presentation, depending on the category.
The students participated in the "Music Video," "Video Essay," "Spot Feature" and "Television Graphics" categories. Chaslee Ikawa and Toni Ong produced a spot feature, developing a two-minute story about family and friends using Disneyland as a backdrop. Mary Pigao produced a television graphic on global warming, while Charis Balasan, Christine Cabotage, Kelcie Kawano and Jinzel Moral composed a music video depicting the relationship between a couple and their love for each other.
Future plans for the school's video program include recruiting more creative students so that the program can compete even more.
Gima envisions adding even more video equipment and helping students improve their skills.
"Every year, I want to say that I have the best students I've ever had," he said.
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COURTESY OF MAUI HIGH SCHOOL
Chaclyn Barut prepares for her testimony before the state Legislature.
Students solicit program money from Legislature
Six from Maui High testify on behalf of additional funding for technology projects
It's a big deal when adults go to testify before the state Legislature, right? So it has to be an even bigger deal when high school students testify.
Now imagine these students are asking for money for a program that is important to them. It's hard enough for them to ask for money from parents.
Six Maui High students did just that on Feb. 5, speaking on behalf of the school's Environmental and Spatial Technologies (EAST) Program.
House Bill 1630 would provide additional money for student-directed technology projects. Such projects can involve work with global positioning satellite systems, video technology and community mapping.
The EAST Program has existed at Maui High for seven years. Its intent is to engage students in the use of technology to create self-directed community service projects.
"EAST is a wonderful program that teaches students about technology and creates better job opportunities for the students that participate within EAST," said Keith Imada, Maui High's EAST adviser.
Michele Makii, Pauline Cabotage, Jacob Davis, Vanessa Viloria, Chaclyn Barut and Mar Dominick Pigao testified on behalf of the EAST Program.
Before state House Education Committee members including Chairman Roy Takumi and Vice Chairwoman Lyla Berg, the students asked for additional state funding for EAST and other technology- and computer-based courses. The goal of the testimony was to get the state to fund these programs at a higher level. These programs currently get funding primarily through federal and local sources.
"My responses seemed well taken by the legislators," Barut said. "Vice Chair Berg especially seemed interested, and she was always looking me in the eye and nodding in agreement."
Most committee members seemed to respond favorably to HB 1630, realizing the educational advantages of the EAST Program. Technology programs such as these ask students to interact more with real-world problems and help prepare students for careers in technology.
"The experience was thrilling in a way, because this was the first state hearing that I attended," said Cabotage. "It was quite exciting and intimidating ... but I decided to put my best foot forward and show them that even a teenager can fight for something she believes in."
The six Maui High students are anxious to find out how their testimony affected the bill. They know that they have made a difference in their school and across the state.
The state House approved HB 1630
on March 6; two Senate committees have since recommended approval of the measure as well.
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"What is your favorite snack?"
"Honey Bunches of Oats with almonds. It's delicious and nutritious. I eat them for breakfast and after school."
"Cream-filled malasadas because they're really good. I eat them when I go to Homemaid Bakery."
"Chocolate chip cookies because they taste good. I love the way they're chewy and chunky. I eat them when I don't have time to eat lunch, and I eat them anywhere: at home, school, beach or at McDonald's."
"Pretzels and cookies because they are convenient. I do homework in Ms. Mesina's classroom a lot, so when I feel hungry, I just get up and get something to eat from her."
"Pizza ice cream: pepperoni pizza with vanilla ice cream on it. It's the best thing ever! I eat this wherever I can get both of them together."
"A jar full of pickles. I love the sour yet sweet taste they bring. I snack on them when I feel excited or when I feel bored. I love extra-crunchy pickles."