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Local students make mark in 2013 annual Student Television Network convention

Posted: March 16, 2013 9:05 a.m.
Updated: March 16, 2013 9:05 a.m.

The team from Saugus High School films a scene in their entry for the "Sweet 16 Film" competition category at the 2013 Student Television Network conference in Los Angeles. The film won first place in its category at the conference, which attracted more than 2,500 students from across the country last weekend.

To view Saugus High's competition video click here


More than 100 local video-savvy students competed and took home hardware from the 2013 Student Television Network convention held recently in Los Angeles.

Arroyo Seco Junior High School, Placerita Junior High School, Rio Norte Junior High School, Castaic Middle School, Hart High School, Saugus High School and West Ranch High School all sent students to the event.

The competition was held last weekend and featured more than 2,500 student competitors from 153 different schools across the United States.

Students from Castaic Middle School took home one of the convention’s top honors: a Student Television Network Excellence Award.

Excellence awards are given to the country’s top student-produced television programs in six different categories. Schools submit video of a student broadcast and the winners are determined by a panel of judges.

Castaic Middle School tied this year with Valley Middle School in Carlsbad. The local school also won an excellence award in 2010, said Ro Osano, video production instructor at Castaic Middle School.

In addition to the excellence award, Castaic Middle School placed third in the commercial and music video categories, in which students had several hours to create a video of both types. The school also received honorable mentions in four other categories.

Osano said he thinks the convention was both educational and inspirational.

“When they get there they get really fired up and they understand this is a really big deal,” Osano said.

“Everyone is trying to win.”

But Castaic Middle School wasn’t the only local school to take home top honors.

Saugus High School students finished in the top three in two categories, including a first-place finish in the “Sweet 16 Film” competition.

In this category, a student team had 16 hours to produce a short film based on a given prompt.

The prompt for this year’s competition was “The Future’s So Bright I’ve Got to Wear Shades.”

Cameron Quon, a Saugus senior who served as the de facto director for the film, said the convention was the fifth he has attended.

Quon said members of the team worked together making films for about a year to make sure they were a cohesive unit heading into the competition.

“Our success was not just in that moment, it was the culmination of many other projects,” Quon said.

Quon's experience also helped out some convention first-timers, like Saugus sophomores Jake Lutz and Jonah Tunget, who acted in the film.

“It was a really stressful process,” Lutz said. “But just the fact that we actually got it done was a huge relief.”

“It was very tiring,” Tunget agreed. “But winning the awards at the end makes me want to work harder.”

Wade Williams, a video production and television broadcast teacher at Saugus High School, said he took nine students to this year’s convention.

Williams said the convention is helpful for students because it not only shows them the technical aspects of working in film or broadcasts, but teaches them to work on a tight deadline.

“It teaches them to deal with stress,” Williams said. “And that’s the way the business is.”

Saugus also placed third in the convention’s commercial category.

Students from West Ranch High School also took home a number of awards, placing second in the competition’s spot feature and commentary categories.

For the spot feature competition, a student team produced a feature story based on a given topic, and for commentary a student team produced a segment designed to persuade an audience.

In both instances teams had several hours to shoot and edit a feature less than 90 seconds in length.
West Ranch student teams also placed third in three additional categories.

Paul Kass, a teacher at Placerita Junior High who also serves on the board for the Student Television Network, said teams from Placerita Junior High School received honorable mentions for their work in the “Middle School Commercial” category, in which a team of up to four students had to create a 30-second advertisement, and the “Middle School Movie Trailer” category, in which a team made a 60-second commercial for a made-up movie based on a given title.

Kass said the event is beneficial to students both for the on-hands experience they receive and the networking opportunities with other students and film-industry professionals.

“Schools in the Santa Clarita Valley are always well represented at this event,” Kass said. “It’s great to know that we’re a top district, top community for (film), and people look at us in that light.”


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