Seniors earn third place in C-SPAN contest

Two CFHS seniors jointly won third place in C-SPAN’s national high school video competition, which was centered around the theme, “Message to the President.” Their entry reflected the question: What’s the most important issue the president should consider in 2013?

Julie Doyle and Josh Thompson started brainstorming ideas in September and took their initial footage then. In late October, they really committed to the project and had until Jan. 18 to make the five-eight minute documentary.

Doyle heard about the competition from alumnus Jarek Bakken who won 2nd place in the video contest a couple years ago for the entry he worked on with alumnus Sara Gabrielle and Daniel Yehieli. She told Thompson about the opportunity this year and both were excited to submit a video.

Seniors Julie Doyle and Josh Thompson recently learned that their entry into the annual C-SPAN video competition earned third place and a $750 award. This is a shot from their video.

According to Doyle, she and Thompson both had some filming and editing experience before they started their project. However, they learned a lot of other things throughout the process. “This experience has provided many opportunities. We both learned how to communicate better, not only with each other, but also with the people we had to interview. Patience and perseverance were definitely key components. There were times in the whole process where we both wanted to give up because we were frustrated,” Doyle said.

Doyle also got to try out different camera techniques she never had before. “[Alumnus] Austin Hansen was awesome and let us borrow his camera gear for a weekend so we could get great footage,” Doyle said.

Thompson and Doyle agreed on a subject they both had a lot of interest in. “Choosing our topic wasn’t too hard. We didn’t want to focus on some profound topic that would only leave the audience thinking and not doing. Instead, we decided to choose a topic that relates directly to our community and also to our country,” Thompson said. “The issue of small business growth has recently been addressed numerous times in politics but never got major recognition, and was therefore a fair topic of choice in our opinion.”

From making this video, Thompson learned some valuable lessons. “I came to realize the difficulty of more advanced video editing, and I also learned that two minds are better than one. Teamwork is an essential skill to possess as well as the ability to be wrong and accept it,” Thompson said.

These two students will share a $750 scholarship for their third place victory.

Doyle recommended this competition to other students. “It takes a lot of time and effort, but you have a chance to earn money being creative, and in my case, doing something I love,” Doyle said. “There were many early mornings and late nights, but it proved to be worth it.”

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