by Jermel Quillopo, staff writer
|Many college students consider summer
vacation a time to relax, but four HPU students and three HPU
alums teamed up this past summer to create a seven-minute video
for the American Red Cross.
The project began with a 30-second public service announcement
for the American Red Cross-Hawai‘i chapter produced by
Laird Christianson Advertising. Coralie Matayoshi is the CEO
of American Red Cross-Hawai‘i chapter, wanted a more in-depth
I wanted a longer video that included stories told by disaster
victims of how American Red Cross helped,” said Matayoshi. “The
National American Red Cross had videos, but they were not local,
Matayoshi shared her ambition with Jo Archibald, the writer for
the 30-second PSA, but lost hope when Archibald told her that
project would cost about $100,000. The Hawai‘i chapter
could not afford the project. However, Archibald was not going
to let financial barriers restrict Matayoshi’s dream.
Archibald called HPU’s video lab manager, Mark Nitta. It
was the middle of the spring semester, but Nitta hand picked
students that he thought would form a great video team. He told
them that if they decide to commit to a summer project, they
could use it as an addition to their professional portfolio.
[The project] was a real- world situation for them…where
they were under pressure,” said Nitta.
The seven students jumped into the project without hesitation,
even changing their summer schedules for it, Nitta said.
Because it promised to be a lengthy task, the students persuaded
then College of Communication Dean Jim Whitfield to approve the
project as an accredited class if the students could find a teacher
willing to oversee it. The students enlisted visual communication
instructor, Lewis Trusty.
“I told them that I’d be glad to teach it for the summer,” said
Trusty, a former lifeguard who credits the Red Cross for his CPR skills.
I want you folks to make me cry,” said Matayoshi when she placed her video
dream in the students’ hands.
When I first met them and shared my passion for the Red Cross, they were genuinely
moved and wanted to help,” Matayoshi added.
The students involved in the project included: Ashley Iaea, Albert Olsson, Sarah
Covell, Chizuko Kobayashi, Hideyo Kusano,and Shelby A. McCabe.
Iaea graduated from HPU in spring with a B.A. in Visual Communication, but she
does not regret using her summer for the opportunity to be a member of the Red
Cross project team. It was not just another school project, she said, adding: “I’ve
[always] wanted to get experience with an outside client.”
Olsson, a senior majoring in visual communications and video editor of the project,
said: “I learned a lot. We got to work with a great client,” he added,
in a real-life career situation.
We came up with the theme by ourselves,” Olsson continued. “I’m
really proud of it, and I’m willing to show it to anyone.”
The American Red Cross project opened up career opportunities and we were able
to create a wider network since we met with commercial directors and top people
of our industry,” Olsson added.
Motion graphic, reenactments, and sound were put together perfectly,” said
Trusty. “I thought the students did a great job.”
When the video premiered during a September Red Cross board meeting, Matayoshi
agreed and said she got what she hoped for.
Tears came to my eyes the first time I saw it,” said Matayoshi. “It
may seem like just a project but it really meant something to us... It will make
a great impact, and lots of people will see it.”