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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 video.

“ 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, not us.”

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.”
 

 

 

 

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