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by Hillary Koerner, student writer


The HPU Advanced Video Production class, Video III, won its first Platinum and Gold International Ava Awards for two films produced in the summer of 2007: Elements and East Wind, Rain.
According to the Ava Awards Web site, the international Ava Awards “recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, direction, shooting, and editing of audio-visual materials and programs.”
Students do not usually enter competitions because they are primarily for professionals, but the Video III class, also known as the Documentary and Corporate Video class, has won 15 awards total over eight consecutive years.
“ We don’t do it for awards,” said Mark Nitta, manager of the communications video lab. “We do it for the client and the message.”
“If you do a great job,” Nitta added, “the awards will follow.”
East Wind, Rain, a documentary for the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, received a Platinum Ava award in that category.
The East Wind, Rain film is shown regularly at the theatre in the Pacific Aviation Museum, where visitors can watch it as they navigate through the museum’s exhibits.
“ When you meet the veterans you realize the sacrifices they made,” said Nitta, explaining how the video provides visitors a similar, almost personal experience. “One of the veteran’s wives,” Nitta continued, “called to tell me how wonderful the video was. She said the audience was so overcome with emotion that they had to sit there after the video and absorb everything.”
Elements, another video produced by the Video III class made for the Hawai‘i chapter of the American Red Cross, won Gold in the informational film category.
Elements director Ashley Iaea, who is working on her master’s degree in communication, said: “I was stoked. This is our second award for the Elements video. The first was a Communicator Award of Distinction from the International Academy of the Visual Arts in September,” Iaea added.
The Red Cross, Hawai‘i Chapter, uses Elements as an informational tool for fundraising and to help people understand what the American Red Cross does, Iaea explained.
“ We had approximately three months to finish the video, so the pressure was on to give it our all and show the public, as well as our clients, that students from Hawai‘i Pacific University can produce a film like the professionals,” said Iaea. “Our standards are set pretty high,” she added: “I believe that every video before us has set the bar even higher.” Lewis Trusty, who teaches the Video III class with Nitta, addressed the need for student perseverance. “You have to put in the time,” Trusty said. “People get discouraged, and those who don’t give up get through the hurdles. The various awards, Nitta said, show the students “are meeting the professional production standards and if they are ready to go out there and create films.”
“ Awards are great,” Nitta added, “but I want people to know that we do it for the soul. It’s knowing that we have affected people emotionally that tells us we have done our job.”



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