HomeClubsVideo production students embark on second annual film trip to Long Beach

Video production students embark on second annual film trip to Long Beach

Published Mar. 7, 2023


After attending the annual Student Television Network convention last year, 20 Carmel High School video production students will once again travel to the Long Beach Entertainment and Convention Center from March 16-19 to join over 3,000 students and over 100 schools from across the nation to compete in a wide range of competitions and learn from the best in the filmmaking industry. 

“It’s an opportunity for kids who have an interest in filmmaking or broadcast to compete, to collaborate as a team, to learn new skills and to have fun in a very open environment,” explains CHS video production teacher Brian Granbery.

Film students working together to create a short film for the smaller contests. (from left to right, Zack Seifert, Benoit Boudreau, Eddy Zarate and Sawyer Kridech). (courtesy of BRIAN GRANBERY)

The trip consists of many types of challenges which take place Thursday through Saturday, the most complicated challenge being the Crazy 8’s competition where groups of students receive a prompt with certain aspects that must be incorporated, such as a specific prop or line, and get only eight hours to plan, shoot and edit a video that will be a maximum of eight minutes long.

After going on the trip last year, what stood out to most CHS STN-goers was the naturally occuring team-building more so than the process of learning and practicing filmmaking. 

“One of my favorite moments was when we submitted the Crazy 8’s competition, and we were all in this hotel room and we were just jumping up and down, so excited and proud of what we had accomplished,” says Film Club co-president Jerry Marnell. “We made our neighbors mad because we were so loud.”

Senior Sawyer Kridech also has fond memories of scouting out possible film locations in Long Beach with last year’s seniors while riding electric scooters. The social aspects and overall independence is a main reason he is going back to the competition.

After seeing how prepared schools were last year, CHS students are putting extra effort into preparation. A few weeks ago, students met at the school and practiced a mock-Crazy 8’s competition with fake prompts to get a feel of how to plan out their time. They split into three groups to film a documentary, a short film and a vertical film meant for viewing via social media. 

Last year, Marnell also realized that the judging of the videos was different from what they were used to.

Senior Jerry Marnell starring in last year’s Crazy 8’s film, “Don’t Look Back,” a romantic drama where the main character learns how to move on after a break-up. (courtesy of BRIAN GRANBERY)

“The kind of judging they do with this stuff is unique and it isn’t found in a lot of festivals, at least that I have been part of,” says Marnell. “It is very focused on the technical aspects. You can’t make any silly mistakes.” 

Students have been fundraising through local businesses and family members, only about $500 short of reaching their $7,000 goal so that each student only has to pay half of the trip’s cost to attend. 

Granbery first heard about the STN convention through fellow teacher Leigh Cambra about eight years ago. Before he took his students, he went down to Anaheim and then to Seattle to check out the competition for himself. Last year, he pitched going to Long Beach to his video students who were very motivated to go. 

While this is only the second year CHS students have attended the competition, the goal for Granbery is to make this an annual trip, even if it means traveling across the nation when the competition picks a different location to host.


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