Lights, camera, action! South Carroll students make award-winning video


WINFIELD -- The Drama II students at South Carroll High School can look past the glitter of commercials and MTV videos now.

They produced their own award-winning video on the importance of 100-percent pure Florida orange juice. Now they know a couple of minutes of finished video takes a couple of days to shoot, never mind the writing and preparation that goes on beforehand.

"I'd still like to do it," said Mike Burkindine, a junior from Taylorsville. Even with all the shooting, reshooting and arguments over whose ideas to use, Burkindine and his classmates admit they still find the work glamorous.

The students were rewarded with an honorable mention from the Florida Department of Citrus for the four-minute commercial they entered in the nationwide contest.

South Carroll was the only Maryland school among the winners. There were 247 entries from around the country.

Just don't tell any of those Florida officials that the drink used in the video was actually Minute Maid orange soda.

"It does have 10 percent juice," said Dan Bickish, a junior from Taylorsville who helped write the script and wrote the music, lyrics and played the guitar for the commercial.

Senior Eric Deitrich of Woodbine did all the camera work and editing on his father's equipment at home.

"I'm interested in this kind of work," he said. "Any part of the video field."

It was Deitrich's eyes that first lighted up when his teacher, Michael Hoover, announced the chance to enter the contest in late January, Hoover said.

The teacher was skeptical at first. He warned them they would have only two months to do it. But the next day, Bickish came to school with a song he had written overnight to use in the video.

On April 1 they just barely made the deadline to post their entry on its way to Lakeland, Fla.

"The kids pulled everything together," Hoover said. "I had never done anything like this before."

Also, the rules prevented him from giving them much guidance.

"All I could do was sit back and watch," he said. "It was perfect that it worked into a cooperative learning experience."

The students learned to work together and vote on which concept to use. They divided up duties, and those who didn't want to act did other jobs.

The commercial's plot shows a bum rummaging through garbage and finding an orange, which turns into a genie. Woven into the message are three fairy tales, and the lesson that once the bum wishes for orange juice, he gets everything: the girl (Rapunzel), the money (Midas) and the mansion (the Three Little Pigs).

In general, the students said they would like to produce another video some day.

"Not for a while, though," said Kim Woodward of Woodbine, a junior who coordinated props for the commercial.

The students won $150 for the school, some of which might go to reimburse the drama club for expenses, and five stereo headphone radios.

They couldn't get 20 radios for everyone in the class, so they decided to donate them through the school's Key Club to a charity.

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