MMEA victories

Bhoomi Sharma, Photography Editor

The Midwest Media Educators Association (MMEA) was held on April 26, 2019 in the Neuqua Valley High School auditorium for students from the Media Communication I, Broadcast Journalism & Production II and Broadcast Journalism & Production III classes. The students competed against 830 other high school student’s from 42 other schools, and many earned top honors. Students were judged on criteria such as  the quality of their stories were, their voice over writing ability, story ideas, etc.


In an interview, Eli Au Buchon, one competing Neuqua student, talked about ‘Vinyl Records,’ a piece they made with Nick Sokoloski and Carlie Herzberg. Their story was about how vinyl record sales have increased over the past few years, with 2018 being one the highest record sales in the last fifty years or so. Au Buchon also talked about why they chose this theme in particular, saying,  “We were just kinda interested in why this trend is occuring. We wanted something that wasn’t a typical Wildcat Weekly story.”


Kevin Shaffer, who made the short film, ‘A Good Explanation,’ with Ryan Leshock, Erin Kuehner, and Natalie Boland, talked about why the group chose a comedic piece, inspired by scenes from Marvel’s Ant Man. He said, “one of the other people in my group, Ryan, actually thought of it. But we wanted to– we all decided on a comedic narrative, because we thought that comedy was the hardest to execute properly, especially at our age with our experience. It’s really hard to do a well done funny story, so we thought it would be a good idea to try and tackle that challenge.”


Au Buchon and Shaffer both mentioned the challenges they faced while filming.


Au Buchon said that the locations were a difficult thing to manage, since many store owners were hesitant about having the students film in the stores. They also talked about their experience interviewing students, saying they had to let the interviewees tell the whole story themselves. Au Buchon said that “a lot of the times they would repeat each other, and these people aren’t experts on the subject. So a lot of the times it’s a matter of asking the right questions to them, to try and get what we were trying to get out of the story.” Because of the nature of their piece, voiceovers and summaries from the director weren’t allowed, so they had to have the film speak for itself, which was a difficult task.


Shaffer mentioned different challenges with timing and explained how they handled those. He said that, while it it was pretty fun to film, “there [were] definitely some problems that occured in terms of scheduling conflicts, or unavailability, but we were able to improvise. Again, credited largely to the talented members of my group that we were able to improvise and work around these problems.”


Both students and their groups manages to earn top honors at the MMEA. Kevin Shaffer, Ryan Leshock, Erin Kuehner and Natalie Boland took first place in the 7 Day Challenge category, and Eli Au Buchon, Nick Sokoloski and Carlie Herzberg took fifth in the Natural Audio News Package category.