Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) Contest 2011

This year’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) contest was organised by The Star and Pizza Hut in Cooperation with the Education Ministry. The Mag Inc 2011 contest, running for the third consecutive year, is themed Speak Out! We worked in a team of five (Mabel Low, Jane Lam, Lee Suet Yeng, Beh Heng Jian and me) to create a three page mini magazine and a three-minute video that addressed stereotyping. The teacher-in-charge is Pn Shahfinaz. Our team, SPLOOSH, emerged as the champion for the video clip category.

The most crucial step in pre-production was drawing out storyboard. I did the general plotting while Mabel drew the storyboard. Once we got that done, we planned the setting in terms of where to shoot the scenes. Then we did casting and arranged dates to shoot. Communication skill was vital to persuade our schoolmates to star in our video but we were lucky to find Eva, Chin Yoong, Chee Gen and the rest of the basketball team who voluntarily helped us out.

What happened was such a blur; the production itself. Mabel handled the camera while I gave directions when necessary. All of us starred in the video and of course with addition guest stars from our school. We followed the storyboard and had to figure out which angles to shoot for the best cinematography on the spot. We didn’t expect for it to be so time consuming. It was necessary though in order to create a multiple-camera setup effect.

Next is the post-production; video editing. This took the longest time and also the most frustrating one. We compiled all the videos, arranged them into sequences and edited them using Videopad. Jane brought her laptop to school and all of us edited it together. As the time limit was 3 minutes, we had to keep revising and cutting unnecessary parts right to the last second. After finish editing the video, it was time for audio. We have narration and background music. We chose two songs and Jane merged them together using Audacity. I recorded the narration using the same software. Then the audio was added back into the video.

On the 21st September, came the grand finals in Kota Damansara. At the beginning, we were quite relaxed, watching presentations by other schools. Then it was the video clip category’s turn. We watched the other two videos from SMK Aminuddin Baki, KL and SMK Saujana Impian, Selangor. Then it was our turn. We were very nervous but mostly proud because “Look, it’s real! People are watching our video! And they laughed too! After that, the judges and audience gave scores for our video.

The highlight came when the results were announced. The emcee announced SPLOOSH and we jumped in joy. We were all given an iPOD Nano (worth RM549), RM100 pizza voucher and certificate. There were also two journalists who interviewed us. It was fun to feel like a celebrity for a day. There were also well wishes from students of other schools as well. Some of them were shocked to find out that we came from Ipoh, as is we come from a kampung place and wouldn’t know much about video production.

The whole journey was a great experience. It taught us that we can succeed in anything if we put enough dedication on it. We would like to sincerely thank Pn Shafinaz for giving guidance and keeping us on schedule and also not forgetting Eva, Chin Yoong, Chee Gen and the basketball team members for willing to help us out.

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