MeneMac wins big at STN film competition

The MeneMac program continues to bring home the gold. Thirty students (15 from the film division and 15 from broadcast) represented Moanalua High School in the national Student Television Network (STN) Convention from February 17-21. They placed 9 times in different categories for the professional quality of their self-made videos. 

The STN Convention is an annual event to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the intricate process of filmmaking and broadcast through interaction and competition. Students submit videos, all planned, filmed, and edited, within a certain time frame for multiple different genres and video styles. 

“On Friday we had our Crazy 8’s competition, which is an 8 hour challenge, where they give you a prompt and a prop, and you have to make a film within 8 hours,” senior and Team Captain Sara Brekke said. “And then on Saturday and Sunday we had our individual categories where we had 6 hours to do different things. For me I did a short film, for another group they did a music video, another group did a PSA commercial and personal vlog.”

The convention is usually hosted on the mainland; this year it was held physically in Long Beach, California. Hawaii schools however participated remotely at the Hyatt Waikiki Resort, making their videos and broadcasting the award ceremony live on island. The MeneMac students found different places around the Hyatt to shoot their videos, and drove to other film locations around the island for familiar scenery. 

“We had to go to the Hilton, and we were in the Hawaii Hub as we couldn’t travel to Long Beach. We pretty much all met up on Thursday, and we scouted the area, as we weren’t all super familiar with that part of Waikiki,” Brekke said. 

Despite not flying to Long Beach, the MeneMac team still got to learn from the thrill of competing in STN. 

“I learned that when you’re stressed, you should often find pockets of happiness and calm,” sophomore Brandon Samiano said. This was Samiano’s first time in STN. “I think that’s what really helped ourselves and the rest of the team out. Joking around, having a laugh with each other, you know. Genuinely that’s what I think I learned, just to have fun, through all the stress that you have.”

Although a normal quality film takes about a month to plan, STN participants work together at an extreme pace to produce one in less than eight hours. 

“It was really hard, really stressful, and you know, certain personalities come out of certain people when they’re under pressure so that’s always hard to deal with. But, everyone had fun it seemed like. The video turned out great, we won first place in the nation, which was awesome,” Brekke said.

The MeneMac team’s Crazy 8’s video brought home first place. They were given the prompt “Don’t Look Back,” and a prop of a metal key. The plot involved three siblings attempting not to look back in order to finally make it out of the eerie building with the key, after having repeated the process several times in a time loop. 

The MeneMac program also placed/received honorable mentions in categories such as Music Video and Crazy 8’s News Magazine. For their previously submitted videos back in December, they were gifted with Excellence Awards in editing, directing, cinematography, and live action. 

“That was awesome. I didn’t expect to win that many awards,” Brekke said. “Hearing our name Moanalua get called over and over, time after time in a row, was such a great feeling because you’re representing the whole school in front of the whole nation.”

The awards were not the only thing that made this STN experience memorable. 

“Like all of that is great, all of the awards are nice, it’s a nice shiny prize,” Brekke said. “We’ll get the plaques when they send it. But I think the most memorable part was the people on the team. We got really close in a really short amount of time to the point where we could cry in front of each other when we’re stressed and yell at each other and not take it personal. The people were just really awesome.”

The accomplishments made by the students despite the circumstances surrounding the world made their advisors proud. 

“They did a really good job this year,” media teacher Mark Ikenaga said. “For the film side anyway, we were really senior heavy. So then, I think even though we didn’t quite go to STN for the last couple years, they had enough practice and experience to do well this year so I think that really helped.”



Film Excellence Awards

Best Editing SHORT Film—Sara Brekke and Leigh Medina—“Pan de Vida”

Best Cinematography SHORT Film—Sara Brekke and Leigh Medina—“Pan de Vida”

Best Directing SHORT Film—Sara Brekke—“Forever”

Best Live Action SHORT Film—Sara Brekke and Leigh Medina—“Pan de Vida”

First Place–Crazy 8s Short Film—Sara Brekke, Leigh Medina, Cassidy Furutani, Easton Ikenaga, Khloe Ringor, Taylor Sunouchi, Gabriel Kaina, Bryan Yamamoto, Courtney Abalos, Elyas Thompson, Brandon Samiano, Jaymes Tokuda, Antonio Dixon, Noah Blair, Doran Ishihara, Alexa Baruela

Second Place—Telling The Story Editing—Stella Nishimura and Nikki Wong

Second Place—Vertical Storytelling—Haley Akana, Maya Paige Chang, Jade Battad     

Third Place—Short Film—Sara Brekke, Leigh Medina, and Brandon Samiano

Third Place—Music Video—Cassidy Furutani, Easton Ikenaga, Elyas Thompson, Alexa Baruela

Third Place—Crazy 8s News Magazine—Arista Arii, Stella Nishimura, Haley Akana, Nikki Wong, Colby Casinas, Jalen Acob, Ian Nomura, Dylan Sano, Demi Clark, Shaena Buck, Jiyanah Sumajit, Tiare Reincke, Maya Paige Chang, Jade Battad

Honorable Mention—Public Service Announcement—Noah Blair, Doran Ishihara, Antonio Dixon

Honorable Mention—Commentary—Arista Arii, CJ Cadiz

Honorable Mention—Personal Vlog—Jaymes Tokuda, Bryan Yamamoto, Gabriel Kaina