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Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Media students learn from the pros at Shoots Summit


Moanalua High School was the location of the 2nd Annual Shoots Summit Jan. 13-15, bringing students from all ages and backgrounds together to learn about film, media, and broadcast. The event, organized by both Hawaii Creative Media and the Department of Education (DOE), saw around 520 people, with over 400 of them being just students. In addition, there were 64 working staff, 54 teachers, and quite a few guest speakers. 

MeneMac Teacher Austin Zavala was instrumental in the conference’s success, as both a teacher at Moanalua and a member of Hawaii Creative Media. He was a part of the planning team that put the whole event together.

 “I work here, but I am also a part of the group that planned the Shoots Summit so it just worked out that Moanalua was more than willing to host it,” Zavala said. “Moanalua is one of the bigger, nicer campuses. We have the performing arts center and our facilities are really good.” 

He was also a part of the team that planned the inaugural conference last year, the first of its kind in Hawaii. The purpose of the conference was to educate and give an accommodating space to students who have a passion for media. Elementary school, middle, and high school students all attended, showing off their skills and desire to learn more about these fields. 

Drama teacher Mark Ikenaga, also a MeneMac Teacher at Moanalua, was an important contributor to the conference. 

“I think these kids learn a lot about working together. [They learn] collaboration, they learn…deadlines…It’s real life skills they learn and it’s something they can carry on when they go to high school, go to college, and then work,” he said. 

More than just a conference and competition, the Shoots Summit was a place for learning collaboratively. Workshops and guest speakers were invited to speak to the students to share their experiences as industry professionals. 

“We had [around 20] speakers that are all in the industry: so film, broadcast, and graphics. We had photographers, we had people running podcasts, but our big guest speaker for this year was Evangeline Lilly—who was in ‘Lost,’ ‘The Hobbit,’ and the character Wasp from the movie “Antman and the Wasp.” So we were able to get her to volunteer her time…and she was all about it because she lives in Hawaii. She is just all about helping the youth, and she was really, really good with all the kids. She took a bunch of photos, talked with them, and really connected with them so it was awesome,” Zavala said. 

This year’s conference saw an exceptional increase in the number of guest speakers, and a lot more variety. However, in addition to learning through the workshops, students also gained knowledge through competition. Moanalua’s participating teams all placed, with many getting first. 

Senior Maya Paige Chang and her group won in the Broadcast NatPackage category with their winning project based on the prompt “Out and About.” 

“I was really shocked because I know there were a lot of errors we made because we were editing very last minute…but I think because our story and our other components were so strong, that’s why we were able to place,” she said. 

Chang also won first place in the same category last year. However, there were many students who participated in Shoots for the very first time this year. 

Senior Vinson Tran’s initial experience with Shoots ended with a win in the Personal 

Vlog category. “Finally being a winner…it made me believe that I was capable of achieving what I wanted to achieve,” he said. His project was based on a bucket list of experiences at Shoots and their group’s journey to complete them all. His win inspires him to continue on his journey with media.

The goal of Shoots was to accommodate students with a passion for media, broadcast, and graphics in a place where they can learn through both competition and experience. It’s safe to say that the mission of the summit was a successful one. 


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About the Contributor
Jameson Huang
Jameson Huang, Assoctiate Editor
Jameson Haung is a senior at Moanalua, and is in his second year for news writing. He enjoys writing stories since that is his strength. He also enjoys cooking, play tennis and hanging out with friends. 

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