A national panel of judges screened the entries and forwarded their nominations to the ASB Core Staff (none of whom had any connections to any of the entries) who, after careful review and discussion, made the final selections for the ASB Storytelling Award.
Blue Valley Northwest, Overland Park, KS
Students: Andrew Swailes, Kaitlyn Styve
Adviser: Kim White
Link to Story: https://vimeo.com/59603356
Why it won: “Elijah Henderson” featured a strong and engaging character in Elijah’s mom who articulately and movingly introduced us to his miracle life. A strong story structure of beginning, middle, and end, in both writing and sequencing. Numerous essential still photos of Elijah’s early life were incorporated with superb use of matching action shots with audio and excellent wide, medium, and tight framing. The most dramatic moment was the jaw-dropping reveal halfway through the story that was triggered with, “The hospital is shaken…” Perfect set-up and timing for a reveal that you never see coming. And it is the moment that Elijah’s story transitions from human interest to one that is impacting the arena of medical protocol, ethics, and decision-making.
Decatur High School, Decatur, GA
Students: Mary Adams, Jordan Dillard
Adviser: Jon Reese
Link to Story: https://vimeo.com/55805963#at=0
Why it won: “Changing Identity” superbly models the “In Their Own Words” style of storytelling. Noah, a transgender teen, along with his parents, are masterfully sequenced with exceptional audio and video pacing. The opening sequence grabs your attention as the central character shares his perspective in a relaxed setting with softened lighting. Excellent b-roll is incorporated throughout, including several “WALLDO” shots. The nat sound of crunching leaves, the wind, the dog barking, the toaster, the clink of a knife on a jelly jar, and the wind chimes are balanced with the aptly selected music track. This story emanates and epitomizes courage from both the story sources and the storytellers.
"Coach Olson Suspension"
Mria Coasta High School, Manhattan Beach, CA
Students: Matt Campbell, Robert McMahon
Adviser: Michael Hernandez
Link to Story: http://mustangmorningnews.com/coach-olson-suspension/
Why it won: What do you do if baseball parents demand the school board dismiss your head baseball coach? Typically, anything involving personnel issues on a campus is impossible to cover or is immediately shot down in a pitch meeting. Fortunately, the best of objective journalism is exemplified in the “Coach Olson Suspension” story. It is balanced, well-written, well-voiced, and it is NEWS. Any discipline of a teacher/coach is sensitive stuff, so kudos to the reporting team for securing the trust of the coach, the principal, and the players to do on-camera interviews. The interviews are well-lit, well-framed, and the audio is clear and balanced. There is a vast abundance of crucial and essential nat sound throughout, including the frequent “crack” and “dink” you expect to hear in a baseball story. And, thankfully, there is no added music telling us how to feel. Also, a reporter stand-up is not missed, because it was simply not needed. Great decision-making. There is excellent b-roll variety with superb framing and wide, medium, tight sequencing, including some terrific “WALLDO” shots. The final edited bites from the principal and the coach provide the perfect conclusion of perspectives going forward and what comes next. Outstanding.