WCC Students bring home four awards

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From Left) Dan Haushalter, Matt Wilken, Johannes Pardi, Brian Puninske, and Basil Sharp pose together after the Student Emmy Awards. Haushalter, Pardi, and Sharp won first place awards in their categories, while Wilken and Puninske had projects nominated. Helica Duron was unable to make the ceremony.

By Brittany Dekorte
Deputy Editor

The 2017 College/University Student Production Awards of Michigan were announced on April 29. Of the 11 projects entered into various categories by WCC’s video production students, four of them won first place in their respective categories. The students attended an awards ceremony and took home trophies.

Dan Haushalter won first place for Commercials with his piece “FabFood”

Q: So what was your project about?
A: The project was a commercial for Fabulous Food, a company that caters all of the food on campus. It was a 30 second short commercial.

Q: How does winning the award feel?
A: I was kind of surprised. It really made me felt like I accomplished something before I graduated.

Q: What are your future plans/projects?
A: I just finished a lot of projects, three for the entrepenureship center. I have a few music videos that I’m working on now. I just finished school, and maybe I’ll take a few more classes in the future but that’ll be a bit off. I’m looking forward to a break over the summer.

Johannes Pard won first place for Short Form Nonfiction with his piece, “Benton Harbor”

Q: So what was your project about?
A: Bob Weber, or Robert, and his time in Benton Harbor during the riots in 2003. He lived there at the time, and the riots were race riots. No one really knows about these riots, and he was a white man living in the city. He dressed in dark clothing and went out at night, trying to see and understand what was going on in his neighborhood.

Q: How does winning the award feel?
A: It really just solidifies that I’m on the right track. It justifies it. I really didn’t expect the audience to like it, but they really must have. It was inspiring. I really want to thank the WCC video production program, I feel like the accelerated learning they do, where from your first class you have equipment in your hands and you get to actually film, it’s great, I owe it a lot.

Q: What are your future plans/projects?
A: I’m thinking about going to Benton Harbor to see if I can find more stories. Work on a sequel, to explore the evolution of that city. I just finished my video production certification, I’m going to stay at WCC to get my associates, then take a break from school to do personal projects. I have a lot of video that I’ve taken that I just haven’t gotten to edit and work with right now.

A still from Helica Duron's short film, "7 Mile Music", showing Kasey Brunson tutoring his student, Kavoyn

A still from Helica Duron’s short film, “7 Mile Music”, showing Kasey Brunson tutoring his student, Kavoyn

Helica Durron won first place for Arts Entertainment/Cultural Affairs with his piece, “Seven Mile Music”

Q: So what was your project about?
A: I have a friend with a boyfriend who is a music student at U of M. He heard that the city of Detroit cut all its funding for their art and music programs. He decided to bring a bunch of other people in the music program at U of M to the city to give students free private lessons, and I documented that and told that story.

Q: How does winning the award feel?
A: I had been stressing about all my projects, but right before I got the news I was hired into the job of my dreams, so it feels really good that I can go tell my new employer that I won this.

Q: What are your future plans/projects?
A: A professor at WCC got me the internship at Nice Shirts, which has turned into a dream job, right here in Ann Arbor. With that job we’re going to be helping rebrand sports teams and videos. I really enjoy working on opening title sequences, making them aesthetically pleasing, and I am going to start learning CGI to help do that.

Basil Sharp won first place for Short Form Fiction for his piece “Down”

Q: So what was your project about?
A: My project was a short film about a guy whose best friend is a balloon, and they go on adventures, but then the balloon dies and he has to move on from it. I came up with the idea in class right after we were told about the Student Emmy project, it started as just the story of the balloon and gradually turned into the
balloon and his friend.

Q: How does winning the award feel?
A: Honored, I’m really super happy about it, it really validates everything I’ve been doing and is the ultimate recognition of my work so far.

Q: What are your future plans/projects?
A: I have ideas, nothing in production right now, I’m more working on writing the ideas down. I have two more semesters here for the video production program, then I’d like to go to Wayne State or Madonna after that to finish my BA.

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