Three Henry County High School Juniors won a first-place production award at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for their work on a documentary titled, “The Seventh Work of Mercy.”
“It was a great and inspiring story!” one judge reviewed the students’ piece.
Student Reporters Terralynn Smith, Rachel Vegh and Micah Lineman accepted the award for winning their documentary at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 2 in the Short Form Non-Fiction category.
The documentary follows members of the Joseph of Arimathea Society at Trinity High School in Louisville. “They serve as pallbearers at burials of homeless or financially struggling Louisville residents,” explained Smith. “Their purpose is to help honor lost loved ones by celebrating their lives.”
The boys participate as witnesses throughout each service. They also lend an ear to listen, gather in prayer and carry the casket. Each member attends one or two burials throughout the school year, and sometimes participates in summer burials.
Smith, Vegh and Lineman partnered throughout their media course, taught by Steve Galyon, and completed a number of other pieces.
During the class’s course, they produced two music videos, a short movie PSA production tag, and an interview skit with the boys’ basketball team at Christmastime that included spirit-filled questions such as, “What does Santa feed his reindeer?”
The trio heard exciting things about the elective from upper classmen prior to joining Galyon’s video production class, including good words from Vegh’s older sister. “My sister took the class a couple years before me and had a lot of fun with it, so it made me want to join,” said Vegh.
“Mr. Galyon’s classroom is full of awards that his previous students received for video production in the years since he began teaching at HCHS in 1996,” added Lineman.
Little did the girls know, they would soon earn their own spot on the wall, and become the 11th group in the class’s history to receive a first-place award.
Galyon directed the girls to radio coverage of the Joseph of Arimathea Society while they were brainstorming a topic for the winning documentary.
“When I heard about the boys from Trinity offering these services to the homeless, I knew it would make a good story,” Galyon said. “When Micah, Terralynn and Rachel decided to take it on, I knew it would be a great story.”
The girls jumped on the idea and got to work meeting with the society, conducting interviews and shooting video clips.
A record 78 entries this year, including 38 high school entries, were received from schools across the Ohio Valley Chapter’s four-state region to be judged by industry professionals in choosing the 2014 production award recipients, according to the Academy’s website. The Ohio Valley Chapter is one of nineteen regional chapters of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, headquartered in New York City.
The Chapter supports aspiring television professionals by presenting individuals and groups of college and high school students with production awards, the Academy’s website said.
Gary Anaple, Student Awards Chairman for the Ohio Valley Chapter, expressed astonishment on the quality of the student submissions.
“The work of our region’s students continues to impress the professionals who judge their submissions,” he said in a news release. “Across all the various media disciplines, the students of the Ohio Valley Chapter embody the standard of excellence that NATAS was founded to maintain. Congratulations to those who have been honored this year. We’re proud to have the opportunity to encourage and mentor these dynamic students.”
Smith, Vegh and Lineman graciously thanked all who helped them achieve their first place honor upon receiving the award, with special regards to their teacher for helping them get there.
The judges raved in their feedback with reviews such as, “Wonderful interviews.” “The writing is great.” “Great use of music.” and “Solid storytelling,” according to judges’ reviews shared by Galyon.
The three students plan to enter the medical field upon graduating high school, but hope to stay active in media. “This summer I get to help in the production of a video at my church camp,” said Smith.
“I hope to take media electives when I’m in college,” replied Lineman.
Galyon’s production class will be held close to Smith, Vegh and Lineman’s hearts, whichever future path they choose, and they’ll remember his famous words of advice: “Say your prayers, eat your vegetables and wear your seatbelt.”