“Walking the Line” to victory


photo by Donna Parker

Juniors Katie Carlson and Kali Jobs (front center) were part of the group of TV Production students to win the Silent Film Competition at the Student Television Network conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Once they heard their school’s name, everyone lost their minds.

“We might’ve knocked over a chair or two,” junior Katie Carlson said.

Before they took off for spring break, TV Production students and advisor Donna Parker, attended the Student Television Network’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee from Friday, March 16 to Sunday, March 18. The group, which consisted of Carlson and fellow juniors Kali Jobs, Alec Morraco and Avery Watson, senior Riley Kane and eight others; took away first place for the On-The-Spot Silent Film competition.

The convention hosted student broadcasters and filmmakers in high schools across the nation, putting on informational sessions to help students improve their work. It also provided students opportunities to meet with college broadcast programs and take part in various competitions which are split into film and broadcast categories.

Competitors in the Silent Film category had six hours—three to film and three to edit—to produce a two minute silent film focused on the title “I Walk the Line.”

“It was kind of stressful at the beginning,” Jobs said, “but then I just got in the mood and did it the way I wanted to do it, so it wasn’t that bad.”

The minute and six second-long film starred Carlson in the main role, where she wakes up in her hotel room craving a cup of coffee, but when she’s unable to find any in her room, she uses any means necessary to cut in line at a Starbucks kiosk in the hotel’s convention center.

“My love of caffeine immediately made me think of how I hate waiting in lines for coffee,” Carlson said. “So, why not make a short film out of it?”

As it turned out, Carlson’s love for the coffee chain was a recurring joke throughout the conference.

“There were Starbucks all over the hotel,” Jobs said. “Any time we would see one we’d yell ‘Katie, Starbucks!’”

Adults were not allowed to be present while the students worked on their films, but by the time Parker saw the video, she felt the confident it would receive, at least, an Honorable Mention.

“The story, combined with the execution, made this video a winner,” Parker said. “If you can’t tell a good story, then trying to make a film without words, or music, won’t work – it will simply look like a montage of video clips with no apparent purpose.”

The conference, as well as the competition, provided a memorable learning experience.

“I could consider the conference to be one of the best experiences of my life,” Carlson said. “I’ve learned a lot about the television world and how it works, met new people and built relationships that will last a long time. I cannot express how grateful I am.”

The students’ short film is currently available to watch on Jobs’ YouTube channel. View it below: