SUNY New Paltz students stepped into the spotlight after recently winning awards in the Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Student Video Competition.
“Head in the Clouds,” by Matt Dorsi, Bri Dies, Christina DiNapoli and Karen Yen, earned an honorable mention in the Student Narrative Category. John Mingione’s “All I Can Say: The Musical” earned second place in the Student Music Video category.
“Head in the Clouds” was the group’s motion project in Professor Joseph Vlachos’ Field Production class. Vlachos said he was originally “cool to the idea,” but the group convinced him it was a worthwhile project so he gave it the green light.
“I am ecstatic that ‘Head in the Clouds’ won an honorable mention at the 2012 BEA Festival of Arts,” Vlachos said. “I can honestly say that I have not seen a student project produced for Field Production which has the style and feel of ‘Head in the Clouds,’ and I say this as both as an alumnus and as a faculty member of SUNY New Paltz.”
Dorsi, a fourth-year radio/TV production major, said the group completed nearly 24 hours of non-consecutive work on the video.
“Three or four hours for pre-production (planning out how our shorts were going to look and getting everything ready), five or six hours of filming and 10 to 12 hours of editing,” Dorsi said. “We also reshot and re-edited about half the project before submitting it to BEA.”
Recent graduate Mingione created “All I Can Say: The Musical” as part of his independent study last spring with his faculty advisor Gregory Bray.
“I think it’s great,” Bray said. “This year, BEA had well over 1,100 staff and faculty submissions and only 7 to 11 percent received any recognition of awards. [Mingione] is fairly prolific and this video highlights his talent, energy and performance.”
“All I Can Say: The Musical” took approximately three months to complete. Mingione said he developed the idea, cast friends who could act, wrote the songs, recorded all the music/vocals, decided on the locations, filmed the scenes and then tediously edited everything.
“I pretty much did all this work myself with help behind the camera from Deanna DiBenedetto, help with some composing from Stephen Hirst and help with a few graphics from Jay Spiwak,” Mingione said. “It was a long and stressful process, but we were all beyond happy with the outcome.”
Mingione said he always disliked musicals but wanted to make one that appealed to everyone.
“I wanted to create a musical that had balls,” he said. “I wanted something that
appealed to musical fans, frat guys, stoners, ballerinas, football players, cowboys and housewives. I definitely think I accomplished that.”
“All I Can Say: The Musical” has also won other awards including first place for Best
Online Video at Mock Fest Film Festival of Hollywood, first place Viewer’s Choice Award at Alphabet City Dolly Film Festival in New York City, and the “Best Filmmaker of 2011” award at Rockfest Film Fest in Las Vegas.
“I was obviously thrilled when I heard the news that I’d won this award, but I was also very shocked,” Mingione said. “Here is a musical with swearing, perversions and drug/alcohol content — and it’s winning [a] prestigious award like this.”