Castleton State College had a few high school visitors on May 8, and this time, they weren’t here on a tour. The 13th annual Castleton Videofest was held in the Jeffords auditorium last Thursday. Six high school technical centers submitted video entries to be judged, while a few schools showed up at the event just for their films to be played. Castleton is the only college in the state of Vermont to hold a Videofest, which is co-sponsered by Vermont Public Television.
Thomas Conroy, the chair of the Communications department, directs the event. A panel of two professors, faculty members and students, as well as four or five people from VPT judge the videos. These judges vary each year. The relationship between VPT and Castleton has its benefits, especially for the students who made the videos.
“The good thing that comes out of it is come fall we put together an hour or two hours of winning videos and they put them on the air,” said Bob Gershon, one of this years’ judges.
Gershon also works on compressing the videos so they can be put onto the 802Live website, which is associated with the Rutland Herald’s, InviteVT site.
The Videofest started at 9 a.m. and went through until a little after 1:30 p.m with only an hour break for a free lunch of pizza, and the presentation of awards given out by Professor David Blow. The awards are divided into four main categories, as well as eight “special” awards for other note worthy videos.
The students look forward to Videofest because it is a place in which their work can be recognized. Chelsea Tice, a junior from Stafford Technical Center in Rutland, won a special award for best cinematography, and won second runner up in the experimental/animation category.
“I came here with an open mind, and even if I didn’t win it’s a great experience,” said Tice.
Tice’s video, “Drunk on Shadows,” was a short music video to a song performed by the band, H.I.M. Tice starred, directed and edited it herself, all of which took about a month.
“I don’t think they (the videos) get better every year, but you can kind of sense an upward curve,” said Gershon. “Video is just becoming a language people are used to using at a younger age.”
Castleton continues to put on the Videofest in order to give high school students the opportunity to display their work and perhaps be awarded for all the time they put into them. Gershon believes it’s a good idea to not limit the recognition of communication students to only those on campus.
“We feel it’s our business to nurture young people who work in communication,” Gershon said.