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STARS COME OUT FOR RAVALLI COUNTY STUDENTS

Lights, Camera, Education

MAPS Media Institiute shifts into high gear


MAPS students write, produce several PSAs for two clients

By DAVID ERICKSON - Ravalli Republic

The students at the MAPS Media Institute in Hamilton have been busy for the past several weeks writing, acting in, directing and shooting several public service announcements for two major clients: State Farm Insurance and the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

The students were given broad themes from State Farm to choose from, and the actual content matter of the spots was left up to the filmmakers. They have been busy working on features on drunk driving, disaster preparedness and distracted driving. The spots will be put up on State Farm’s website once they are finished.

Hamilton High School senior Cody Tredik, who is among the students working on the PSAs, said it’s been a fun but hectic week.

“We’ve enjoyed it a lot,” he said. “It’s been going very good. To come up with the ideas, we sat down with (MAPS creative director) Jeremy Sauter, and had a little think tank session and that turned into some big ideas. For the drunk-driving spot, we decided we would have someone in a big beer bottle suit, and they would be leaving a party, and they would try to get into the car but couldn’t because of the suit.”

The students used a green screen for the party in the background, and they also used the green screen in the distracted driving PSA.

“On Monday, the Hamilton Armory let us film there,” said MAPS executive director Laura Henderson. “We needed a big indoor space, and it was awesome that they let us go in there. We had been filming all week, and we actually ran out of daylight.”

For the distracted driving PSA, the students filmed an actor (also a student) driving in a car with the green screen serving as the surrounding environment.

“Our main character was on the cell phone, and we’ll have some real hands pop out messing with their hair,” Tredik said. “It looked great.”

The Montana OPI asked the MAPS program to do a spot for their “Graduation Matters Montana” campaign, and the students decided they will create a motion graphic PSA that will be televised later this year.

“We have four classes that are working on each PSA,” Tredik said. “The Graduation Matters PSA will be done as a motion animation by the motion design class.”

The MAPS Media Institute is a nonprofit after-school program designed to teach students real-world media arts skills. For more information, visit online at www.mapsmediainstitute.com.