Ask three students from Gilbert’s Mesquite High School what “wind blows” mean to them, and they won’t hesitate to tell you: $10,000.
Seniors Bryan Koepplinger, Nicholas Ramirez and Yousef Hawash produced a 59-second video called “Chasing Hamilton” for a contest sponsored by Western Wind Energy.
In the video, Koepplinger is chasing a $10 bill, on which Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first treasury secretary, is pictured, as it blows away in the wind.
The video is competing against 47 others at http://windblows.us. Whichever video gets the most online votes wins $10,000.
“Chasing Hamilton” has ranked as high as second place, but is currently in fourth place with 1,082 votes. Voting closes and the prize will be awarded Feb. 11.
The students were tipped off to the contest by their broadcasting teacher, Rock Smith.
They completed the video in about three or four days between classes and other obligations.
Koepplinger was the main actor in the video, and Ramirez was behind the camera. Hawash appears in the beginning of the video, and they all assisted with directing.
Once they got the video posted online, the students put up fliers around campus and mentioned it in the morning announcements. They’ve also campaigned on MySpace.com, Facebook.com and other online social networking sites.
For the amount of time they spent on the video, the students say it came out well. While they like some other videos in the contest, they say “Chasing Hamilton” is definitely their favorite.
“I was actually pleasantly surprised on the final results,” Koepplinger said. “We had to cut 20 minutes of footage into 60 seconds, so I was pretty happy about it.”
If “Chasing Hamilton” wins, they all say they’ll put away their share of the prize money for college.
They all plan on attending Arizona State University in the fall — Ramirez for film production, Hawash for broadcast journalism and Koepplinger for graphic design.
Smith is proud of his students’ work. He said Ramirez is an excellent videographer with a good sense for selecting the shots that will tell a story, and Hawash is a good actor and anchor.
“A lot of thought went into it, even though it was a fun, light-hearted thing,” Smith said. “These (students) are going to go places and do things. You’ll see them in the future.”