Students in a club at Modesto High School were given a concept and told to run with it.
The resulting public service video on violence prevention drew praise Friday for members of the school’s Web & Media Club when it was aired in the Modesto Police Department’s theater room.
Officials with Modesto City Schools and police said they were impressed with the PSA’s visual storytelling and professional editing in getting the message across. It urges the public to keep guns locked up at home. And if you see something that might lead to violence, say something about it.
In the short video, a teenager with a backpack reacts to harsh treatment by his peers by bringing a firearm to school. What happens next is left to the imagination of viewers with a memory of school tragedies in the United States.
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Sara Noguchi, superintendent of Modesto City Schools, said the idea for a public service announcement originated from discussions with the Stanislaus County Office of Education. The school district gave the assignment to the media club at Modesto High. The students entirely came up with the content of the video.
Scott Mitchell, who teaches visual arts, said the job of producing and directing the video went to club president Ugochi Anunne. Club member Eduardo Alba drew up the storyboards and served as cameraman. The students also gave a script to Noguchi and Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll, who speak on camera.
Anunne, a first-time director, said it took time to coax the student actors to look natural as they walked down the hall or performed in classroom scenes. The video was shot in two days at Modesto High, and 1 1/2 hours of footage was edited down to 1 minute and 40 seconds.
The mood-setting music was done on a USB keyboard, Mitchell said.
Anunne, who’s a junior at Modesto High, said she hopes the video will provoke thought on bullying and how students are treated at school. She said her career ideas right now are business and filmmaking. She said Alba has an interest in media and takes photographs for the yearbook.
Bryan Enriquez plays the teenager who is bullied in the scenes. Other actors included Nicholas Panyanouvong, Audrey Younkin, Piya Madan, Riley Szenasi, Allyson Oliveira, Thavie Keary, Iraya Cress, Jack Ford, Breann Donnelly, Derek In, Carson Hull, Joan Gong and Alex Phaing.