Sustainable Lawrence video competition update

Maggie Waz

Following the success of 2008’s “More Light!” student video competition, the Development Office introduced a new video competition this school year to highlight the sustainable initiatives coinciding with this year’s LU theme.
The Development Office invited groups of students to present proposals for the “Sustainable Lawrence” student video competition in February. Three teams were chosen for the competition based on these proposals, which outlined the groups’ initiatives for their three-minute videos. The teams were given a small budget and professional equipment to capture and edit their footage.
The teams chosen for this year’s competition are: Tom Coben and Rosie Graber on one team; Stephen Anunson, Katie Langenfeld, Molly Preston, Carolyn Armstrong and Oren Jakobson on another team; and Kaushal Malde, Kevin Gabrielsen and Nate Grady on a third team.
While the finished projects are not due until May 29, these groups have already done copious amounts of planning. One of the requirements for the video is an original score. Phil Kronenberg is working on the music for Graber and Coben’s piece.
Armstrong is working on the music for her group’s video, which will focus on the garden and the Warch Campus Center as “symbolic of sustainability here on campus,” Anunson said.
Graber and Coben, too, will focus on the garden. Their film will center on Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens, or SLUG, the student group that manages the garden. Graber and Coben hope their video will be both highly entertaining and informative, and, perhaps, get more students involved with the garden.
Of course, there are many problems that arise with such a competition. Right now, Anunson and Langenfeld are concerned with time constraints and the erratic weather preventing them from shooting outdoors.
Coben and Graber have similar concerns, and also struggle with focus – unsure whether to cover one topic thoroughly or to cover practically everything being done at Lawrence relevant to this project.
Anunson also voiced concern over potential tension between the video’s commercial value and members’ creativity. “We went into this knowing that we were creating an advertisement,” he said, “but there’s always room for creativity.”
Langenfeld added that sometimes creativity is more apparent when one is working within boundaries such as these.
The film competition is also an opportunity for the student filmmakers to learn about Lawrence’s green initiatives. Coben said his team was more “impressed than we thought we would be. [It’s a] pleasant surprise.”
Clearly, Lawrence has much to offer in terms of increased sustainability, and it is up to these three groups to reveal that potential to a wide audience.
The student body will have a chance to vote for the winning team, as they did in the 2008 “More Light!” video competition. The winning team will receive $3,000 in prize money and the winning video will premiere on the Documentary Channel.