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Student’s animated short earns finalist spot

Hanalei Elementary sixth-grader Tanya Gomez was a finalist in the Olelo Student Youth Exchange Video Festival with her animated short-film “Subtract the Ads.” She ranked in the top three in the middle-school division.

When she and fellow students in the video production class were given the task of making a short-film, Gomez said she wanted to do something completely different from everyone else.

“I started out wanting to make animation and I was thinking about ideas,” she said. “Everyone was doing ‘no smoking’ or ‘no bullying’ videos, everyone always does that. I wanted to do something different because that’s already been done. So I was thinking, what about commercials?”

She said she realized that many, especially kids, were influenced by commercials so she decided to do a public service announcement on them.

“When kids watch commercials, they tell their parents ‘I want that! I want that!’ And I remember I was like that,” she said. “So I wanted to do how commercials influence what kids eat.”

Gomez took this as an opportunity to promote healthier food and to also show the impact of commercials on kids.

“Kids are saying they don’t want parents to make the decisions for them, so why do they let the TV make decisions for them,” she said. “That’s one of the questions in the video.”

Gomez said this was a pretty easy project. Because it was animation, she had to do some drawing, but not too much.

“The cool thing about it is you don’t have to draw dozens of pictures. You draw one thing, and have it do whatever you want,” she said. “Overall it took about a month to do.”

Gomez, who is in her third year at Hanalei Elementary, may very well be on her way towards a film career.

“I’m not so sure about animation but I want to keep up with movie-making,” she said.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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