KAPA‘A — “I’m a senior, I just have to win this,” is what Kapa‘a senior Pauline Lucas said to her long-time friends and classmates when Hawaiian Airlines announced a statewide contest to storyboard and shoot an advertisement with the theme: “Hawaii Is.”
The media class instructed by Michelle Rundbaken was offered a new high-definition Sony camera and tripod if it agreed to create and produce footage that best exemplified “what living in Hawai‘i means to young people.”
Seven groups tackled the assignment from Principal Gilm-ore Youn’s Kapa‘a High School, but it was this super-girl-powered group of Camille Brady, Pauline Lucas, Lindsey Taylor and Brandi Phillips who actually won the commission to have their concept produced into a professional commercial.
“You can tell they’re quite outspoken and know what they want,” said Rundbaken.
The girls, three of whom have been friends since pre-school, attacked the assignment with the passion and determination to win. Having worked together on several other class video assignments, notable titles including “Fish Friends,” “Barbie Coke Addict” and a twist on the ugly duckling story entitled “The Brutal Duck,” prepared the team to work together on the national advertisement campaign contest.
Sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and produced by Starr Seigle Advertising in Honolulu, Brandi Phillips and Pauline Lucas were able to travel to O‘ahu to direct the editing and record the voice-over of their award-winning footage with professional editors, copywriters, and sound technicians. Though all four girls desperately wanted to go, just two were chosen at random. “We cried when we found out we couldn’t go,” said Brady.
“We called them from O‘ahu and asked for their input, it was still a group effort,” explained Phillips.
The young filmmakers chose to shoot at the Hanalei Pier — a typical after-school hang-out at the beach captures the feel-good freedom enjoyed by so many kids growing up on Kaua‘i. “And even when there’s no surf, we still have fun. It’s the only place in the world you can truly be yourself — that’s our Hawai‘i,” says the voiceover recorded by Phillips and Taylor, as all four girls, in a sunset silhouette, jump in freeze-frame off the end of the pier.
The experience has made Pauline Lucas consider pursuing media or film studies in college. “It made me think about it … this experience made me realize it’s something real to actually consider,” said Lucas.
Wrestling with the “Senior Spring” dilemma — what comes next, which school, which state — Lucas is leaning towards University of California, San Diego. As juniors, Camille Brady and Lindsey Taylor still have a year to decide where they’ll study, while Brandi Phillips is headed to the army, following in her father’s military career path that has taken her family to live in Germany and Washington, D.C., over the past few years.
The commercial is currently airing on all local channels: 2, 4, 5, 8, 9 and MTV. It was the only Kaua‘i winning entry, with others chosen from O‘ahu and Maui. The young women expressed thanks to both their teacher Ms. Rundbaken, as well as principal Youn for helping them. Glowing with the energy of young adulthood, it seems believable that whatever they decide to pursue, be it a statewide contest or a breaking wave, these young ladies are headed for success.
• Keya Keita, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 or firstname.lastname@example.org.