Graduation a matter of timing for CKMS crew

The timing could not have been more perfect for Kevin Matsunaga Friday.

Matsunaga, a media instructor at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, and his video students were contracted to produce DVDs of the Kaua‘i High School graduation.

But more importantly, the CKMS video team had an opportunity to put a new TriCaster control box through its paces for the project.

“The box came in the mail just this morning,” Matsunaga said. “What timing. We were able to get the new TriCaster through the efforts of Bill Arakaki, Kaua‘i Area Complex school superintendant, and when it arrived, it was just perfect timing.”

Matsunaga’s video crew is no stranger to tackling big projects, and the Friday graduation served as a fundraiser for the students’ 2009 trip to the Mainland to expand their media horizons.

Earlier in the month, CKMS student team of Alexis Hernandez, Kristen Sugihara, Kaitlyn Rogers and Courtney Ochoco were notified that it had earned first place honors for a commercial on Hamura Saimin at the Student Television Network 2008 Spring Nationals.

“Schools from all across the United States submit entries for this competition,” Matsunaga said in an e-mail.

In addition to the Hamura Saimin commercial, the video team of Grant Basquez, Kyren Ishikawa, Lauren Hanano and Rogers earned a silver medal for a commercial on the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board, administrator for the Aloha ‘Ike grant program which helps fund programs such as the CKMS video.

Hanano continued to reap honors at the Mainland competition as her Middle School Public Service Announcement on “Speeding in a School Zone” was a gold medalist.

She was also on the video team which earned a bronze medal for “Kaua‘i Forever,” an entry in the Middle School Music Video category. Joining Hanano were Sugihara and Leslie Lockyer.

Video pieces for the Mainland competition can be seen on

In addition to securing wins for the Mainland competition, Matsunaga said the CKMS crew of Rogers, Ishikawa and Sugihara earned first place in the Middle School Short category with their “Beating the Odds” entry which deals with a homeless girl.

“They won a new Sony handicam for the class and a cool trophy for our case,” Matsunaga said. “This competition is one of two big ones in the state where more than 450 entries were submitted.”

Ishikawa was part of the six-student video crew working the graduation Friday afternoon, and Matsunaga said the new TriCaster unit will be used when the CKMS crew begins filming some Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation games next year.

Under this program, Matsunaga said hopefully students from all three public high schools will be working alongside the CKMS crew.

“I’m working with the KEDB to hopefully have them fund some Sony HD cameras to add to the system,” Matsunaga said. “It should be neat to have the students film the entire production and do the announcing, too.”

Earlier in the month, Joyce Evens, the media instructor at Waimea High School, had a pair of her students doing a live demonstration of the capabilities of a TriCaster unit at the learning celebration coordinated by the KEDB and the Aloha ‘Ike grant program.

Matsunaga said the unit Evens was showing differed from the unit his students just received. At the learning celebration, Evens explained that its unit was able to get the video signal back to the Waimea campus, but was unable to connect to the school-wide video network.

For the graduation, Matsunaga had six students, Ishikawa, Ochoco, Tamura, Cascade Mayer, whose sister Amanda was the hostess for the program, Jamie Emoto and Jannin Hashizumi helping to produce the final product.

“In addition to the graduation, we are going to do the Project Grad event as well,” Matsunaga said. “For that portion, two of the students will be with me filming throughout the night.”

Joining the crew which set up a field production system behind the backdrop for the graduation, Cody Navarro, an alumni of the CKMS video program, offered his help. Navarro is home from the Pacific Lutheran University where he is majoring in business.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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