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Young Filmmaker Cooper Wins Scholarship for PSA

Auto dealers present annual awards for videos about underage drinking.

Teen video-makers from Howell, West Bloomfield, Lake Orion and Utica are among winners of annual Courageous Persuaders scholarships presented by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Education Foundation.

They and other students share $18,250 in awards announced Tuesday night in Auburn Hills for 30-second public service announcements about underage drinking risks.

Videos by these winners from Patch communities are embedded at right:

  • Daniel Cooper, West Bloomfield: The filmmaker won $2,000 from the Adcraft Club of Detroit for "the commercial that conveyed factual information about the dangers of alcohol use in the most persuasive and creative manner." His entry is titled "There Are No Second Chances."   
  • Grant Ogden, Shelby Township: The Eisenhower High student won a $1,500 first-place award for "New Product Infomercial – No."
  • Adam Atallah and Adam Bialeki, Utica: The schoolmates at the Utica Center for Science and Industry share a $1,500 prize for "Be Very Afraid."
  • Howell High team: Anna Dodd, Nicole Trudeau, Jake Tholen and Casey Haggerty jointly won $1,500 for "You Choose Your Future."
  •  Robert Marrocco, Shelby Township: "Real Fun" by this Eisenhower High student won a second-place award of $1,000.
  •  Ashley Bartreau, Lake Orion: The Lake Orion High student, who created a message called "Numbers," was chosen for a $1,000 State Farm Award from one of the event sponsors.  

"It takes courage for high school students to produce these sorts of messages" about health, safety and legal risks of drinking alcohol before age 21, broadcast teacher Roger Smith of Lake Orion High . Another of his students also was a $1,000 winner last year.

The 12th annual competition drew 627 entries from around the country, each written, produced and videotaped by students.

Sixty semi-finalists, picked by a judging panel, were reviewed by students at Metro Detroit middle schools  because that's the target audience. They completed questionnaires that determine the winners, according to Sandy Herp, project manager.

"The best part is that students have to prepare for an actual audience," says Christopher Guyor, a video production instructor at Rochester High since 1999.  Delivering a high-impact warning in 30 seconds requires a different approach "than making a video for fun or for posting on a website like YouTube or Facebook," adds Guyor, who lives in Berkley.

The half-minute spots will be shown next January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and distributed by Community Media Network of Troy for viewing on public access cable Channel 18 in Berkley, Clawson, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Oakland Township, Pleasant Ridge, the Rochester area, Royal Oak and Troy.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson was among presenters at the Marriott Centerpoint Hotel ceremony, where Fox2 anchor Huel Perkins served as master of ceremonies. Some Secretary of State branches will show the grand prize winner on waiting area screens.

The program was created in 2000 by Michael A. Martone of Troy, who then was a district court judge, and John Barczyk, now retired from the McCann Erickson ad agency branch in Warren.

The auto dealers' group, based in Troy, has been the primary sponsor and administrator since 2007.

The competition has expanded along with the spread of digital video cameras, editing programs and production courses.

In 2001, 17 teams from Troy and Clawson were the only participants. Overall, about $108,000 in scholarships have been awarded.

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