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Southwest Orange Wednesday, May 1, 2019 11 months ago

Former BMS students place second in Student Television Network competition

Former Bridgewater Middle School students Alexandria Muir and Ella Brinckerhoff won second place in the Student Television Network Nationals competition under the Creative Segment — Middle School category.
by: Eric Gutierrez Staff Writer

If you ever had to move while you were a child, you know what it’s like to be the new kid at a school.

That experience is the subject of a video created by Alexandria Muir and Ella Brinckerhoff that won second place in the Student Television Network Nationals competition under the Creative Segment — Middle School category. Muir and Brinkerhoff created the video in early 2018 — when they were still eighth-graders at Bridgewater Middle School. Today, Muir, 15, and Brinckerhoff, 14, are both freshmen at Windermere High.

“We made a video called, ‘New,’ which is about a new girl at a school … and she’s very lonely,” Muir said. “After very repetitive school days, she finally meets a friend … and then it branches off from that friend (until) basically she makes a bunch of new friends and her life (gets) a lot better.”

Andrew Inches is the television-production teacher at Bridgewater, and he taught both Muir and Brinckerhoff when they came through his class. He said this is only the second year that he has submitted students’ work to the Student Television Network Nationals competition, and it is the only time the school won. 

“The Student Television Network is a nationwide group of different schools that have television-production programs,” Inches said, adding that the group is mostly for high schools, but some middle schools are in it, as well. “They also have competitions throughout the course of the year where you can send it projects depending on whatever that competition is.”

Inches added the STN hosts a number of contest and competitions throughout the year for high-school students. Fortunately, the STN Nationals competition includes categories for middle-school students, which gave Inches the opportunity to submit some of his students’ work. The video Muir and Brinckerhoff made was an obvious choice to submit to the STN Nationals competition.

Bridgewater television production teach Andrew Inches, left, poses with his former students Alexandria Muir and Ella Brinckerhoff at the Orange County Student Media Festival, where Muir and Brinckerhoff's video placed second.

“I thought it was an amazing video,” Inches said. “There were a couple of things that changed along the way, but I thought the concept was terrific, because I thought it was unique. … This is a topic that really speaks to students of their peer groups. And that’s why I think it hits home on a lot of levels.”

Brinckerhoff and Muir’s video is based on Muir’s experience as a new student at BMS after moving to the area. It also tells of how Muir and Brinckerhoff met and became friends. 

“It was just like how my story was, so I wanted to create the video so that if anybody else is also new, they (can see) that it’s a normal thing,” Muir said.

Muir and Brinckerhoff also star in their video. Muir plays the new student, and Brinckerhoff plays the first friend she makes — much like the real-life story of their friendship. Brinkerhoff said the most challenging part of the project was being consistent with filming the repetitive shots in the video.

“When we were filming it, because of the repetitive shots and kind of shots we had to (do), we had to film it over a couple of days and do a lot of costume changes and keep the angles the same so the shots looked consistent,” Brinckerhoff said. “It was a lot of just making sure that everything stayed the same. We had to do it pretty fast, and we didn’t have that much time to film.”

Muir said she loves watching reactions from individuals who watch the video. 

“I would have adults watch it when we were showing it for like competitions just to get their opinions, and they would start crying,” Muir said. “Making a video that actually makes people feel things was very amazing”

Brinckerhoff said she proud of the fact the video won a student film festival at BMS last year. In addition to that win and the second-place victory with the Student Television Network Nationals competition, Muir and Brinckerhoff’s video also won second place in the Orange County Student Media Festival.

Eric Gutierrez is a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and the West Orange Observer. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a double major in Journalism and Political Science. Contact Eric at...

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