Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Liberty students are influencing the choice

The camera is on, and the audio is perfect. Only five rough takes occur before one clean, spectacular take. Weeks of editing lead to a finished piece that has suddenly been crafted. All that’s left to do is to press click and the video is submitted to be judged. 

Each year, dozens of Liberty Video Production students share this experience when entering the local Influence the Choice competition. The video competition, which is sponsored by the non-profit organization of the same name, has students from various schools create short PSA-styled videos in different categories, with the overall winning group getting a grand prize of $1000.

Liberty students have been submitting Influence the Choice entries for the past eight years under the guidance of Michael Butterworth, Liberty’s Video Production teacher. 

“It’s an interesting project because you’re trying to communicate and convince using the power of the visual medium of video. This felt like the next step up because it’s essentially a public service announcement that you’re doing for a real audience,” Butterworth said.

Previous student competitors from Liberty have often placed high in the competition’s various categories that change slightly depending on the year, with some groups even winning the overall competition. One winning group includes last year’s seniors Jack Faris, Nicholas Crouse, and Bauer Hanson.

Each category focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles for teens, namely when it comes to substance abuse and mental health. Winning videos have focused on different helpful approaches that students feel are the most important to showcase.

“It’s healthy for students to have conversations with each other about these topics because that leads them to ask themselves how they can keep their mental health in good shape,” Butterworth said.

 For this year’s competition, students submitted their videos in the first few weeks of April. For some of them it isn’t their first time. One such student is senior Rachel Carr, who is on the staff of the Liberty Student Broadcast.

“It’s great for the people who go and compete because it’s so rewarding and it feels very separated from any school project,” Carr said.

For those who enter the Influence the Choice competition more than once, they can figure out what the difficulties are with successfully making an entry and improve from previous experiences

“The problem is the schedules; it’s just really hard to get everyone on the same page,” Carr said.

Despite this, the Influence the Choice competition is a consistently vital part of Liberty’s video production program. The skills learned throughout the process such aws editing and teamwork stick with those who participate, even past high school.

“It’s rewarding to know that I made something that meant something to my community,” Faris said.

In May, students will receive the final results to the competition, but the skills they utilized during the making of their submissions remain no matter who wins.


About the Contributor
Harper Day
Harper Day, Senior Writer

Harper Day is a senior at Liberty High School and a senior writer for the Patriot Press. They are involved in theatre and LSN at Liberty. In their free time, they can be found drawing, listening to music while drawing, and watching movies (yet again, while drawing).