NCNU video competition awards NT$90k to three student teams
Business, foreign languages students excelled in this real-life marketing opportunity
Learn about the lively campus life of National Chi Nan University (NCNU) from the students themselves! The school held a short film competition to offer a platform for student voices and encourage media literacy, resulting in 3 winning teams comprising 17 members total. Without further ado, here are their videos, produced using three months’ time and directed by their respective mentors:
The first-place title went to NCNU Zoumaigai, a student production team from the Department of International Business Studies with a well-established presence on social media including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Centered on the theme of “abundant resources,” the 4-minute video featured uniquely NCNU activities that set it apart from other Taiwanese universities, such as archery, rowing, and competitive swimming.
The well-curated footage also includes testimonies from international students and overseas compatriots from Southeast Asia on how NCNU’s Mandarin-language courses are tailored to enhance linguistic and cultural communications. The last segment is dedicated to the university’s “Return Re-creation” program that examines the interconnected natural, cultural, and industrial ecology of a village or rural township.
Working only with the simple filming equipment from storage, the Department of International Business Studies team managed to complete its project despite schedule and resource disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. It was a feat accomplished only through teamwork, according to Zoumaigai.
Coming in second place was “Unboxing NCNU” scripted by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature team and led by A-Houng, student host and commissioner extraordinaire. The engaging dialogue, improvisation, and seamless use of youth lingo added to the video’s authenticity, making it uniquely informative for its main target audience group – potential students.
The foreign languages department team found the hardest part of the project to be the need to balance the judge panel’s expectations with the creative flair of the student members. Group discussions often last for hours, with students returning to their dorm rooms among flickering traffic lights in late-night emittance mode.
“NCNU Crossing,” the third-place winner by another foreign languages department team, is a well-orchestrated effort to recruit more students from Japan by setting up an interview with one currently enrolled and enjoying life in Nantou. “I think it’s a great chance for Japanese high school students to experience foreign lifestyles,” explained Nagao Moa, who is from Osaka.
To compete in this challenge, the team even recruited cinematographers and video technicians from the Department of Civil Engineering. The original, cherished concept of video-logging was considered too subjective and subsequently renounced in favor of the interview format; the use of chroma keying, otherwise known as the blue screen technique, was another decision made after meeting with project mentor, award-winning filmmaker Lin Jien-shiang.
The three student teams gained valuable experience in collaborating with partners from different fields, all while refining their abilities in filming, sequencing, storyboarding, production, and conducting interviews. The inevitable setback or two, along with the time spent in resolving disputes, all help participants rediscover their passion and blind spots.
Students also solicited feedback from NCNU Secretary-general Liu I-chung concerning the opening sequence, balance of materials, and editorial approach to cutting and presenting footage. Liu acknowledged the different “sale points” of the university selected from a student’s point of view, noting that these videos will show an honest slice of everyday life on campus and the boundless creativity of NCNU.