It’s a ‘Monster’ Night for Dunbar At Keep It Real Awards Show

At the moment of truth, the monster himself wasn’t there.

But he sure was in the video that claimed the top prize in the eighth annual Keep It Real Video/Internet Contest.

Austin Moore played the monster in the 30-second video “The Drunk Monster” that earned first place and $400 for the four winners — Moore, Travis Gaines, James Grabmayer and Sam Habash, all juniors at Dunbar High.

Their winning video, which promotes an anti-underage drinking message, will be aired on television stations throughout the region and in pre-show ads in local cinemas through National Cinemedia.

The contest invites teen filmmakers to submit 30-second PSA’s telling their peers about the risks of underage drinking.

This year 65 videos were submitted from students throughout Kentucky.

At the Oscar-styled awards ceremony in February at the Kentucky Theatre, $3,100 in prize money was awarded to filmmakers from nine counties.

The People’s Choice Award went to the Lexington Day Treatment Center entry, “The Road Not Taken,” submitted by Dulce Silvia and Victor Castillo.

That award is given to the video that received the most votes during the on-line contest, which ran Jan. 9-20. A total of 9,106 individuals visited the website ( with 80,244 votes cast.

Clearly, the star of the show was “The Drunk Monster,” which received a huge laugh.

In the video, Travis, James and Sam go looking for Austin, who is facing away from the camera drinking from a bottle in a brown paper bag.

When the boys ask him if he’s OK, he growls into the camera and his face transforms into a monster’s face.

Travis created the special effect with After Effects software.

The shoot took one hour, the editing took weeks.

“I knew we could do it right, but it took a really long time,” said Travis, who spent hours studying the technique on You Tube tutorials.

“It was really stressful, but it finally turned out.”

The same could be said of the awards night.

“We were getting more and more nervous as the awards for comedy and editing went to other videos,” Sam said.

But then their name was called for the grand prize. After they returned from the stage, they contacted Austin, who was working that night.

The win capped a big night for Dunbar, which won eight awards. Teacher Beth McKenzie, who leads Dunbar’s TV production program, was impressed by the technical skill of the overall champions.

“They worked very hard with After Effects. I don’t think I could have done it,” she said.

“And students really respond to the video. Everyone kind of jumps and then laughs.”

The only thing not funny is the video’s anti-underage drinking message.

“You don’t need alcohol to have fun,” Austin said. “And if you drink at an early age you’re more likely to have a drinking problem later.”
Grand Prize/Best Picture
Winner: “The Drunk Monster” (Dunbar High): Travis Gaines, James Grabmayer, Sam Habash and Austin Moore.
People’s Choice
Winner: “The Road Not Taken” (Lexington Day Treatment Center): Dulce Silvia and Victor Castillo.
Honorable Mention: “Rise Above the Influence” (Lexington Day Treatment Center):  Trell Turner and Josh Greer.

Best Direction
  Winner: “Underage Drinking PSA” (Eastside Technical School):
David  Rearic, Daniel Boyd, Randon Juanso, Bailey Lowry, Dylan Kimmell, Keenan Steele, Dariel King, King Young, Ambri Bright, Eunice Martinez, DeShon Barber,  Mr. Manley, Jason Rock, Michael Watts, Corey McCall, Greg King, David Loue, Connor Preston, Blake Smithson, Jackson Stamper, Nathan Akers, Jessica Marshall, Jake Barker, and Cameron Plowman.

Best Original Music
Winner: “Don’t Let Your Future Go Down the Toilet” (Martin Luther King 21st Century Program): Shantress  Coleman, Travis Barrett, Deja Jones, DaJuanta Givens, Eugine Beatty, and Destiny Gourdine.
Honorable Mention: “The Gingerbread Catastrophe” (Lexington Catholic High School): Catherine  Wright, Kristian Klaene, Stephen Dorsett, Nicholas Leslie, Jessie Dalton, Carter Gray, Josh Dodson, Cam Sayre, Noah Sherr, Drew Howard, Nigel Smith, Amber Pitts, Abby James, Abby DiPretoro, and Clare Hogan.

Best Graphic Design
Winner: “Sketched” (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School): Harry Fogle and Jake Redenbaugh.
  Honorable Mention: “I Am” (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School): Paige Noe, Larent Noe, Kelly Sanders, Sarah Widy and Kajsa Brindley.

Best Depiction of Message   
Winner: “Why Drink At All?” (Henry Clay High School):
Parker Comley.
Honorable Mention: “Living Life In Full Color” (Barren County High School): Austin Benedict.

Best Art Direction
Winner: “Is It Worth the WEIGHT?” (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School):
Elizabeth Graves and Stacy Wilk.
Honorable Mention: “Win Without Drinking” (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School): Micah Gaines, Traci Thomas, Trina Thomas and Kierra Muhammad.

Best Comedy
   Winner: “It’s Not Too Late, It’s Never Too Late” (Augusta Independent High School):
Brahm Hamilton, Jacob Hopkins, Corey Moore, Rhett Kelsch, Jameel Halawani and Marie Hiles.
Honorable Mention: “Stop Underage Drinking” (Henry Clay High School): Katie Crawford.

Best Script
Winner: “Choices” (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School): Paige Noe, Lauren Noe, Kelly Sanders, Sarah Widy and Kajsa Brindley.
Honorable Mention: “Pain” (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School):
Matthew Moore and Josh Stone.

Best Editing
Winner: “Emily’s Scrapbook” (Harrison County High School): Josie Valentine, Sarah Nichols, Breanna Skidmore and Dominic Walker.
Honorable Mention: “Bottled Violence” (Henry Clay High School): Adam Crenshaw.

Best Cinematography
Winner: “If I Could Only Go Back” (Clark County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Youth Network): Nick Bailey, Mikayla Jones, Haley Tye, Emily Houston, Matthew Omohundro, Jacob Omohundro, Chanda Scobee, Anna  Omohundro, Kayla Harrison, Kayla Finley, Ragan Clark, Katie McCrary, Addison Lowry, Hannah Mohr, and Caleb Mohr.
Honorable Mention: “See Another Birthday” (West Jessamine High School):
Dalton  Fight, Trent Fight, Carter Chapman, Dean Edwards and Michael McFadden.

Most Original
Winner: “Just Walk Away” (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School): Carolyn Betts and Jordan Brennan.
Honorable Mention: “Lose Control. Lose Your Friends. Lose Yourself.” (Grayson County High School) Kylee Gorby, Adrian Sanders, Cassidy White, Carter Cannon and Katie Beeler.