AC student captures first place in national creative video competition

Although Casey Niccoli, a mass media major at Amarillo College, readily admits that a “rough second semester” had given her a mild case of the self-doubts, at no point did the notion of giving up enter the aspiring filmmaker’s mind.

“I was still struggling with learning the technical aspects of filmmaking, but I had to keep creating,” Niccoli said. “I needed more than ever to see my artistic vision come to life.”

It not only came to life, but it looks as though it will long endure.

Niccoli’s video “The Takeover” captured first place in the Creative Video category at the fall conference of the College Media Association on Oct. 29 in Washington, D.C., where student work from across the nation was judged.

The winning entry, which Niccoli produced, shot and edited, features her daughter, musician Poppy Jean Craword, whose original song is the centerpiece for the artistic music video.

“I’m excited, and humbled, and so surprised, really, that it probably hasn’t totally sunk in yet,” Niccoli said. “It was a labor of love and shot all in one day. I knew as I was shooting it that it was true to my vision.”

Niccoli is the first AC student to enter and win this contest.

“I had no real budget,” Niccoli said, “so I enlisted a few friends to help. I used my own clothing, furniture, and made all the props. There was a lot of laughter on set, and everything just fell into place beautifully, and it felt right.

“It was a magical experience and I think the final product shows that.”

In another development at the National College Media Convention, AC’s spring issue of the Current won honorable mention for two-year Feature Magazine of the Year.

Members of the Current’s winning staff are Andrew Terry, Rebekah Higgins, Kamden Slough, and Faith Chamberlain. They were advised by faculty members Maddisun Fowler, Jill Gibson, and Derek Weathersbee.