Waimea Students’ Video Wins Award

Kevin Killermann and film partner Kyle Flemming. Photo courtesy National Environmental Education Foundation

They had to rush just to finish a video for a class assignment, but Kevin and Kyle Go Green is good enough to win a national contest

His concern for our ocean environment led Kevin Killermann to win second place in a national video contest.

“Maybe they could just see it in my eyes that I actually care about the environment and that’s why they picked me,” says the 2011 Waimea High School graduate.

After creating an ocean awareness video, Kevin and Kyle Go Green, as part of an assignment for a digital media class, Killermann took a chance and entered it in the Planet Connect Get Green Video Contest. The short film was selected from approximately 150 high school students’ work across the country, and will be shown at the Hawaii Ocean Film Festival and the Newport Beach Film Festival.

“We never thought it would come this far,” says Killermann of himself and his video partner, Waimea High junior Kyle Flemming, who shot the film at Salt Pond Beach Park. “Even if we did win, we didn’t think there would be recognition. So it’s a pretty cool feeling.”

Even though Killermann won a Samsung camcorder, he is unsure of whether or not he will pursue working in film. The swimmer and volleyball player plans to attend Colorado State in the fall and has decided to pursue a business major.

Still, he will enroll in a digital media class if it’s offered.

“I could see being a director someday,” he says. “That’d be fun.”

Journeying to Colorado for a higher education will be a new experience for Kaua’i-born Killermann, whose fondness for the ocean is evident in his film.

“I’m scared, though,” he says of the transition. “My brother Adam went to Colorado State before me and had to transfer back to University of Hawaii because he couldn’t handle it.”

Kevin Killermann picks up trash at salt Pond Beach. Coco Zickos photo

An avid Boogie boarder, Killermann is not only concerned about how much he will miss the sea, but will continue to worry about the effects litter is having on the island environment.

Though his character in the video attempts to cut fishing line into the ocean and toss trash on the side of the road, Killermann is strongly opposed to such action.

“Especially on Kaua’i, everything is going to end up in the ocean,” says the son of Janet and Adam Killermann, “we’re surrounded – the ocean cannot escape what we have to give it.”

And garbage just isn’t natural.

“First, it’s ugly. You don’t want to be swimming and a plastic bag wraps around your leg. It’s kind of gross,” he says.

Overfishing and coral damage are also concerns.

“From what I hear, coral is so fragile, you touch it and it dies,” he says. “Plus, overfishing – we need to save what we have right now. We don’t have much and we won’t have much left. If we don’t stop our destructive ways, things aren’t going to turn out too well.”

Since the video could only be two minutes in length, Flemming and Killermann weren’t able to capture every possible detriment to the ocean environment. But with the aid of digital media teacher Joyce Evens, the duo were able to get their point across.

And though it was created at the last minute, Killermann had no doubt when the video was completed that it would be a finalist in the contest.

“We procrastinated real hard. The day it was due, we were editing it,” he says. “But we got it done and that’s all that matters,” he says.

“We wanted to send it in, there was no question about that,” Killermann adds. “After seeing it, I was actually thinking I have a feeling we’re going to win. It’s just that feeling. It was a good video. It was serious, but there were funny scenes in there.”

Developing something that people can enjoy and could possibly learn from is significant to Killermann.

“It’s like making a piece of artwork that somebody appreciates and enjoys,” he says. “I like creating something. Hopefully people got a message from us, but I don’t think it’s going to change anybody’s life drastically. I would like things to be better environmentally. That’s why it’s a good topic.”

To watch the video, go to: https://planetconnect.org/2011getgreen.