When Kurt Kohls saw the “King Tut’s Tomb” video made by third grader Matthew Trebbe, he knew instantly that it belonged in the 2007 Video Fairfax competition.
“I just happened to see it because they had asked me to pull some pictures from it,” said Kohls, who is the school-based technology specialist at Chesterbrook Elementary School in McLean. “I was really impressed with the quality of it.”
What was even more impressive was the fact that Matt, a special needs student at Chesterbrook, made the video on his own time.
“[His] dad told me that it was a snow day activity,” said Bob Fuqua, principal of Chesterbrook Elementary School.
Matt was inspired by school, however, as his class had been studying a unit on Egypt and had taken a field trip to Philadelphia to see the exhibit on King Tut’s tomb. Matt was so excited about the exhibit that he actually traveled to Philadelphia with his family twice before the school field trip. Thus, on a cold snow day at home, Matt came up with the idea to create his very own version of King Tut’s tomb.
“He totally transformed his entire basement,” said Kohls. “Plus, the film was kind of grainy, so it actually looked like he was down in King Tut’s tomb.”
MATT NEVER imagined that his creative home movie would end up winning third place in the annual Video Fairfax competition, which is put on by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and the Arts Council of Fairfax County. The competition is open to students enrolled in grades K-12 at a Fairfax County Public School. The students participate in a hands-on workshop about video production technique and then submit their original videos which are judged by professionals from local television studios and independent production companies. The purpose of the competition is to help students learn about video and digital media from video professionals.
Although Matt never planned on submitting his video to the competition, Kohls decided that it deserved to be considered.
“He did the whole thing himself, so at the third grade level, he did everything that the high schoolers do,” said Kohls.
Kohls instincts were on target — Matt’s video won third place in the K-3rd grade division, earning him an award plaque and his school a check for $200.
“It felt really good,” said Matt.