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Ole Brereton
Award winner

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Paulette Maiden
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2005

IU student's video earns college television's version of Emmy Award

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Southern California usually is a sunny destination for many college students on spring break, but Indiana University student Ole Brereton isn't going there for the sun and the glitter. He's going there to accept an award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the same people who hand out Emmy Awards.

Brereton, a senior majoring in fine arts photography and telecommunications, is a first place winner in the Academy's College Television Awards, which will be presented in Los Angeles on March 13 (Sunday). His music video, "Sign of the Times," beat out entries from film schools and television production programs much closer to Hollywood and Vine.

"I didn't anticipate that I'd win, because it's usually students from big art schools and film schools who win," said Brereton, 22, who responded to a flyer posted on a bulletin board in the Telecommunications Department.

He will receive a plaque, a $2,000 cash award and $2,000 in film stock from the Kodak Worldwide Student Program for a future project. More than 400 television and film industry people will attend the gala awards ceremony.

"Ole Brereton's winning work in the music category of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation's College Television Awards was outstanding in several ways. It was visually very interesting, there was a message in the lyrics, and it was highly produced technically," said Price Hicks, director of educational programs and services at the academy. "Most importantly, the music was original, and this is always a plus."

Ole Brereton in his award-winning video

Print-Quality Photo

The competition's aim is to give outstanding student works exposure to the television and film industry and to other students and faculty nationwide. Excerpts of Brereton's video and those from other first and second place winners will be shown at the awards ceremony, and it will be shown in its entirety the following day at the College Television Awards Festival at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre.

"I think it's a great opportunity for me. I never expected that I'd win an award at this level, and when I was this young. I hope that people will see my video and recognize my abilities," Brereton said. "There's going to be a lot of people from the industry at this festival, and I hope that getting an award like this will help me get my foot in the door, into the industry."

Brereton's video also has won first place for best experimental video in the Broadcast Education Association's Festival of Media Arts awards competition. The award will be presented in Las Vegas on April 22.

Brereton did the majority of the work on the video himself. It began as a class project his freshman year, after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. After setting it aside for other projects and his coursework, he resumed work on the video in fall 2004. It was shown in a bachelor of fine arts alternative show in December. For the exhibit, he built a room lined with black plastic -- "to create a sense of being trapped within the chaos of the video, and it resembled the interior of a body bag" -- and cut out a screen in it to show the video.

Brereton's entry is a rap music video, in which he expresses deep feelings against the war in Iraq and about American foreign policy. He performs on the screen, rapping lyrics which he wrote, while images from the news appear.

"I've always followed the war in the Middle East. It's been a big concern to me in my life," he said. "I am more of a pacifist. I'm against war, and I wish that we could find other means to solve political differences."

Brereton normally does not perform his music in public and usually prefers to stay behind the scenes, recording music by friends. He currently is working as a camera assistant for IU graduate student Robert Clift on a PBS documentary, "Color Coordinated," about racial issues within hip-hop music and culture.

He previously produced a short documentary about his family's farm in Williamsburg, Mo., and their ritual of gathering there each Thanksgiving, as well as a series of short films. The documentary won the MultiVisions Award for best non-fiction student production in the IU Department of Telecommunications in 2004. An earlier version of "Sign of the Times" won the same award for best studio production in 2003.

He now is working on a student feature film called "Telephone Tag," based on the childhood game about what happens to a message as it gets passed around. He first became involved in photography when he was a student at Bloomington's Harmony School.

Brereton eventually would like to do graduate work at a prestigious film school. While he is interested in producing and directing films, he ultimately would like to own his own television and radio station and production company. He's now working as a production assistant at WTIU-TV and does camera work for its "Friday Zone" program and newsbreaks.

"I never really knew I wanted to do video film production until I got here at IU," Brereton said. "It took me coming to a college to make that realization happen ... This is not a film school, but as a large university, IU offers all of the resources that you need to make it a film school."