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DoD Awards 'Oscars' for Best Video Productions

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2006 – The Army National Guard was a double winner at the 2004-2005 DoD Visual Information Production Awards ceremony at the Pentagon yesterday.

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Navy Rear Adm. Frank Thorp IV, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs (joint communication) addresses attendees at the 2004-2005 DoD Visual Information Production Awards ceremony at the Pentagon June 22. Photo by Sgt. Neal Joiner, USAF

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The Army Guard's film, "The Way of the Warrior: From RSP to BCT," received top recognition in the training category as well as the Production of the Year award. The movie traced the progress of real National Guard recruits as they underwent basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C.

The film is shown to National Guard recruits before they ship out to basic training, said Lt. Col. Gregg A. Bliss, a recruiting and retention specialist with the National Guard Bureau.

"The intent of this video is to address fear-of-the-unknown issues and assist in the indoctrination of these soldiers," Bliss said.

Army National Guard recruits are required to participate in a recruit sustainment program, known by the acronym RSP, before they depart for basic training, Bliss said. The program consists of monthly meetings designed to help prepare recruits for the mental and physical challenges ahead.

"When they go to basic training we've addressed some of their expectations," Bliss explained. "And, ideally, they feel very comfortable with what awaits them, and they're ready to perform and excel."

Bliss and fellow Guard officer Capt. Scott V. Savage accepted the Production of the Year crystalline trophy. Winners also received certificates of achievement.

Navy Rear Adm. Frank Thorp IV, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs (joint communication), presented golden, Oscar-like statuettes to first-place award winners in categories of training, recruitment, documentaries and internal/public information. The armed services had submitted 58 productions for judging.

The submissions were judged not only for technical quality, but also for how well they served their intended customers. "All the submitted productions were of the highest-possible quality," Thorp said. "It's truly a shame that only one of them can win the Production of the Year honor." Thorp also lauded the competition's judges, who included video professionals from U.S. military and academic, and international realms, for their acumen, hard work and dedication.

Bliss and Savage each accepted one statuette for the Guard's 1st-place win that recognized the command that produced the video, as well as the higher headquarters that sponsored it.

Second- and third-place winners will have their awards forwarded for presentation.

The U.S. Air Force snagged first-place for its documentary-category film, "Joint Task Force Katrina." Lt. Col. Stephen DiFonzo, commander of the 1st Combat Camera Squadron, at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., praised those who documented military participation along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

"I think it's a testament to their ability just to be able to see what was going on down there, grab the emotion of what was going on, and then put together a very well-produced product that folks would like to watch," DiFonzo said.

The DoD Visual Information Production awards program was started in 1998 by the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. Products submitted for judging are produced within 18-month windows. This, the sixth competition, covered the 2004-2005 period. The next visual production awards competition period is under way now. Productions created or acquired between Jan. 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007, are eligible to compete. A message explaining guidance on submitting entries will be sent out in the spring of 2007.

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Related Sites:
DoD Visual Information Production Awards
Defense Visual Information

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