When Evan Rogers set out to make a commercial for a local restaurant, he wasn’t anticipating receiving a treat of his own. That’s precisely what happened on Monday when the Tullahoma High School junior took home second place for Best Commercial at the Tennessee High School Press Association Awards at Lipscomb University.
“Winning this award means so much because ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker and videographer,” Rogers said. “This is such a great thing to add to my resume and portfolio.”
The honor comes after several THS Broadcast Media III students entered a contest from the Tennessee High School Press Association. Last month, THS Broadcast Media teacher Shelby Figueroa was notified that Rogers was named a finalist for Best Commercial. However, both she and Rogers would have to wait until this past Monday to find out about the second-place performance.
“I am so proud of Evan for receiving this award,” Figueroa said. “I wish others could’ve seen his excitement when we found out he placed in the top three. THSPA sent an email with finalists while Evan was helping me with eighth-grade parent night, and his excitement when he learned the news reminded me why I chose to teach broadcast media. Evan is the type of student that comes into class ready to work and is always asking what’s next. He has a passion for filmmaking that shows in his work.”
Rogers loves filmmaking so much that it was a nonschool project that led to his second-place award. According to Figueroa, Rogers created a commercial he did on his own for the Sundrop Shoppe & Luncheonette in Tullahoma.
“We create commercials in Broadcast Media II, but Evan didn’t make this specific one for a class project,” Figueroa said. “He reached out to the Sundrop Shoppe personally and asked if he could create a commercial for them to put on social media. He was initially skeptical about entering his commercial into the competition, so I am thrilled he changed his mind. It’s a visually appealing commercial that makes you want to stop by The Sundrop Shoppe.”
Rogers said that he was looking for opportunities to get better at both his video and editing skills. He started reaching out to local businesses, asking to create advertisements that they could use for social media marketing.
“It felt like this was a good way to expand my content and brand,” Rogers said. “The Sundrop Shoppe was my first pick. Video editing is one of my favorite parts of the process. Filming is definitely fun, but editing really brings it to life and gives you that creative design.”
The commercial titled “Welcome To the Sundrop Shoppe” is online and can be seen here. Tullahoma High School Principal Jason Quick has seen the commercial and was ecstatic about Rogers’ second-place accomplishment.
“Evan Rogers is one of the strongest students produced by the broadcast media program,” Quick said. “He has shown the ability to turn a simple idea into high-quality video content for our school and local community members. Evan plans a career in the broadcast media arena and will undoubtedly do well in his endeavors. He is another great example of what happens when students pursue excellence.”
While thankful for his award, Rogers praised Tullahoma High School and his broadcast media teacher for allowing him to follow a dream. He plans to continue his filmmaking in college and knows that the lessons he is learning at THS will stay with him moving forward.
“Broadcast media has been extremely beneficial, and I enjoy the classes that I have had,” Rogers said. “Mrs. Figueroa is a fantastic teacher and has taught me so much. This class has given me so many opportunities and equipment to further my passion. I would never receive this award if it weren’t for broadcast media.”