Evening gowns, monk robes, and red gnome hats—all proper attire for Founders Music Video Night, Founders Hall’s annual celebration of building creativity. Despite Friday’s snow and ice storm, students from all over campus showed up to see the assortment of music videos by Founders halls, each introduced by seniors and former Founders residents Seth Mayberry and Stephen McKerihan, quirky and colorful hosts who entertained the audience with their on-stage stunts, jokes about animal terrorism, and cardboard robot.
The videos were judged by art professor Dr. Elissa Weichbrodt, alongside Carter RD Evan Marbury and Carter ARD Abbey Rice, both of whom graciously stepped in to fill the spots of two judges unable to attend due to Friday’s inclement weather. The judges chose the top three videos of the night based on scales of creativity, originality, cinematography, entertainment value, and overall impression.
The first place prize was awarded to Gracewell, Balcony received second, and First Belz took home third, yet every hall’s video managed to represent the creativity of the individual hall and Founders as a whole. Founders Building President, sophomore Ian Webb, says that Founders Music Video Night is unique because the building is so unique, and “Music Video Night is the perfect stage for Founders to display those many talents.”
The first video of the night and the first place winner was Gracewell, a story was set to the tune of “Happy Together,” as covered by Filter and originally by The Turtles. The award-winning video told the story of the hall’s ardent adoration of one man—Carter resident Jack Roylston—that turned quickly into bitter fury at the sight of Jack cavorting in the Great Hall with girls from Andreas. The gleeful song matched with the slightly sinister storyline complete with a surprise twist at the end, created a memorable first place video.
Second place prize was awarded to Balcony for the thoughtful and provocative video that revealed students wrestling with addiction and anger, depicting struggles honestly but ending hopefully. The video portrayed triumph over brokenness in a way that “just saying no” never has, and did so by combining the song “Home,” by Daughter with evocative imagery and emotional subjects to create a poignant and memorable video.
First Belz received the third place prize for their video of the song “Jungle” by X Ambassadors set to the scene of a cityscape, reframing Chattanooga and setting it in a beautiful light with social and political undertones. The conflict expressed in the song joined seamlessly with black and white images of church buildings and street basketball to make striking and visually appealing social commentary.
A few of the most memorable moments from other videos include Brethren’s dismal depiction of the SIP writing process, Caledon’s Coca Cola scandal, Catacombs suggestively confronting stereotypes about the students who live there while illegally pitching objects out of windows, and Jungle’s story of falling in love with a chocolate chip cookie.
Highlands’ “Rock City Chicks,” a parody of rapper Tyga’s song “Rack City,” showcased the hall’s creativity with original words and vocals by freshman Juliana Meznar. Jubilee’s video was unique in its very niche appeal, featuring the hall in black clothes and vibrant eye makeup singing and dancing to the grotesquely amusing internet hit “Shia LaBeouf,” written and sung by Rob Cantor. Blackwatch created an irreverent two-part conglomeration that began with a quote from postmodern philosopher Jean Baudrillard and ended with the ironic inclusion of the Harlem Shake.
Founders Music Video Night is a visual representation of the diverse community inhabiting the maze-like building. Host Seth Mayberry said at the start of the evening, “I would define normal as unique,” and Founders Music Video Night was a representation of part of what it is like to be a Founders resident and the many talents and interests of the students who live there.