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Humans of union College

Hello, my name is Caleb Haakenson. Nice to meet you.

I’d heard about the Adventist Mission film contest from a former high school teacher of mine who sent me a message on Facebook, encouraging me to enter. I didn’t think too much of it at first, but a few weeks later, I saw the message again and thought, maybe I should actually try this; it’ll be fun.

I looked into it and spent a few weeks trying to storyboard. The video could only be a minute long, so that made it more complicated. I didn’t have any trips coming up before the deadline, so I couldn’t go somewhere to film my submission, so I put something together for the contest where I was at the time and submitted it.

I was nervous. I had no clue how many people would submit videos because it’s such a big prize.

Here’s how it works: the first judging round, there’s a panel of judges from the Adventist film world and they get together and pick four finalists. Once the finalists are picked, they’re all posted online so the public can watch them and vote for which one they think should be first place.

It was still in the judging phase while I was in Kenya and the day before I was supposed to come back, they picked the finalists and made it live–but I didn’t see it until about a day afterwards.

When I saw that I was chosen as a finalist, I was super excited, but everyone else had already had a chance to have their friends and family start voting. I quickly posted something on Facebook and Instagram with the link to vote, right before I flew back to America. When I got off my last flight, I refreshed the page as quick as I could and I was winning by, like, 50 votes and it just kept going up from there. Union was incredible; there was so much support.

Lots of teachers had their classes watch the videos and vote and Pastor Rich played it for chapel. It was really cool to see so much support from friends and family all around. I won the contest! Since I won, I’ll get to go sometime–maybe during the summer–with Adventist Mission somewhere overseas to shoot a video for them for, like, a week and a half.

As soon as we pick a time, they’ll let me decide where I’ll want to go. It basically just depends on if they have projects going on in those places. So that’s even more exciting.

Caleb Haakenson is junior studying business administration and photo and video imaging.




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