By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
Murphys video producers won three of the four top honors at the Best Video Awards dinner Thursday.
The Best Video Contest was organized by Calaveras County's Public Access TV studio and by Calaveras County Television to encourage more county residents to produce videos for broadcast on Channel 7, the public access channel for Calaveras cable subscribers.
About 12,500 county residents have Channel 7 on their cable service, said Ed Lark, manager of the county's public access TV studio, the studio where most of the Best Video Contest tapes were edited.
Nine videos were entered in the contest.
First prize went to D. E. Knapp of Valley Springs for "Switches." A black and white horror show, "Switches" examines the torture of having one's emotions controlled by someone in control of switches to turn "anger," "fear," and "pain" on and off.
"It was my sister's brainchild, I just helped bring it to life," Knapp said when he accepted his award.
Before the dinner and award ceremony, Knapp said he has been making videos for about four years with his sister Brenda Norris. Both are recent Calaveras High School graduates.
"I'd like to go to college for sound design," he said. "We want to do feature-length films."
For his prize, Knapp received a camcorder.
Kelly Ellifritz of Murphys took second place with his video, "Hidden Treasures," a travelogue hosted by his golden retriever, Beaudacious Jackson. The handsome dog's witty comments drew more than one laugh.
Ellifritz received a tripod.
Third prize went to Bob and Dottie Buchanan of Murphys for their video on Albert Michelson, entitled "Man from Murphys." Although most people in the area are familiar with Albert Michelson Elementary School, Buchanan's documentary introduced him as the physicist who conducted the first measurements in America of the speed of light. Michelson's work garnered a Nobel Prize and laid the foundation for Einstein's theory of relativity.