MHS students fight litter, win state video contest

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Twila Tanner watches as Marshall High School junior Grant Pfizenmaier is sent into a trash can by a disgruntled piece of litter. Pfizenmaier, along with seniors Will Boyd and Anthony Quick won first place in the statewide videography contest hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Department of Transportation entitled "No MOre Trash!"

Litter doesn't enjoy being tossed on the ground, at least according to a recent video made by a trio of Marshall High School students.

In a 30-second spot which won first place in the Missouri Department of Transportation and Depart-ment of Conserva-tion's "No MOre Trash!" contest, a discarded soda can gets revenge by knocking the litterbug who dropped it into a trash can. The can then proceeds to throw itself out.

"Trash can be pretty aggressive," said creator Will Boyd, a Marshall senior. Boyd, along with junior Grant Pfizenmaier, who played the role of the litterbug, and senior Anthony Quick received $200 for their work in making the spot, as well as a chance to meet local celebrity Twila Tanner, runner-up in the 2004 season of the television series "Survivor: Vanuatu" and MoDOT intermediate crew worker.

The "No MOre Trash!" program began in April 2002 and awards cash prizes to 16- to 22-year-old videographers like the trio of MHS students. The students competed against others all across the state in the contest, which asks young Missourians to convince other young Missourians to put trash in trash cans.

Boyd said the general concept of the students' commercial was his original idea. "I told Grant [Pfizenmaier] and Anthony [Quick] to get a camera and we started filming," Boyd said.

It wasn't long before cameras were rolling and Pfizenmaier, the resident stuntman of the crew, was taking a dive into the trash can after his run-in with the belligerent can.

Tanner hands Quick his award and check for his role in producing the winning video. Pictured from left are Boyd, Pfizenmaier, Quick and Tanner.

The students' teacher, Carter Fawkes, said one of the major hurdles to putting together the video was getting the message said in exactly 30 seconds. Students used slow motion and other video editing techniques to get the timing exactly right.

"Littering is a huge sign of disrespect to everyone," said Stacy Armstrong, a MoDOT No MOre Trash! coordinator. "[The video] kind of took the trash's perspective and we liked that."

The students' winning video, past winners and more information on the contest are available online at www.mdc.state.mo.us/nomoretrash/contest.

Those interesting in submitting an entry for the next "No MOre Trash!" contest can send entries to No MOre Trash/G. Wallace, 230 Commerce Dr. Ste. 301, Jefferson City, MO, 65109.

And Pfizenmaier reminds everyone, "Don't litter."

Contact Matt Heger at

marshallbusiness@socket.net