Combine an Horry County landmark, a rap music beat and a video camera and what you get is something very special and highly entertaining.
You might expect to see teens make a rap video about their friends or their school, but Myrtle Beach High School students Madison Iseman and Natalie Horstemeyer made a rap about the Socastee swing bridge. It was good enough to win the first ever Horry County history video contest and it allowed them to take home a cool $250.
The contest, dreamed up by the Horry County Board of Architectural Review, challenged local high school students to pick an Horry County landmark and make a three-minute video about it.
The board received ten entries and county planning officials say the videos went far beyond what anyone expected.
"All of them, every one of them, were really wonderful submissions and the judging of who would win was very difficult because of that," said Adam Emrick of the Horry County planning department.
The winners were announced at a Myrtle Beach High School assembly Friday.
The second place video, made by Tyler Berkey and Rachel Berkey, was a look Myrtle Beach's historic Rivoli Theater. A video about the former Ocean Forest Hotel took third place honors for Phillip Elvis.
The girls behind the first place entry had made an earlier rap video about atoms for a science project and they said it turned into a big hit around the school. It was only natural what they would do when they heard about the contest for a history video.
"We decided let's do another rap and it's either going be a big win or a big lose, so we thought we'd go for it," said Madison Iseman.
Natalie Horstemeyer wants to pursue a career in Dentistry. You might not think making a rap video about an old bridge would be a step toward becoming a dentist, but Natalie sees a connection.
"Going out of my comfort zone and doing something for the better of our community and teaching other people, that can better prepare me for what I have to do in college," she said.
Emrick said county planning officials wanted students to raise awareness about local history in a way that would be more exciting than just another essay contest.
"We thought video is something that everybody has access to, and with the prevalence of You Tube and cell phone cameras and all that, a video contest might be a way to reach a market that has not been reached with local history before," Emrick said.
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