Sept. 15, 2009
When University of Kansas freshman Shane Reynolds and his friends won an award at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City, they stayed in their seats.
It wasn’t that they were too shocked to move but instead were following ceremony decorum. The program called for the winners of the “Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band Video” to remain seated while a television spot was broadcast to the audience — and on television — featuring the winning video.
Reynolds, a freshman studying engineering at KU, and nine of his former high school classmates won the first video game-based MTV Moonman for their five-minute video: “Nerds in Disguise: Performing Lit’s ‘My Own Worst Enemy.’ ”
Judges for the Pepsi-, MTV- and MTV Games-sponsored award selected five finalists from among more than 650 videos submitted. The video with the most online votes took home the prize.
The Nerds in Disguise cast didn’t leave the ceremony with Moonman statuettes, the signature prize of the MTV Video Music Awards. A Moonman will be delivered to each cast member in about two weeks.
The 10 friends, all graduates of Glenwood High School in Chatham, Ill., won for their video about a rock band called Nerds in Disguise that plays at a Saturday night house party. To meet contest rules of no more than 10 performers in a video, Reynolds and friends doubled up on roles, each playing a rocker and a nerd — giving the appearance of 20 actors. The video’s editor digitally combined separate clips of rockers and nerds so each actor appears twice, dressed differently, in the same party scene. To view the video, go to http://pepsi.yahoo.com/rockband/video/watch/?v=5HJrqTy0I.
The prize package included a five-day tour of the MTV world for Reynolds and his friends. They arrived in New York City on Sept. 8 for preliminary events that included shooting the promotional video that aired Sunday night, a photo shoot for Spin magazine, lunch with MTV Games officials and being the first group to stroll down the red carpet for fans.
“We had to walk it really quick because we had a dinner to get to,” Reynolds recalled in a phone conversation Monday as he prepared to board a return flight to Lawrence. He saw a few celebrities including Jay Z, Beyonce, Eminem, Janet Jackson and Kayne West, but most, he said, were on stage.
“The coolest part of the entire trip was probably watching our video on the Times Square jumbotron,” Reynolds said.
On Friday, Sept. 11, Reynolds and his friends chose to visit the World Trade Center memorial site. Reynolds said he and his friends felt a little intrusive at the memorial observance for the families and friends and watched from a distance.
They ended the day in Yankee Stadium with complimentary tickets for the New York Yankees-Baltimore Orioles game. “We got to see Derek Jeter break the all-time record for hits,” Reynolds said.
On the flight home, Reynolds was focused on taking a biology test he had missed. He planned to take the test as soon as he arrived back in Lawrence.
Reynolds is the son of Mark and Jill Reynolds of Chatham, Ill.