Blog #23 - What I have been working on
Recently, I have been working on a scripted film called "Black Skin, White Spaces" with a fellow student and friend, Courvaun Hill. This project will aim to tell the story of a black kid who feels like he must assimilate to white culture. This is a story that feels all too personal to many students at Ladue. With this project we aim to portray the experience of many minorities. Courvaun and I have never produced a film with actors so we hope to expand our skillset through the creation of this project. We have recruited a group of actors and are currently working on our storyboard and script. Courvaun will play the main role of the black kid. He will be shown in various settings, surrounded by white students. In these settings, he will appear to be an outcast and feel uncomfortable, but, towards the end of the film, you all will see Courvaun surrounded by friends of the same race. Also, you all will hopefully be able to recognize his change of mood, as he becomes more comfortable and "at home" around people like himself. This project is something I feel super passionate about and, I cannot wait to share the final product with everyone!
Blog #22 - My Latest Abstract Short Film
In my latest short film, I decided to take the emotion of love and show a unique perspective of this feeling. Towards the beginning of the semester, I had been listening to various Alan Watts' voice-overs. I was really inspired by his philosophies and incredible speaking voice. I knew my next project had to be centered around one of his works. So, after a little more digging, I came across a speech of his about love and was hooked. I thought, "Why not create a video that utilizes the universal and relatable concept of love?" But, I knew in order to create something innovative and unseen, I had to stay away from the cliche portrayals of love that are all too common. This being said, I contacted a fellow film-making friend, Luke Minkler, to be apart of my project. After a lot of brainstorming and story-boarding, we decided upon an abstract representation of the emotion. We expressed our own experiences with love to each other and found that love has the power to alter one's mindset. Luke and I agreed that often times one's love for another can drive him mad, as his partner can takeover his thoughts. I found this realization very intriguing and was ready to take on the challenge. Luke and I shot much of our footage at local art museums and outdoor locations. Once we captured the footage, the concept really came to life in editing. It was a lot of fun to play around with different filters and transitions to portray the "craze" that can come from love. Overall, the video showcases a lover's imagination of her partner. She sees him as a "work of art" (hence all of the artistic/abstract shots). I am so excited to have another video completed! This is one I am pretty proud of! I think the way we approached this topic is super unique, and I hope you all agree. Enjoy!
Blog #21 - My Latest News Package
For my latest video, I interviewed my sister, Eleanor, about her passion for hula hooping and fire spinning. I have always found her hobby to be super impressive and unique, so I wanted to tell her story. The story starts out with her explaining why she got into hula hooping, and as the story progresses, Eleanor describes her growth and what it is like to spin fire. Towards the end of the package, she leaves the audience with a wonderful message: Do what you love and add something special to the world. Don't be like everyone else. It was interesting to hear from Eleanor that a lot of people take her talent as a joke and make fun of her for it. However, she really shows throughout the video that others' opinions on what she does do not matter as long as she is happy. I have always admired my older sister for her strong sense of individuality. She has really instilled in me (although she may not even realize it) a confidence and belief in myself. Without her influence, I would not be the young woman I am today. My hope is that you all will find her to be a refreshing character, and after watching the package, are inspired to follow your own path. Can't wait to publish the video soon and hear all the feedback!
Blog #20 - Voting Opens Soon!
I am excited to announce that voting for the AudFest Music Video Shorts Contest opens next week, November 20th at 1:00 pm (Central Time) and will close November 28th! Please head over to Audience Awards' website and vote for my music video, "Forgettable - Daktyl". Copy and paste this link into your browser to vote: https://theaudienceawards.com/films/forgettable-daktyl-170444 . I hope you all will take the time and support my work! If my video makes the top 3, my film will be featured at Audience Awards' Film Festival in North Hollywood, CA. I am the youngest contestant entered and it would be an amazing victory for a MIdwest teen to win such an honor. Thank you everyone! I will keep you all updated.
Blog #19 - HEc-tv LIve Show at Ritenour HIgh
Last Thursday, I went to Ritenour High School to observe and help out with HEC-TV's live shows on media literacy. My instructor, Mr. Goble, was featured on the panel of experts for all three shows. For the first show targeted towards middle school students, Courvaun and I sat in the technical production room. There were about six HEC_TV team members working on cues, shot placement, and conference calls. I was super surprised by just how many cues the team had to remember and execute. The environment was very hectic and nerve-wracking. The staff had to stay on their toes and keep up with the fast-pace demands that come from a live-show. For the second show, I sat behind the studio audience and observed the cameramen and panelists. There were various cameras covering just about every angle and panelists had to remain professional and project their voices at all times. During the last show, I sat in the live studio audience. It was interesting to be apart of this side as I am used to being the talent on-screen or behind the scenes. Overall, I found the show very informative and important. It was very interesting to see professionals working right in front of me. Now I understand just how crazy the world of television can be. I made so many great connections and am excited to work with more professionals in the future.
Blog #18 - Students with Anxiety
Recently, I worked on a project alongside my instructor, Mr. Goble, for a character education day for teachers. My friend Courvaun and I set up four interviews with students who have anxiety and asked them questions about their daily experiences with the mental illness. It was really interesting and refreshing to hear the students' responses, as I could relate to much of what they expressed. Looking back on the actual interviews, I wish i would have offered more open-ended questions such as "Tell me about...". This phrasing of the question could have allowed the interviewees more freedom in their responses. After conducting the interviews, we sat down and took the best sound bites from all our interviews. There was lots of great material to work with! Then we selected a main character to carry the story, Jack Glon. Jack offered amazing insight into his daily life and provided great suggestions for students and staff. The next step was to piece clips from all four interviews together in order to create a sequential storyline. Overall, I am very happy with how the video turned out! Goble and I decided to begin the piece with a short voice-over introduction and a split-screen of all four interviewees. Creating the split screen was quite tedious, but the outcome was well worth it. This experience taught me some new editing tricks, and collaborating with Mr. Goble was fun and helpful. We helped each other out and shared our suggestions. This teamwork enabled us to create an informative and well-done video! Looking forward to future collaborations.
Blog #17 - The Shooting Gallery: 19 Shots
As a short project to help us expand upon our skills, our teacher had the class record 19 different shots each. Practicing these various shots taught me some new techniques to use while filming. Overall, there were so many shots I did not know about before. Many of them I loved, and I am eager to utilize this newfound knowledge and skillset in future projects to come. Below are my 6 favorite shots. If you hover over each picture, there is a description of each shot.
Blog #16 - HEC-TV "BEHIND THE MINDS"
Hello all! I'm excited to announce that my newly revised video on the total solar eclipse will be airing on HEC-TV's live show, "Behind the Minds", on September 27th! I am very proud of this wonderful accomplishment and hope you all will check it out. Working with professionals in the industry is of great importance to me, and I couldn't be happier to collaborate with HEC-TV. In the future, I look forward to working with even more professionals and expanding my portfolio. As always, thank you for following my journey! Can't wait to share more content with you all in the future!
Blog #15 - Total Solar Eclipse Video Response
To start off this semester, our class was assigned a project to cover the total solar eclipse in the United States. At my school, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, students and staff all came together to watch the once in a lifetime event. I really enjoyed producing this video because the event was so unique! It was awesome getting to collaborate with my fellow students and create informative content while still being creative. Personally, I am very happy with how the intro of my video turned out. I find it to be intriguing and exciting. However, there are some things I would like to eventually go back and revise. The audi0 could be more consistent and smooth, as well as the incorporation of the interview. Overall, I had a great time making this project and I hope you all enjoy the finished product!
Blog #14 - Semester Reflection
This semester has been a difficult one for me outside of school. Because of this, it made producing content challenging. It was hard to find time to organize filming days and recruit talent. Although I did not complete all the projects I had intended to this semester, I did create a music video that I am very proud of. The artist of the song I used, Rich Daktyl, has viewed my video along with many others. I am pleased to see all the positive feedback I have received and am looking forward to more to come. Thank you for all your patience and grace with me in producing content. I greatly appreciate your loyalty and faith in me. If you haven't already, please check out my latest video on my "Reel Life Films" page. I'm sure it will excite you all. Looking towards the future, I have plans next year to produce a short film or two that I will hopefully submit to various universities. I have lots of ideas in the works and hope to continue to produce content this summer. My teacher and mentor, Don Goble has been very gracious with me this semester and has provided me a space to create and explore my passion. He has given me great advice and guidance this semester, and i look forward to working with him these next two years. Here's to another wonderful semester and many more to come!
Blog #13 - What's New?
Lately, I've been making great progress on my music video. Filming has picked up and should be complete this upcoming weekend. I am extremely proud and excited about my recent work, and I am thrilled to share it with you all in the near future (within the next week!). Also, I am sure you all will find the talent featured in my video to be fresh and innovative. If you would like to hear the song I am using, search up Forgettable by Daktyl on Youtube. I chose this song for its interesting message and Daktyl's refreshing sound. My hope is that you all will fall in love with the song just as I did. Once again, thank you for your patience in waiting for my video releases. It has been a difficult semester for me, but I believe my work to come will excite and inspire all of you.
Blog #12 - What have I been up to?
Recently, my teacher, Mr. Goble, came to me about submitting my "Ladue Equality Protest" news package to impact Film Festival 2017. The film festival is centered around issues of social injustice. My video tackles issues of racism, homophobia, religious persecution, and more. Along with submitting my video, I created a campaign to raise awareness for those discriminated against and provide everyone a safe space to share their stories. My campaign, "Colorblind Minds", works to enlighten, encourage, and educate all on these issues. If you would like to join my campaign or just check it out visit uptogood.org and search up "Colorblind Minds", or my name, Marilyn Lercel. Finalists for the contest will be announced soon, so I will keep you all updated on how I do. Along with entering this contest, I have plans to film this Sunday with a new talent, Annie Morgan. This shoot will be apart of my final music video which I hope to share with you all by the end of the semester. Thank you for patience in waiting for new video releases from me!
Blog #11 - The Start of Filming
Over the weekend, I conducted my first day of filming for my music video. My friend, Jenna and i went to downtown Saint Louis, near the Arch to capture some artistic footage. We came across some interesting street art on the riverfront and decided to film some shots there as well. Along with filming video, we also had a mini photoshoot (some of the shots are featured on my site). The photoshoot allowed me to get an awesome home-page picture for my site as well. Our next filming day will be scheduled for March so I hope to get the video to you all sometime within the next month! I can't wait to share my hard work with you all!
Blog #10 - A work in progress
Recently, I have been working on a brand new project that I would like to share with you all. After seeking inspiration, selecting a song, and coming up with a concept, I am working my way out of the pre-production phase of my music video. With this project, I plan on telling the story of forgetting someone or something. I realized that the word, "forget", often has a negative connotation, so rather than portraying its negativity, I wanted to give the word a new meaning. The concept is that forgiving can be liberating, and that leaving things in the past sets you free. I am beyond excited about this project and cannot wait to share more with you all soon!
Blog #9 - So I have some ideas...
In the past month, I have had some time to think up some new ideas! My creative juices have been flowing and I would like to share my ideas with you all. First, I would love to make my page more interactive. I want to be able to receive submissions from viewers and share their work on my site as well (whether it be videos, paintings, photos, etc.). Next, I have been brainstorming some ideas to make my home page more welcoming and exciting. I decided that I needed to more-so express my personal aesthetic, so I have plans to do a photoshoot around my hometown of Saint Louis. I want to get some super cool photos of myself in unique locations around the city while showcasing my style. After collecting these images, I would love to create a slideshow on my home page of the shoot. This will allow all my viewers to understand me even more. Lastly, I have plans to expand my website to be a full art portfolio. I want to include my photos, fine art, and dancing as well. I think that broadening my site will allow me a space to completely express myself! Oh and btw, be expecting some new video projects soon. I have some exciting ideas in the works!
BLOG #8 - SEMESTER REFLECTION
Today is my last day of Broadcast Tech 1. I'm sad that it is over, but am looking forward to enrolling in the 2nd level class soon. I've learned so much from this class and have met some great colleagues and mentors. I always knew I had a passion for film but never knew where to get started. Now I really think I'm on track to accomplishing my goals and have established a solid foundation for myself. I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to meet Mr. Goble and Mrs. Davidson this year because they have shown such great enthusiasm for the work we are creating and have always been a great support system for me and all the students. They've helped inspire me to really dive into video production. My favorite thing about this class would have to be how independent, yet collaborative the class environment was. My teachers have done a wonderful job at creating a relaxed space for everyone to learn and feed off of each other. This class was truly the perfect blend of individual freedom and teamwork. I loved it! Broadcast Tech has helped me to reassure my passion and has encouraged me to keep moving forward. I've seen a great deal of potential in myself, and I'm confident that I have the talent to continue forward.
BLOG #7 - FINAL NEWS PACKAGE
I completed my final news package! I am very proud of this work and am excited to share it with you all. I chose to cover our recent protests at Ladue High School. The particular protest I created my package about was very inspirational and purposeful. The environment felt encouraging, hopeful, and peaceful. My goal was to capture these feelings in my video. Overall, the topic I chose was one i felt a great deal of passion towards, so therefore, I was motivated to create something powerful. This project taught me a lot of new and valuable skills such as: voiceovers, sound fluidity, shot sequencing, interviewing, etc. I think I was successful with my voiceovers and shot sequencing, however; I did need some help with adjusting audio levels and making my various sound bites flow. But, with a little guidance, I was able to put together a sequence of audio that was intentional, smooth, and professional.
BLOG #6 - Practice interview sound bites
In addition to watching professional news stories online, each individual in our class also filmed practice interviews. For my practice, I chose to interview my good friend, Morgan Burke. Morgan plays on Ladue High School's football team as their only female player. Her story is unique as she talked to me about overcoming gender barriers and proving herself to the coaches, team, and entire community as a whole. I also found her to be a prime candidate to interview as her team is amidst an impressive playoff run. They have found themselves in the final four and looking to clinch a state title. Overall, Morgan gave great insight into her relationship with the guys on the team and what it's like to play football. Technically, I did learn some skills I need to work on, such as sound, communication with the interviewee, and utilizing the rule of thirds. But, I did a great job of picking a character and story. Overall, this was great practice and I learned a lot about the art of interviewing.
Blog #5 - Hey, You, SEE...SO
In preparation for our next project, we are watching and analyzing inspirational news packages. Bob Dotson, an expert on "happy news", created a model: Hey, you, see...so. Broken down, the "hey" means you're grabbing the viewer's attention. What is it that is going to make them want to keep watching? Next, the "you" means you are applying the story to the audience. Why does it matter to them personally? In continuation, the "see" means that you finally introduce the point of the whole story to the viewers, sort of like saying, "You see now this is the point." And finally, the "so" is what ties the whole story together. Why should your audience care? For my first video, I watched a Steve Hartman segment called "The Animal Odd Couple". This news package was about an unlikely animal pairing: an elephant and a dog, who are best friends. The "hey" was the introduction of the elephant sanctuary where retired elephants retreat. The "you" in this story happens when the owner of the retreat refers to the elephants' relationships with one another as "just like best girlfriends". Experiencing friendship is something the audience can relate to. The "see" happens when a different pair is introduced: an elephant and a dog. They are the stars of the show. Lastly, the "so" comes when Steve suggests that if animals can get along so well despite their differences, than humans can too. For my second news segment, I watched another Steve Hartman story called "Middle School Football Players Execute Life-Changing Play". In this package, the "hey" happened when Steve talked about the teams' "scheming" for their "remarkable play". It intrigues the viewer. The "you" is introduced when the team talks about how they want to be there for each other and make someone's day. This sort of family nature is something everyone can connect with. Next, the "see" is revealed when the viewers realize that the players on the team had a "special play" in mind so that a disabled kid on their team could have a chance to score a touchdown. Finally, the "so" appears when Steve interviews the team's wide receiver, and he reveals that he now makes it his mission to make everyone's day and not focus on himself so much. Overall, these two stories were very inspirational and well produced. Steve does a wonderful job of making every story relatable, purposeful, and emotional. Hopefully, this will help prepare me to make "happy news" as great as his!
BLOG #4 - MY 6-WORD STORY
After researching others' 6-word stories, I was ready to finally create my own. First, I drafted a storyboard that included possible transitions, shot angles and distances, text placement, filters, sound effects, music, etc. The base for my project started on the storyboard and later came to life when I went out and actually filmed the shots I planned on. Once I physically began to film, I found that many of the shots I had conceptualized would not actually work realistically. This helped me to learn a great deal of troubleshooting. I took a step back, found new solutions, and took the inconveniences as learning experiences. People with careers in film must run into problems similar to the ones I faced on a daily basis. Knowing how to make compromises is just a part of the business. Although certain things did not go as planned, I loved this project and am still thrilled with the finished product. I think my use of editing elements really helps to emphasize the story: a story of using dance to overcome mental illness. I chose to have my beginning shots in black and white to set a sorrowful, empathetic mood, but as the story progresses, the filters change to become more light and white-based to give an almost dream-like aura. The story is one that is very relatable to me, so therefore I think that is why this project has more meaning to me. I am excited to share my latest work with all my viewers!
Blog #3 - 6-WORD STORIES PROJECT
Our next project we will be kickstarting is our "6-Word Story, 6 Unique Shots" video. For this assignment, we are being challenged to create a story using six textual words and intentional visuals to tell a meaningful story about whatever we may choose. Our teacher, Mr.Goble, showed us a few student examples in class, and I was very impressed with how much thought was put into every minute detail. After watching these videos for inspiration, I think I will go down a more serious path, depicting a more personal story with deep purpose. I have a few ideas running through my head such as how I use dance as a creative outlet and stress reliever, my cousin's struggle with addiction, or my own struggle with mental illness. All are extremely real topics for me, and I am excited to provoke great emotion in my audience through such a creative project. My goal with this video is to speak to my audience on a very emotional level, as opposed to my previous light-hearted work. This is the project I'm most looking forward to thus far!
BLOG #2 - VIDEO SCAVENGER HUNT
To help introduce us to using our cameras, we completed a video scavenger hunt. This project we like to refer to as the "Circus Wagon" project, as it has no real purpose: an organized chaos. We had a various number of objects to capture (ex: something red, a teacher sleeping, a drinking fountain, etc.), each with a unique shot distance and angle (ex: wide, tight, medium, low, high, etc.). This project was a great opportunity to play around with the cameras and establish a familiarity with the equipment. Also, it provided us a great deal of freedom and creativity. There are an endless number of ways to capture each shot, and it was interesting to see each group's unique interpretation of the prompt. I found that I really enjoy tight shots that bring the viewer right into the center of action. For example, my partner, Courvaun, and I filmed a few shots in the Airbrush Studio. The space is quite tight, so to compensate for that, we did various low shots under our subject's hands. We chose this composition, as it made the action look larger than life, giving the viewer a look at both the artwork itself and the movement of the subject's hands and arms. In addition to filming a wide range of shots, we practiced fine-tuning our editing skills on Final Cut Pro. The program is, as our teacher calls it, "iMovie on steroids", and he's right. We practiced everything from inserting transitions, to applying filters, and attaching sound effects. This project helped to make me comfortable with thinking outside of the box when both filming and editing. Altogether, our scavenger hunt greatly helped to create a sense of personal professionalism, as I'm starting to feel like a real filmmaker!
Blog #1 - "I AM MARILYN" VIDEO
For our first class project, I made a trailer on iMovie to give a short glimpse into who I am. The project was fairly straightforward and smooth, as the program is very streamline and user friendly. I chose to showcase more of who I presently am in my project, as opposed to a timeline story starting from when I was born. I did this because I feel like I've really come into my own and that my current passions are ones I will truly enjoy for the rest of my life. I also chose to focus on showing my viewer specifically what I do in my life through sharing pictures of my travels, my artwork, and my friends. This was to allow my viewer to have a deeper understanding of myself and feel as if their experiencing what I love firsthand. Overall, the project was fun and simple, and I am looking forward to further creating a videography portfolio I'm proud of!