A History of my High School Filmmaking

This is how I started high school. I know, obnoxious. I was about 5 foot 6, 110 lbs and had swoopy hair. I disgust myself. 

This was one of my latest videos. As you can see, I have definitely grown as a cinematographer, editor, and as a person. From the 5'6" pre-pubescent swoopy haired obnoxious freak grew me, a 6'0" 165 lb. beard-weilding badass. This isn't the most professional video I've created, but it gives the best glimpse into who I am today. 

My videos represent a unique aspect of my life. I've never been 100% committed to being the best filmmaker there ever lived, because I have tons of other interests. I am definitely passionate about filmmaking, but I split most of my time between sports, school, family, friends, skiing, and if I have some time, I'll make a video. I started creating videos the summer after 6th grade. Using part of my college savings, I bought a $900 PC off eBay that came equipped with Adobe's Creative Suite 4. 

My freshman year of high school, all of my technical knowledge and love for making risky decisions collided with a video called "Longboard Bean Bag Send". The idea was simple, we'd just go as fast as we could on a longboard off a ramp and land in some bean bags. The video turned out splendidly, and we got about 600 views on YouTube the first day it was up. 600 views is not a lot at all, but we all thought we would be famous. 

I could never consider myself a "professional filmmaker" until my sophomore year of high school, when I filmed a video series called "Enjoy the Gnar" for a longboarding company, Pure Longboards.

I started filming longboarding videos back in 8th grade with me and my buddies. We got pretty into it, and it was a very fun time in my life. Everyday after school, we'd meet up and rip down the local hills. After a few too many sprained ankles and deep tissue bruises, I decided I was better off on the other side of the lens. 

At about this time, I started making a bunch of videos with my friends just for fun. We would pretty much just film all the stupid things we decided to do on the weekends. 

This is my friends Rusty and Weston dirtbiking. We have all progressed big time in the dirt bike game, so some of these sends are a little outdated and weak. 

This is a quick little heely commercial we made, too. 

There are about 5 more videos I made sophomore year, so if you really want to see them you can check them out on my YouTube page. 

Junior year of high school was kind of a slow one as far as videos went. I made a lot of videos for Student Government class, but there weren't a whole lot of videos I made for fun. I did create some content with Pine Brand (pinebrand.com), a connection I made through Pure Longboards.

The summer before senior year, though. Thats when things started to heat up. I decided I was way too good for a summer job, and went camping pretty much every weekend. I brought my camera on most of my trips, too, so this resulted in the Just Guys Bein Dudes mini-series. Brace yourself. 

That summer was definitely the most fun I've ever had. Solid memories right there. After the summer ended, I spent most of my time making videos for school. Because I was entrusted with the role of Student Body President, I felt obligated to work hard to make the organization the best it could be. I threw out tons of ideas for new things, and pursued a fraction of my ideas. My best idea that eventually got crammed into 24 frames per second was the dance that was formerly known as the "Tribal Dance"

I made a few other videos senior year, but most of them are either really boring or not super appropriate. So that is where I leave you. Throughout high school, I've learned how to express myself using a camera and a computer. I've captured some of my best memories so far, and I've grown into who I want to be.

Moving forward, I will be studying Technology Arts and Media at CU Boulder's Engineering school. I hope to develop my style of video and continue to progress as a cinematographer and a person. I think it is very neat to look back at what I've been able to do with a camera these past couple of years, and I am very excited to see what the next project will be. Especially over the summer. I think a Just Guys Bein Dudes summer road trip video will definitely be cookin up in the next month or so. 

My Leadership Legacy

My Leadership Legacy at RVHS:

This past year, I was the Student Body President at RV. Honestly, it was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it was well worth it. 

The initial mission for Student Government this year was to “Make Your Mark”. Making things came natural to me. I love the creative process, and I have since a young age. Like a manic artist, when I am inspired, crazy amounts of work can be put in to create something. So naturally, the way I have made my mark at Ralston Valley is through my creations. Here are some that I am the most proud of: 

 

1. Snapchat Geofilters. I made three snapchat geofilters for Ralston Valley. It took about two hours for me to design them, and it took about three weeks for them to get snapchat approved. In the end, it took me, Marshall, Erin, and Montana about eight different emails to snapchat explaining why we wanted geofilters. Obviously, we succeeded. I believe these geofilters have improved the quality of life of many students. A few months later, A West got a geofilter for their campus. In no way is that a coincidence.

2. The Rally Dance. To start freshmen orientation, the seniors in Student Government decided to do a rally dance of sorts. I was super nervous that no one would catch on, and was fully mentally prepared to play it off as a bad joke, but to our surprise, it caught on and we performed it at sporting events and pep rallies. 

3. The Photo Booth. We set up a photo booth at the school musical. It turned out very well, and I got to hang out with my favorite after hours janitor (the man, the myth, the legend: John Braselton) Our booth wasn't as beautiful or professional as my cousin Trent's Boxcar booths (http://www.boxcarbooth.co/), but I think we did alright. If we do it next year, though, we should definitely get some better lighting. 

4. The Senior Class Gift. For our senior class gift, we bought 4 custom ski and snowboard benches. In my opinion, they are definitely the coolest senior class gifts in the school. I designed the images in illustrator and some lady hand-painted them on. These bad boys can fit 3 full grown adults, and 4-5 freshmen. Pretty neat, I'd say. 

5. Ridiculous Video Announcements starring Marshall Marrs. Marshanta

6. The StuGo Website/Logo. I am interested in learning how to do new things, so I decided to take a walk on the wild side this year and get into some web development. I created a neat little website for Student Government (within the parameters of Google Sites) and made some graphics for the web site. 

 https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/rvhsstugo1/

https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/rvhsstugo1/

7. The Campaign. Campaigning for Student Body President was probably one of the funnest weeks of high school. The whole school was littered with posters printed out on my dad's company's dime. Thanks bunches, Ball Aerospace. On top of that, there were approximately 40 people sporting Ben for President shirts. Winning the school-wide popularity contest was fun, too.

Student Government was a great ride. If Student Government ran like a well-oiled machine, where would the fun be? If we were just spouting out professional events like some sort of military-industrial complex, where would the freedom be? Student Government allows us kids to realize our potential as young leaders. It equips us with the tools and encouragement to try whatever we want, really. It taught me so much about how to approach difficult tasks and how to learn from other's ideas.