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Summer Filmmaking at PBA

Monday, September 11, 2017

The beginning of the new school year means many new and exciting opportunities for the PBA community and its students. For most, the opportunities start rolling in with the end of the summer, but this isn't the case for a few select students and faculty.

Ashley Galicinao-Ripley, Shoshi Hashimoto, and Y.M. Foo paired with Ms. Blanche to take part in a summer film program. Galicinao-Ripley, Hashimoto, and Foo were all freshman transitioning into sophomores over the summer break.

“ Mr. Josh wanted students that would be able to continue with the class so freshman were the ideal students to choose from,” Ms. Blanche said.

Together, the students worked together to produce and edit an introductory video to kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art.

“We wanted to pick something different from everyone and wanted to do something that was a part of the school”, Galicinao-Ripley said.

Current sophomores (from left) Shoshi Hashimoto, Ashley Galicinao-Ripley, and
    YM Foo participated in summer filmmaking with Ms. Blanche. 

Her statement is mirrored by Foo who also recognizes the importance of kendo and Japanese culture within PBA.

“We had a wide range of choices, but we narrowed it down to the best which is kendo,” he said. “It’s an easy topic and it shows the Japanese culture.”

Though the group featured Hashimoto, who is experienced in kendo, they still faced some struggles during the filmmaking and editing process. A main source of the team’s troubles centered around location.

“The challenges we had were trying to figure out where we were going to shoot because everything has to add up together. We can’t just go from here to there,” Galicinao-Ripley said.

The students were also novice film editors.

“They got to see how hard of a job it is to create videos and how much work and commitment (it is),” Ms. Blanche said. “I think in ways it benefitted them because it showed that they have to work hard to complete something, they can’t just do it halfway.”

Though the students may have struggled, their hard work was not in vain. Their film was shown at a teachers-only conference sponsored by PBS’s HIKI NO. The purpose of the conference was to showcase and discuss student filmmaking within schools and curriculums.

“The teachers were really happy with what was produced and they didn’t even know that it was these kids’ first time ever filming and editing a video,” said Ms. Blanche, who attended the conference.

Not only were the teachers impressed with the film, but the students were also impressed with their own work.

“I believe we did good,” Galicinao-Ripley said. “I feel confident that we did good.”

For the other students, this success is taken with a grain of salt.

“I’m somewhat satisfied, but some part of me is telling me that I’m not satisfied,” Hashimoto said, adding that he believes the video might have turned out better if the group had more time or had another person experienced in kendo.

This also rings true for Foo, who believes the video needs a few more finishing touches.

“There’s this part of the video that I want to edit, but the rest sounds perfect,” he said. “That’s why I’m not that satisfied, but for the project as a whole, I’m satisfied.”

Though it was a difficult process and the product might not have been perfect, one thing is for certain: the students that participated in this program learned a valuable lesson that will no doubt influence the future of filmmaking at PBA.