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Kevin Orvis

Period 1

Mrs. Lounnas


My Four Year Journey

My name is Kevin Orvis, a senior high school student at Clayton Valley Charter High

School. I have focused most of my life on being a successful student so I can pursue my dreams.

I have grown to love video production since eighth grade and have worked hard to increase my

knowledge in film. My interests are what brought me into the Arts Academy and to my senior

project. All of my years working on projects and other assignments have given me a well

rounded skill set. High School has helped me follow my passions and understand who I am as a


The Arts Academy has provided me with experience the average student cannot receive.

In English 2, we had just finished reading the Great Gatsby with Mrs. Abbott. We were given an

assignment to create an art piece to represent the American dream. This project helped the class

get a better interpretation of the book. Before beginning the project, we needed to make a

decision whether the book was a satire or a critique to the American way of life with our project

partner. Matt and I worked on the artistic art piece together and came up with a fantastic video.

By completing this video I realized that so many people put all their hopes and dreams into

America trying to live a happy life. Everyday people around the world risk their lives for a life

that fills them.

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Matt and I first started off by creating a heart warming script. One that gives the viewer

an understanding of our main characters struggle in putting everything he had into his dream.

Afterward, we filmed at my house using Matt as the main character and we filmed multiple shots

without audio to display a sad emotion. We also filmed close up shots of the house where the

characters family lived to give the audience an understanding as to where they were in the

video. All the close up shots would slowly pull into focus as we filmed them to bring in more

emotion. We put all of our shots and special effects together through editing to complete our

video. On the day we presented our project the video was played in front of the class. Everyone

loved it and some people even cried because of its powerful message. Creating this project gave

me more knowledge on how to create videos outside of the normal genres that I was use to. In

the past all of my work has either been comedy or action films. I learned how effective shots can

be in a video to set a tone for the audience. Looking back at the video when it was fully

complete also gave me a more clear understanding as to how much people sacrifice what they

have for their dreams.

This video was a huge success, I learned a lot about the importance of following your

dreams. Many people loved the film, but as a video student I know a video can always be

improved. Watching it over again I saw that there was some rough and not very clean shots in

the video that could have been better. I also learned a lot watching the audience's response to

each shot. Creating a sad movie along with the creation of a bond between two characters in a

movie was completely different for me and yet the movie went well. I think this video showed a

lot of improvement compared to my previous films. I am happy to know the audience was able

to connect with the characters.

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One of the many things academy students get to do each year is work on two all academy

group projects. My last Arts Academy project involved creating a film that documented the Arts

Academy project in my own view. I had a lot of freedom and so my partner Matt and I decided

to have it relate to one of my past films, Child vs. Wild. I knew having Child vs. Wild in my

film would create a big window for humor. The old video had a reputation because it was a

remake of Man vs. Wild filmed at my middle school. While filming the academy documentary I

still needed to keep the video serious enough to receive information from students through

interviews. The interviews displayed the students views and feelings while keeping it funny and

entertaining. Being in a video production class for over four years has given me a lot of

experience. I knew I needed to collect a lot of footage from not only the classes, but online as

well. Internet footage of my past film and footage of effects were needed to make my film more

intricate. After completing my film I learned how important it is to back up and organize

footage. This documentary was long and I ran into some obstacles such as lost footage and

corrupted files. Despite the setbacks, I learned that any gaps in a film can be covered up with a

lot of editing. Matt and I both edited our film while still needing footage for the first time. It

was very useful because it gave us an idea early on about what our film was missing.

When we first began the project Matt and I started to plan out our film as best as we

could on paper. We created a treatment and storyboard to predict how the film would play out.

After agreeing on ways we could interview students and add characters in the video we started to

film the project. The first specialty we filmed was the photography class. After gathering a

sufficient amount of footage we started editing until the first transition day. On that day art

students came into the photo class to choose photographs that would inspire their art piece. We
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filmed as much as we could in art from interviews to establishing shots. Then came the second

transition where Matt and I filmed the drama students pick two to three art pieces. Next, we

filmed the drama students preparing for their scenes on stage. Four cameras were set up around

the room the day drama students were going to perform their skits. Each of the cameras had

different angles to film both the skits and socratic seminars that were discussed. Once all of the

scenes and seminars were finished Matt and I filmed the project debrief. Then it was time for us

to wrap up editing and record just a few narrations. We recorded a lot more audio then we were

use to, but it turned out great.

This documentary went even better than I had expected. The film had a great balance of

comedy and information about the project. After playing the video in front of the academy Matt

and I received wonderful feedback. All of the students and teachers had a fantastic time

watching the film and told us they looked forward to seeing more of our videos. The only thing

Matt and I could have done better was interviewing a variety of Arts Academy students. We

filmed most of the upper core but only a few sophomores and no freshmen. Having a variety of

students would have reached out to everyone in the academy. This documentary was the longest

film I have ever created and because of its length it taught me a lot of useful techniques.

Techniques such as how to organize and produce long films. Completing this video represents

my artistry as a video production student in the academy. It took a large amount of hard work

and every minute of the film displayed it.

The Arts Academy provided me with unique work to exercise my academic skill set as

well. Being greatly connected to the academy teachers and students provided the assistance and

encouragement I needed to work efficiently. Group assignments, speeches, and socratic

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seminars made it easy for me to express my opinions and be the best student I could be. In US

history sophomore year, Mr. Munch assigned us a propaganda project. We had to research three

problems in the world that we felt were atrocious and fill a poster with pictures of the issues.

Then we needed to present our poster in front of the class and explain how each problem listed

on the poster affects the world. To create this poster I needed to know all of the negative effects

about the three major problems that I had selected. This project required a lot of online research

reading articles to learn about the issues. I learned about human trafficking, terrorism, and

nuclear warfare.

In order for me to select my three issues I browsed online for global problems that were

occurring. Once I chose three topics I researched and found as much information as I could

about each one. All of them cause the deaths of many innocent lives and this needed to be

stopped. When I was researching everything there was to learn I printed out multiple pictures

representing each one of the issues. After, I glued down all the pictures onto a poster in a neat

fashion. Lastly I presented my poster to the class and gave a presentation to spread awareness on

the issues. Without this project I wouldn't have gained the knowledge in knowing about all the

major global problems today. I now feel more confident in knowing what is going on in my


I enjoyed the project and got an A+ on it! My research was thorough and my gluing

was neat. I personally felt I could have done a better job presenting though. I spoke clear,

but was short on my explanations on what each problem was and how it affected the world

and everyone individually. Even though I may have not given enough information to the

class, I knew it. All the research I did gave me the knowledge to understand and care for the
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problems. This project affected me in a way I will never forget. It provided me with great

practice on public speaking, online research and knowledge of these horrific problems.

My junior final in english class with Mr. Cline consisted of a debate. I was in a group of

three other students and we had to argue that enhanced interrogation was acceptable. All of us

researched many articles and websites to learn as much as we could about enhanced interrogation

and its history. The debate was very educational because I was able to hear both sides of the

argument back to back. It gave me a better understanding of the pros and cons of enhanced

interrogation. This project taught me how a lot of decisions have both good and bad outcomes.

It showed me how easily a decision can create social conflict. A lot of decisions we make are

not easy and require sacrifice. As a social activist, this is an important situation to understand.

Everything has a downside and the debate will always be what outweighs the negatives.

After finishing all of our research we began listing key information that needed to be said

during the debate. We also came up with counter arguments to what we guessed would be our

opponents argument. Last but not least we planned who was going to say what during the

debate and how it would be presented. Learning about enhanced interrogation was important

because it is still an ongoing issue today. Now I am educated on what it is as a citizen. My

educated opinion could one day be used in a vote for or against enhanced interrogation. Online

research is something I have been doing for a long time but not setting up for debates. It was

difficult learning how to best put together all of the information I acquired to make it appealing

to the audience. Also the debate helped improve my speech skills. Being on stage is tough for

me but the more practice I have the better I become.

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The research portion of the project went phenomenal but planning how to put all of that

information into several speeches was a challenge. Unfortunately we could have done better

coordinating who was going to say which chunk of information. The amount of knowledge I

now know has helped me in all of the discussions about enhanced interrogation after the project.

This project truly displayed my well rounded skills and hard work. Every word I said during the

debate came from hours of prep writing and research. The Arts Academy has a requirement to

have the skills needed to accomplish any school project. The debate project exercised my work

ethics and helped me become a better student and activist. In order to change something in the

world you need to know the result before it happens. That takes research, time, and an open

mind as to what could potentially happen.

Another unique project students in the academy get to take part in, is the junior project.

Being able to work on such a large project as a junior really helped prepare me for my senior

project this year. For my junior project I created a video for incoming freshmen to watch on

academy night. The video gives a clear explanation to the students about what the academy is

and what it does for the students. In order for me to complete the project I needed to have a well

thought out plan of how I wanted the video to look. I also needed a lot of interviews from the

academy students and teachers to hear their opinions on the project and to explain their

individual art. Doing this taught me a lot about the students and how they felt. Most people had

relatively the same opinions and feeling about the academy as a whole. Being in the Academy I

knew what it was all about. Without knowledge about the academy this project could have not

been done. The academy does a lot of great things for the students and for the school. It also has

a lot of traditional events every year that brings students together.

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Creating this video took a lot of steps and preparations. The first thing I did was set aside

some time in class to create a storyboard and script. The storyboard helped me lay out my ideas

on how I wanted the video to look as well as any creative shots I wanted to add in. The script

was a series of questions I wanted to ask each person I interviewed. Depending on whether they

were a student or teacher the questions were different. Afterward I began to film all the

interviews and specialty classes. Using a combination of different footage I edited all the clips

together into a single video. Then I added a few effects to the video for more detail. Some I did

not know how to add at first so I had to go on YouTube to learn. Even though I lacked footage

from past events I felt that I transformed what could have been a boring documentary into a fun

and happy video. In the end this masterpiece gave a lot of important information through

interviews, core class footage, specialty footage, and all of the other events. I can definitely say

my video production mindset has improved through making this video.

At first I was worried with the limited amount of footage I had but it all came together.

Maybe if I was quicker in getting all my filming done I could have edited earlier. If I had done

this then it would have given me more time to review my video and re-shoot or add on any

additional footage to the video. Looking back at the video now that it is complete I can learn a

great deal from what went well and what did not. I learned from my achievements and mistakes

so that I can make a greater video next time. I hope this video will be used for years to come to

introduce the academy. I want to leave art work behind for the academy to always benefit from.

I am proud of the video I have created and am thankful for the positive feedback I have received

from my class.
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Now after a long four year journey it was time to complete a senior project. The goal of

my senior project was to educate and encourage people to help or be nice to others they do not

know. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless, said

Mother Teresa. To do so I created a video that would help spread kindness across the globe. I

posted a video on YouTube that anyone has access to watch. Thankfully I have a lot of

experience in video production and was able to create this film after hours of hard work.

Creating this film gave me the realization that putting interviews in a film can become very

powerful. Especially when used to try and express or explain an idea. One thing I learned was

how to find music online that is not copyrighted. This was important because I needed music in

my film to draw emotion, but I needed it to be completely legal to use. If it was not I would have

risked the chance of my film being taken off of youtube.

I first started planning how I wanted my film to look by sketching it out on paper.

Afterwards, I began writing interview questions to ask people for my video. I then proceeded to

download several videos or short clips to add into the intro of my film. Once I had created a

rough intro for my film I began filming my interviews with students on campus. I eventually had

all of the footage I needed using my four years of experience from video production to begin to

edit. It was great seeing my progress slowly turn into one inspiring video. When watching my

completed version of the film I was able to see what really worked well. In the future I know I

can now create short films that are inspiring. Working through my project gave me new ideas on

how I can approach creating inspirational films.

This film succeeded in being very heart warming because of the honest interviews and

the montage of good deeds being shown. There were also quotes in the film that helped express
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ideas that I wanted to educate people on such as, Kindness is the seed of the most delicious

fruit(RAKtivist). This quote was found in one of the websites I gave credit to in my film. The

video I created for my senior project could have been better if I had filmed people doing good

deeds. Having found footage of people doing these deeds instead was great, but I had issues

getting the audio I wanted. Downloading other footage gives less control to me as to how I want

my film to look. This project required a lot of planning, organization, and many other video

production skills. The fact that I completed this project displays my well rounded knowledge on

how to achieve a goal.

I created my film to give a perspective on a global issue and encourage change.

Something a social activist strives to do every day. My hard work and experience in video

production gave me the ability to achieve my project. I believe I accomplished my goal because

I was satisfied with how the final version of the film came out. It expressed exactly how I felt

and gave enough information for any viewer to make an educated decision on whether they want

to change or not. It is hard to say if my video will reach the amount of impact I am hoping for.

A video on YouTube can sky rocket in views any time and become viral, but it is very hard to

predict. Only time will tell how many views my film will get, but no matter what it will always

increase. This project has made me feel more confident in myself. I know I have done some

valuable good in the world and I will continue to do so the rest of my life. I will always be kind

and help those in need. By doing so I will be spreading kindness that will continue to move

forever. I hope every good deed I do, will continue onto the next person.

My four years have made me confident in who I am as a person. Thanks to my friends,

family, and school I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. They have all been there to
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support me and listen to my voice. When I graduate I will continue to use my voice to bring

change to all of the upcoming issues in my future. High school has educated me on how to

research and bring my opinion to an argument. Going out into the world to become successful

will simply become my next project, a project the Arts Academy has prepared me to accomplish.

High school has brought me to graduation and to a place where I can look back at how I started

following my passions. I am thankful for being given the opportunity to follow my dreams

because I could not be happy in life without them. Trying to continue life outside of high school

without truly knowing my interests would make me lost and confused. Being a Clayton Valley

student has made me dedicated to live a happy life.