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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

A closeup on film buffs

GMI+students+prepare+for+their+Thursday+broadcast.+Exporting+the+final+product+to+teachers+took+at+least+20+minutes.
Madeira Lee (they/she)
GMI students prepare for their Thursday broadcast. Exporting the final product to teachers took at least 20 minutes.

With the ever-growing popularity of short-form media apps like TikTok and YouTube, more teens are gaining interest in video creation and filmmaking. Students can explore film and learn skills by taking film classes, or getting involved in GMI or Film Club.  

From a young age, senior Isaiah Paltep (he/him), co-president of Film Club, watched movies and recorded home videos. After making videos to beat summer boredom two years ago due to COVID-19, Paltep’s passion for filmmaking rekindled.  

“I remember in 11th grade, we had a unit on music videos, and I found it really interesting how sound and video can come together to make the story, and that reignited the flame that I had for film,” Paltep said. 

Paltep plans to have a career that involves the visual aspects of filmmaking, such as cinematography. His mom, a photographer, inspired him to pursue this career. 

“At first, I started taking pictures whenever we would travel. Then that kind of led me into the path of being a cinematographer or director of photography, which is someone who makes the scene look good and makes it composed of what it is. Basically the visuals, not exactly the storytelling,” Paltep said.

Over the years, GMI and IB Film teacher Katrina Allemeier (she/her) has prepared students pursuing careers paths in journalism, broadcast news and film. Even students who don’t go into the film industry often find ways to incorporate the filmmaking skills they learned from Allemeier’s classes in their jobs. 

“Some of my students have gone on to become firefighters. They do all of the films for the fire station; they do all the training videos and all of their promotional videos. They do have jobs for that, so you can make films without actually going into the film world,” Allemeier said.   

In IB Film, students take on many different roles, depending on the project they’re working on. A student can be a cinematographer, editor, director or script writer. Students also learn film analysis, which is Allemeier’s favorite subject to teach. 

“I think that’s really fun to look for, and teaching people to not be a passive viewer. There’s some movies that you can watch like ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ just enjoy it for the comedy that it is. It’s nothing deeper than that. But there’s so many movies that are so much more than just a film and to be able to look more into that, you’d have to sit back and go dig deeper,” Allemeier said. 

Although IB Film students learn the same general process of filmmaking, they usually develop personal methods. Senior and co-president of Film Club Ava Espiritu (she/they) said she enjoys both the technical and creative aspects of film.

“I try to write a dialogue that’s believable, and I tend to lean towards comedy more. Then from there, I create a shot list of all those specific shots that I want to get, and try to go through all of them and make them more artistic — try to think of what I could do to make the shots look visually interesting,” Espiritu said.

Film creators often have a preference for one aspect of filmmaking. Paltep, preferring cinematography, has not created a full length film yet. However, he has created a sample composition — a series of aesthetically pleasing shots — and is working towards a short film. 

“There’s a lot of aspects to film. There’s sound design, there’s the visuals, there’s the story that you want to tell. I think the fact that I can tackle as many things as I want, or lean into one thing or another — [that’s what] I like about it,” Paltep said.

Espiritu won multiple film festivals for their short films, and they shoot with the cameras from their IB Film class. 

“I enjoy editing. I edit all of my own films, and it’s cool seeing all the raw footage get cut down into the final product,” Espiritu said.

Both presidents of Film Club encourage aspiring directors, producers and cinematographers to just start creating.

“Honestly, I was pretty scared to start, like ‘what if people judge me’ and that kind of stuff. But the stuff that I made, I thought it was trash. Then I showed my friends who were like, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before.’ And it’s kind of shocking,” Paltep said. “Sometimes if you have a good idea, you just need to go for it.”

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Pia Adtani (they/them), Managing Editor
Senior Pia Adtani is Nordic’s 2023-24 Managing Editor. They’re thrilled to be back again working with friends they made last year, as well as excited to meet some new faces. Their ultimate goal for this year is to make Nordic a great work environment for staff while also continuing to sharpen their writing skills. Outside of Nordic, Pia enjoys listening to music or an audiobook, drinking tea, and continuing their education in Fashion and Pop Culture Affairs. 

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