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Frame by Frame: Exploring the Cinematic World of an SCIS Student

In a recent exclusive #StudentSpotlight interview, we sat down with Wilson, a Grade 11 student at SCIS Hongqiao, where he shared insights into his passion for videography and his experiences behind the camera at SCIS events like the recent ACAMIS Basketball livestream. Read on to discover the highs and lows of his creative journey and gain valuable advice for aspiring videographers! 🎥  


Please introduce yourself!  

My name is Wilson, and this is my 11th year with SCIS. I've been here since 1st grade. I have a lot of interest in music, photography, business, and sports like badminton and basketball, and a strong passion for videography/film. 


We know that you are the man behind the camera for a lot of SCIS events such as Service Learning, MYP Graduation, and most recently – the ACAMIS Basketball livestream hosted at the SCIS Hongqiao campus. Can you share with us the highs and lows of this livestream event? 

Going into that project, I knew I wanted to create something at a level of quality never seen before in ACAMIS sports live streams. Still, I must achieve that while keeping it relatively low cost and within a minimal setup time. I started planning everything down to the details a few months back. However, the time it took to wire all the cameras and software setup still took way longer than expected. The setup time actually cut into the tournament time, so not all the initially planned features could be used for the entire tournament duration. The stream was also very unstable at the beginning.  

At last, we were still able to pull off the 8 multicamera setups, instant replays with transition graphics, and the real-time scoreboard. I'm still very happy with the final results given how tough of a task it was, and this wouldn't have been possible without the amazing support from the 15 student volunteers helping set up the wires and ensuring the cameras were up and running, the IT department providing any equipment we needed and internet support, also the trust of teachers that gave me the resources to achieve this. 


How and why did you get into videography?  

I've been passionate about photography for as long as I can remember, and I've always loved watching movies/TV shows. In 8th grade, when we did the arts rotations as a part of the MYP arts program, we got to rotate through the different arts programs our school had provided, from Music, Drama, Visual Arts, to Media. That was when I got to try filming videos. We practiced camera movements in media and even created our short film. I think it was when we were creating our short film that I felt a passion for film. From planning shots and locations to teamwork on set, I felt an excitement I'd never felt before. From there, I started learning more on my own and filming videos for the school assembly. 


How did you learn about all the technical difficulties and functions of videography? 

I learned some of the basics from Mr. Reed in 8th grade Media, and he recommended some great YouTube channels to check out. Then from there, I spent a lot of time watching tutorials about lighting and cinematography on YouTube on my own time, but the best way to learn something is hands-on experience.  

After the music video I shot for a Media project in 9th grade, I got some recognition from people in school. An 11th grader at the time (now graduated), his name was Lesaan. He brought me on to do some corporate work, mostly working with clients in the music video industry. From there on, I started working more professionally and learned so much from him and other professionals in the television commercial industry. 


How has SCIS helped you become a better videographer?  

I think it is the opportunity the school has provided me with. My out-of-school work is very focused on music videos and commercial videos, and working with clients limits my room to create and express what I want. Here at SCIS, teachers encourage me to create it however I like, giving me creative freedom and the resources I need to achieve it. 


Do you take part in other video opportunities outside of SCIS? If so, please explain. 

Yeah, mostly music videos in the hip-hop industry and some concert recaps. I am recently working with more corporate brands like Lenovo for commercials. 


Do you aspire to become a videographer as your future career? What are your next steps? 

Of course. I hope to start my production one day, but now, I am looking for more filming opportunities and working on bigger film sets, learning and perfecting my skills. 


Lastly, do you have any advice for fellow Dragons who are also pursuing this field? 

YouTube tutorials are a great starting point, but they are nothing compared to the experience you gather while you're filming, and something that may work for someone else may not work for you, so find your style. Lastly, lighting and color grading are underrated, put some effort into those two and you will elevate your work for sure. 

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