My name is Nicolette Cosmas and I am a senior at Saint Joseph’s University. I am partaking in a Senior Capstone project by using my videography skills as a Communications Major through documenting a short film about how social media impacts our mental health. This interests me because I took a Technology and Pop Culture course, along with Digital Filmmaking and Intro to Film courses that focused on all the issues that social media brings to our society and mental health, different camera angles and shots, and ways in which movies are directed. I chose to document this issue in my short film because I believe that social media has its ups but I also think it has its downfalls. I want to focus on staying positive with one’s day to day life and make a change/statement that what people convey on social media may not be what their life is really like. I wouldn’t say this project connects with my professional goals, however, If I can make an impact on our society and community by allowing people to think differently and feel more motivated, then that is a goal for me to accomplish.
The form that I will use to create my project is a short film. I chose this route because I always enjoyed videography and had a passion for capturing beautiful happy moments in my life and the people around me. I use my CANON T7 along with my LUMIX camera that is specifically used for videography. As I envision my project right now, I would want my viewers to watch a story about how one struggles with mental health and tries to better themselves by not comparing themselves to others online and to be their own person. I may even have people speak about mental health towards the end. I have a multitude of clips in mind already and that may consist of someone looking very overwhelmed scrolling through the media and comparing themselves to others, then taking a turn and I will record them doing things that will be good for their mental health. (hanging with friends, working out, etc).
The primary audience for this project will mainly focus on our GEN Z population since that is the generation that uses media the most. Secondary audiences would be professors of Saint Joseph’s University. I think that I can make an impact on this subject because it is an issue that everyone can relate to. Social media and the real world seem like two completely different places that our mental state has a huge impact on, so I believe this is needed to show that people need to be more realistic in life.
My prior experience with filmmaking has been a journey. I have been creating video content for about 3 years now. In my free time, I take my LUMIX camera with me wherever I can so I can put together fun videos of my friends, family, and I doing what we love to do most. I have used iMovie in the past and then upgraded to using Final Cut Pro, which is a more advanced version of iMovie. I have worked on the Alpha Phi recruitment video for the past 2 years now (linked below) and got to work with a professional videographer so that was a really beneficial experience for me as I got to learn about different camera movements and ways to make a video stand out. Ways in which this project will be similar to my prior projects would be using the same camera/equipment and ways this project will be different is my actors will be more staged with a script compared to my prior work that was more candid videos of friends and family that I captured on my own. This current project will challenge me in new ways because I have never created a video that discusses a current issue within our society. It will push me to be open minded and creative with ways I can convey this important message.
EXAMPLE OF PAST EXPERIENCE:
This project helps reflect my educational experience at Saint Joseph’s University because it captures my whole college experience as a COM major. In most of my COM classes, the issue with technology and social media was a common theme discussed in class. Whether it was about how social media can come off and convey an offensive idea, how it impacts us mentally, or how to be creative, media was a large portion of being a COM major. In Digital Filmmaking, many ideas and methods were discussed about how to properly shoot a shot at the correct angle and properly create our storyboard the right ways. I am currently in a Intro to Film class that discusses things like “Mise-En-Scene” which focuses on the whole idea about camera angles and what is important while shooting a film.
The research I think I will need in order to complete this project will be what the main issue is with the media. Is it body image? Is it people pretending to be someone who they are not? Is it people only documenting good moments of their life. I think I will need to also do research on how to make a film as dramatic as possible and get ideas from past films.
How to Make a Dramatic Movie Trailer (ad)
Simple Edit Techniques to Make Scenes Dramatic
Obstacles and Resources:
Some obstacles that I may encounter could be running out of battery when I am out filming. This has happened in the past and I learned my lesson so I can easily make sure my camera is charged and make sure that all space is cleaned off my SD cards so I can shoot as many clips as I’d like to that day without running into a “SD CARD FULL” scenario. I would say another obstacle will be creating my shot list and thinking of ways to follow the list step by step and planning out each and every scene. I will look at other videos for inspiration, but I want to be as original as I can.
Week 4 (now): Create storyboard / actors
Week 5: Buy SD cards and make sure I have all equipment
Week 6: Start creating your shot list of what you think will be needed in each shot
Week 7: Start filming
Week 8: FILMING
Week 9: FILMING
Week 10: Oral presentation??
Week 11: Import all media
Week 12: EDIT
Week 13: EDIT
Week 14: EDIT
Week 15: Finalize all edits and sounds
Week 16: Presentations