Lorenzo Rossi, Class of 2014
In fourth grade, my teacher told me to write down what kind of job I wanted. She said that most adults who feel fulfilled and satisfied in their career are doing what made them happy in elementary school. I remember writing down that I wanted to do something creative. This passion ultimately led me to Matt Lawrence’s Digital Filmmaking Program at Ballard High School.
What excites me about filmmaking is its constant combination and coordination of all art forms. The medium has allowed my passions for music, photography, writing, audio production, and personal documentary to interact in ways I never imagined. At the heart of all filmmaking is the ability to tell a story, to connect with others through personal truth. Ballard’s filmmaking pathway instills this focus in students throughout the entire program.
Besides providing an invaluable foundation in storytelling and the entire production process, the program helps students connect with industry professionals, create effective portfolios, and consistently earn scholarships at the top film schools around the world. In high school, I was able to intern at NFFTY (National Film Festival For Talented Youth), work on the camera crew of Lance Lambert’s Vintage Vehicle Show, produce a documentary for the Ballard High School Foundation, and create short films which won awards in several festivals (including a music video I directed for my band’s original song that helped me get into Emerson College with a half tuition scholarship).
Emerson has provided me with incredible opportunities to explore different creative avenues tied together by a cohesive liberal arts education. Over the past three years, I’ve worked on set in both the lighting and sound departments for countless student films, mixed bands and managed events for the college radio community, interned at Soundtrack Boston (a full service audio post production facility), and completed an immersive documentary installation and thirty page academic thesis exploring the many ways my blended family interacts in cars (What We Say In Cars). The highlight of my college experience has been the people I’ve met through Emerson who’ve pushed me as an artist and collaborator and expanded my understanding of what it means to be a filmmaker. In the Spring 2017, I will be finishing my Media Production BFA degree in Emerson’s Los Angeles campus and interning at an audio post production studio before moving back to Seattle to freelance in post sound and location recording.
Filmmaking is changing more than ever. Technological advances have caused massive shifts in patterns of distribution and production, drastically altering the ways we create and consume media. These changes can be both frightening and exciting for students thinking about entering the industry. However, the concepts, tools, and techniques taught in Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program are necessary no matter what equipment, format, or platform you end up working with. Though I am still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, I feel fulfilled and thankful for the life I’ve been able to live and I know Lawrence’s program has pointed me in the right direction.