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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interview with Jaley B, Silver Medalist, Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Award

Welcome to an interview with Jaley Bruursema,  one of the winners of the first-ever Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards. Jaley B, age 14, and a student at Augustus H. Burley Elementary School in Chicago, IL, won a Silver Award for Narrative Video. Jaley's project, Gone, was created in conjunction with co-authors Anna Gould, Teagan Letscher, Elyssa Saldana, and Avery Weiland. The students were provided with professional-grade tools and were encouraged to make compelling digital media projects that spoke to the issues they most cared about.

1. What is your name and what is your Aspire Awards project? My name is Jaley B. The Aspire Awards project I worked on with a group is called Gone (It is in the narrative section).

Silver Award for Narrative Video: Gone
Jaley Bruursema, Anna Gould, Teagan Letscher, Elyssa Saldana, Avery Weiland

2. Please describe your project. What is it? What is the purpose? The project is a story in stop motion addressing the issue of child soldiers in Africa. There is no talking but music accompanies the motion and in between scenes are slides reading the written pieces of the story you are watching. The purpose of this project is to inform viewers about child soldiers.

3. What do you hope that people will learn from your Aspire Awards project? What are your primary goals for the project?
I hope that people take away a thirst to help. As a group, we wanted the video to be horrifying enough to feel compassion and sympathy for these children, but not gruesome, so that audiences have no need to look away. We also wanted to demonstrate the great losses and sadness that happens in this situation but leave viewers with a sense of hope and a sense of obligation to donate money, protest, and do anything they can to recover areas that are influenced by this devastation. Of course it would be nice to win the competition, but it would be far better to lose and have a bunch of people do something than to win and have no one do anything.

4. What do you hope people will learn from your project and ultimately do? I hope that they will be adequately informed and that they will not just walk away and think about the issue but walk away and do something about it.

5. Describe the digital aspects of your project -- what kinds of video, audio, and graphics did you create? Where did you display them? Any social media sites? (Facebook, Google sites, Tumblr, Flickr, Orkut, blogs, your school's website, podcast sites, etc.?) We took a LOT of photos and piecing them together on the computer was a big portion of the project. Some had to be longer than others for a dramatic effect. We did not create any graphics digitally but we did traditionally. All the artwork that appears is something we made with paper. For our audio we used general tracks from Garageband and downloaded free instrumental and choral songs from the internet. We displayed our video on a school media gallery website and at Adobe’s TechXpo.

6. How will you use the Aspire experience to do more things? What are your next steps? The Aspire experience has given me a background in creating media that many people will view within a deadline. It has given me a little glimpse into what the world of professional media looks like. Now, going into high school and possibly doing more high quality media projects like Gone I’ll know what I’ll be doing. I am not entirely sure what my next steps will be but this project has been very fun to create and exciting to watch grow and I will definitely explore creating more media and media like this in the future.

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