Fascinated by film


Sophomore Laina Willing holds up a camera.

Ramona Wright, Staff Writer

Sophomore Laina Willing grabs her old home video camera and hits record. Throughout the day, she films everything – her family, her friends  and pretty much whatever they do. Later, she transfers the videos from the camera to her phone where she later edits and posts them on her YouTube channel. 

Many people today like to capture fun and important moments on their iPhones, but Willing believes using her 2011 Canon Camcorder is a better approach. 

Willing uses these videos to express her artistic abilities and let her look back at specific times in her life. Her creative process includes deciding on a song to base the video on, adding the videos to her phone and editing them to fit her ideas. 

Willing said she has always been interested in the world of art. She draws in her free time, takes art classes at school and continues to learn more about editing. This fascination would motivate her to create videos as well as other media she consumed. 

“I’ve always loved creating, whether it be outfits for school or drawing with my brother’s old art supplies. I was all for it. I always got art supplies and paint for birthdays, and I was fascinated with how I could express myself through my work,” Willing said. “It wasn’t until a couple years ago when I made a few YouTube videos, but I have now since deleted those and chose a different style of vlogs.”

While watching videos on YouTube from one of her favorite artists, Willing stumbled upon a playlist of video diaries her favorite artists created. These videos later served as a framework for Willing to use as inspiration. 

“When I saw those videos, I was automatically interested and wanted to do it. I had seen some other smaller accounts getting more creative on YouTube and I thought I could do it because I had the resources and creativity,” Willing said. “It also let me get off my phone during the breaks and times I was filming and I would just record instead of grabbing my phone and just taking a photo every minute.”

These videos, filmed on her camera, normally focus on a specific time or event. After filming, she goes back, adding music and creating a style she feels fits her aesthetic. 

“When it comes to inspiration I would say my biggest inspiration is the artists I listen to. I want to make people feel the same way as I feel when I’m listening to their music,” Willing said. “When it comes to my style, I want the viewer to feel a sense of calm and security. I’m really all about aesthetics and it really matters to me if the colors are good and the vibe nice in the clip. If it is, I’ll put it in the video.” 

One of Willing’s biggest takeaways from making videos is the importance of filmmaking. She said she believes that there is a difference between filming with a phone versus filming with a camera that instills a sense of purpose.

“I think the videos I choose to take on my camera are more genuine and nostalgic for me instead of the videos I take on my phone where I can just grab it any time. It takes a thought and an action to take or bring the camera which makes the moments I film even more special,” Willing said. “It really reminds me of old home videos I see of my mom and it seems more like real life. When you film on your phone it can sometimes seem fake and unreal, like you’re only filming to post it.”

Right now, her videos are aimed at documenting her high school experience. They serve as an important “time capsule” to look back on. However, she plans to continue making other videos and expand her content.

“I think it would be really cool to have other creative outlets and make videos for other people, possibly as a career. I also hope that maybe in the future I can turn the videos I film into a documentary or a movie at one point,” Willing said. “I think it’s going to be a really nice thing to look back on in the future and expand, as well.”