The Art of Film

By: Isabella Arias

Movies, tv shows, and other filmed media are widely consumed in 2019, to say the least. But where did all of the famous directors, producers, and screenwriters start? For most, the answer is in high school. Jenks High School has several film classes available for students to take. Part of this class is filming a video to submit into a national competition with the possibility of winning the grand prize of 5,000 dollars to the student(s) and 750 dollars to the teacher/school.

C-SPAN is a non-partisan, non-governmental television network that covers government affairs. The StudentCam competition is for both middle and high school students. This year, the prompt asks, “Explore the issue you most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign.” For juniors Mason Chow (he/him) and Audrey Lee (he/they), the opioid crisis is of utmost concern. They drew inspiration from the recent Oklahoma v. Johnson & Johnson lawsuit, which is the “local tie-in” of their piece. 

Drug abuse leading to homelessness is a big theme in Chow and Lee’s piece. 

Lee elaborates, “There is a problem with drug abuse and mental health among homeless people, there’s overlap, and like a cycle of perpetuation between the two.” 

The topic of the candidates’ submission has to be relevant, and in Chow’s opinion, it is extremely relevant. He explains, “Only recently have people and states been filing and winning lawsuits against these pharmaceutical companies, and we want to encapsulate that in our piece.” 

Both students have been taking film classes at Jenks for two years now. however their relationships with cinema prior to taking film vary greatly. 

Chow explains, “Before [film class], I did not have a deep appreciation for film.” Over the past two years, however, his appreciation has grown immensely. 

Lee has had a close relationship with movies and television for as long as he can remember, and his expression went dreamily doe-eyed when describing his first remembrance of falling in love with film. He reminisces by saying, “It was just so entrancing, the colors, the vibrancy, the story, everything was just really really mystical in a way.”

Both Chow and Lee agree that film class has upped both their work ethic, as well as taught them life lessons. Despite the work ethic, their job is made fun due to their deep passion for 

When asked what they love so much about film, Chow quickly supplies, “Film is the easiest way to convey empathy in people, I’d love to bring back the element of film which is teaching empathy and helping others grow.” 

Lee’s answer is not much different, and he describes his love for “the aspect of miniscule details adding up to a bigger story.” 

Both Chow and Lee also agree that there’s a lot of “appreciation for people, because you’re telling other people’s stories and you have to handle that carefully.”


Chow and Lee plan on continuing film class throughout high school, as well as participating in the StudentCam competition in the coming years. They encourage everyone to at least get a taste of film, whether you’re in the class or not. For more information about the competition, and to see last year’s winners, go here.

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