A Day in the Life of Austin High School [Youth-Produced Short Film]

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All high schools were asked by the school district (in Austin, Texas) to produce a video about their school with the theme of “a day in the life” of a student at each respected school. The videos were going to be part of a showcase for the upcoming SXSWedu film program. We had to turn this around in a week and I was not going to spend to much energy on this. I asked one of my best writers to write a voice over that would pair well with beautiful visuals of the school – dolly and drone shots, rack focus, timelapse, etc.

He spent the better part of Saturday working on it in time for the Sunday deadline I had given him. He turned in a script and I had told him that while it needed work, I loved it. But at the morning table read, I just wasn’t feeling it. I decided right there that I was over videos like these. I decided that we weren’t going to phone it in with one of these tired templates of promotional video.

As you can imagine, the writer, Cole, was disappointed. I told him that I wanted something fresh, something new and I needed it before we walked away from the table. So the producer, Matt, the asst. producer, Barbara, and Cole sat at the table along with myself bouncing ideas off of each other. I said, “I want cool visuals that engage and captivate. And I don’t want a trite VO. How can we execute this?” Cole replied with , “Well why don’t we just have a student asking another student what a day is like at Austin High School, and then we just strap a GoPro on a bunch of different students doing cool stuff?” “That’s it Cole! I need it by Friday.” I replied. Here it is.


This post was submitted by Gil Garcia who runs the media arts program at Austin High School in Austin, Texas.