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Student Blog: Alexa Payesko

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Thesis student Alexa Payesko’s documentary explores the relationship kids have with technology – over the span of two years. Her film will premiere at the Dusty Film & Animation Festival, which runs from May 5th – 7th.

IMG_9269Two years ago, I created Connected, a documentary about four adorable seven and eight year-old girls who discuss what technology means in their lives. These charming, funny, future rock stars, artists, and teachers explain how iPhones, iPads, and LeapPads inform and dominate their lives.

Now, two years later, and two years older, I went back to find how their views on technology have changed. Connected: The Future looks at each one to see if they are really connected with their technology. They all love their selfies, but as one girl noted in Connected, “too much technology isn’t good for the brain.”  Is that still where they stand?

Last July, I began thinking of what I wanted to make for my thesis film.  I was unsure at first, but I knew I wanted to create another documentary – one that would make people feel happy and laugh, while still making them think about something important. I also love kids and realized that I wanted to see the girls, again, to know what their thoughts are now and how they may have changed since Connected. As well, audiences responded to the girls the first time so I decided to catch up with them.

I started shooting Connected: The Future last October.

IMG_9261I did not want the girls to feel overwhelmed so chose to have a small crew – camera, sound and an assistant. Nicolas Lopez was the cinematographer. And working with him was easy and pleasurable. It was as if he read my mind when it came to shooting. Sometimes it was run and gun with the girls, because they are full of energy and can’t sit still. But Nico kept up with them and they all felt completely comfortable with him. It was great to have a DP who clicked with the girls so they were not distracted the camera or shy about opening up to me. Brenda Salazar, who did sound was also easy for the girls to be around, as was Tatiana Rivera, the production assistant.

We were a great team and all had a blast creating this documentary with the girls. Thank you so much to my amazing crew. It would not have happened without you guys. (Literally, because I was on crutches, remember?) But that’s another story!

 

Filed Under: Student Blog