A group of Guelph-Humber students showcase Toronto’s skateboarding culture in their nominated documentary

Videography, University of Guelph-Humber; “From the streets

A documentary team that not only shone a light on an issue in Toronto but also offered filming aspects that let the students develop and express their creativity and skills in an applicable way. Guelph-Humber students Daniel Policelli, Evan Rowell, Calen Robertson, and NicoleWells have been nominated in the Videography category for their documentary “From the streets”.

1. What inspired you to begin this project? Why are you passionate about it?

Daniel Policelli:

“The lack of skate parks in Toronto was the main inspiration for this project. There are only a few parks in the city, and most of them are not very good. As skaters, we want somewhere to skate where we do not have to deal with security, pedestrians, or rough ground. Simply put, we just would like some more parks to skate at. I have been skating my whole life, so I care a lot about the skate scene in Toronto. Skaters are already aware of this problem, so I wanted to create this documentary for people that do not skate. Showing this documentary to my classmates was a great way for them to understand what it’s like to be a skateboarder in Toronto.”

Evan Rowell:

“I was honestly really surprised to see our names on the semi-finalist list. We kind of entered as a joke. More of a “why not” than a sincere belief that we deserved an award. But the fact that we were selected just goes to show that putting yourself out there is never a bad thing. The recognition coming from our own school just makes the whole thing a little bit sweeter.”

Nicole Wells:

“This project was part of my videography class in which we were asked to pitch and interview people for a documentary. My group chose Dan Policelli’s idea of skateboarding as it was the most applicable, felt interesting, and would give some very dynamic shots. Dan is an avid skateboarder, and he is very passionate about it, even working for a skateboarding camp, which is featured in the video, during the summer.”

2. How do you feel as a nominee for the Emerge Media Awards?

Daniel Policelli:

“I’m honored! It’s awesome that a documentary on skateboarding and Toronto’s lack of skate parks was able to be recognized amongst the crowd. Maybe this can help show the city that this is an important issue, and they should do something about it. I am also proud of my teammates and that all their hard work was recognized.”

Nicole Wells:

“I’m really pleased that our video made it to the finalists. It is the first video which I was proud of creating. It’s cool to be representing Guelph-Humber, as all the other video finalists are from other schools!”

3. How do you feel your school prepared you to create this work?

Evan Rowell:

“Guelph-Humber prepared us not only by assigning us with the production but also by giving us access to equipment and facilities as well as the training to produce content well. Ernie Kestler, our professor for that class, was all about the little details that we would often ignore or just never think to consider. That attention to detail really drove us to fine tune our documentary and it was all the better for it.”

Daniel Policelli:

“Our videography class definitely helped us out with this documentary. We were able to learn about the cameras we needed to use for the project, and how to properly set them up for interviewing and shooting b-roll. We learned about lighting techniques, and how to properly conduct interviews. We also were taught various editing techniques to make sure our documentary ran smooth. I am grateful for all the help Ernie Kestler gave us with this project.”

Nicole Wells:

“Guelph-Humber and Ernie Kestler, our prof for video 1 & 2 helped teach us how to use the cameras, how to set up lighting and how to do sound properly. He gave suggestions for editing and how to plan the story. The school gave us a reason to get out and film and supplied most of the equipment that we used.”

4. Why do you want to go into the media industry?

Evan Rowell:

“Growing up, I was always a movie nerd. I would watch television and movies obsessively, always heading to IMDb afterward to learn more about what I had just watched. I think my record was something around 280 new movies in one calendar year (yes, I even kept track). But it wasn’t until grade 11, when I was listening to Kevin Smith talk about his exact same experience as a kid that loved movies, that I realized that my passion for media could actually be a career, not just a pipe dream. All that content that I loved to watch so much, I could do the same for other people. So I dropped all of my science and math and switched my focus to media.“

Nicole Wells:

“To me, the media industry gives so much variety and the opportunity to be creative. Getting out and shooting, is so enjoyable compared to being behind a desk all day. I also love art and design, so it is a great opportunity to put everything together!”

Daniel Policelli:

“I love it! I like making videos and creating stuff. I always had a hard time figuring out what I was going to do after high school until I decided that I was just going to do what I love, and figure out how to make it work once I finished school. So far things have been going great!”

5. What’s your ideal dream job?

Evan Rowell:

“I don’t think I would ever be satisfied with just one job, and I think Guelph-Humber really showed me that. As a digital communications student, we were learning video, web design, and digital design simultaneously, and where some people hated switching between different media, I loved it. Every day was new and different. So my dream job would be something where I get to do everything.”

Daniel Policelli:

“I have two scenarios for my ideal dream job: to have my own photography business or to be working for a reputable company as a photographer. If I decide to really go forward with a personal business venture, I would be doing all the photography I want, not specifying a niche. I love food, travel, portraits, weddings and special events, interior, landscape, contemporary, etc.; it all fascinates me. Limiting myself to a specific category will not only cut off possible business partners or collaborations, but it would not allow me to fully explore this craft. I think that exploring and trying out most if not all, will allow me to be a better and well-rounded photographer.”

Nicole Wells:

“I would love to do something that put all of my interests together. I have not figured that out yet, but it’s scary and exciting to see all the possibilities.”

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