Falcon Focus: Senior develops narrative video for film school application

December 10, 2017 — by Muthu Palaniappan

Senior Jack Isacke stood at the top of Fremont Older Open Space, with a grand piano in front of him and a skyline view behind. Senior Robert Scott sat down at the piano, while Isacke started to film him playing the instrument as the sun set. After envisioning this scene days before, Isacke’s narrative came to life.

This scene was part of the short video he made as part of his application to various film schools. Film school applicants like Isacke are required to create an additional video to submit to film programs along with their  usual creative portfolio.

Isacke is applying to New York University, Chapman, Loyola Marymount University, Emerson and the University of Southern California, along with other various schools that have top-notch media programs.

In terms of his media school application, one of his prompts for LMU was to illustrate a character who had to make a big decision, without the use of dialogue or voice in the media.

Isacke’s narrative is about a boy, played by Scott, who disconnects from the digital world to enjoy his true passion: playing piano.

The 2-minute video “Keep Playing?” features the song, “A Moment Apart” by ODESZA, which was the initial inspiration behind Isacke’s idea. While listening to the song, Isacke pictured a boy playing piano at the top of a mountain, which he decided was fitting for his prompt.

As the filming process began, Isacke pieced together the rest of the video based on what he felt flowed while filming. He used a series of drone shots and regular handheld camera techniques.

“It was sort of a metaphor for people like me who struggle to make the decision to pursue their creative interests,” Isacke said. “I thought it worked well.”

Isacke said his ideal school next year would be NYU because of the vibrant city it is located in, but he would willingly attend any of the schools he’s applied to.

“I was very on the fence about going to film school because it is a somewhat risky career path to choose, but I decided that if I go for it with enough passion and hard work, it will give me a lot of great opportunities to transition into the film industry or something to do with film,” Isacke said.

Recently, Isacke started to create videos for fun that he posts on YouTube. Isacke uses this as a creative outlet and a way to destress.

He also is a part of the Media Arts Program (MAP), which has cultivated his interest in the subject.

Isacke sees himself creating media for the rest of his life, no matter where his career path takes him.

“I can't really picture myself working 9 to 5 behind a desk,” Isacke said. “I'll probably be a broke kid with a camera doing something weird, but I'm cool with that.”


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