Junior starts YouTube channel to showcase Bay Area

December 4, 2014 — by Gwynevere Hunger and Vibha Seshadri

Junior Jennifer Chen created her Youtube channel “This is the BAY”  as a means of experiencing and showcasing the Bay Area’s diverse population and features. One of Chen’s other goals is to break stereotypes associated with the West Coast through her videos, which she hopes to release once a month.

Two coasts. Six minutes. One student YouTuber.

These are the main components of junior Jennifer Chen’s first YouTube video, “East Coast vs. West Coast,” on her channel, “This is the BAY.”

Chen created “This is the BAY” as a means of experiencing and showcasing the Bay Area’s diverse population and features. One of Chen’s other goals is to break stereotypes associated with the West Coast through her videos, which she hopes to release once a month.

Part of the Media Arts Program (MAP) since her freshman year, Chen wanted to use the media skills she has acquired over the past three years and reach out to others.

“I really wanted to do SHSTV, but I couldn't have another period [in my schedule], so I thought I could just try to do something similar,” Chen said.

MAP has allowed Chen to further her knowledge in the media field allowing her to use their upgraded equipment. This year, MAP added Canon DSLR cameras with video recording capability and the MAP lab has upgraded to Adobe CS6. MAP students like Chen are allowed to work with increasingly sophisticated software that is parallel to those found in the media industry.

“MAP students learn so much about story development, video and audience critique that it would make sense for them to create their own work,” MAP teacher Cathy Leather said.  

During the process of creating her channel, Chen has faced some difficulties. For instance, the process of filming and editing her first video took Chen a month because she was finding it difficult to balance school, her social life and shooting and creating videos, all by herself.

“After I finish my homework [on weekends], sometimes I would go watch a movie, but now I cut down on my fun time to go work on my videos,” Chen said.

Although time consuming, Chen believes the positive aspects of her project outweigh the negative. One positive aspect includes gaining new skills such interviewing. In her first video, Chen interviewed passers-by on the streets of West Coast cities and those on the East Coast.

She asked them questions such as, “What’s the first word that pops in your mind when you think of the west/east coast?” Chen, not used to interviewing, found this experience to be not only fun but also a learning experience, since she can now apply this newly acquired skill to future videos and projects.

“When I interviewed random people on the street in the East Coast for my first video, I was actually a little shy doing an interview all by myself, and it was hard going up to a person and not make them feel awkward,” Chen said. “But I learned that a lot of people really want to be interviewed, so I don't need to be scared.”

Currently, Chen is considering the content of her next video but knows that it will involve traveling, something she enjoys.

“My favorite part is definitely traveling and going to different places,” Chen said. “I love interviewing people because when I ask a good question, it’s very fun to listen to them and get opinions from people I would never have talked to if it weren't for my channel.”

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