Comment

Moving forward

While I didn't get to film Jack over the weekend, I was hard at work planning and mapping out the future of this project.

After the pre-interview with Jack, I have a strong idea of where I want to take the project and what themes I want to explore. I have been working with Jack and Kim to learn what access/visuals are available, and as a result have been able to put this "Project Roadmap" together:




Comment

Comment

Brown-bag lunch

After Lit class, we took our lunches, packed in brown-paper bags by Jack's mom, to the cafeteria and met up with Jack's friends.

As if being in high school last week didn't make me feel, I got to return for an entire half-day today!! Today I met Jack around 10am and joined him for most of the day. We got a few shots of the baseball field, and then went to Lit class, Lunch and Gym Class.

I was given unfettered access to Jack in school today, and was able to follow him to his classes and show him interacting with his friends

I was given unfettered access to Jack in school today, and was able to follow him to his classes and show him interacting with his friends

Throughout the day I shot Jack in his classes and with his friends, in an attempt to portray him as a "normal 17-year old." While the story will tell of Jack's struggle and selflessness, the core of the story is about a normal, loving and inspiring 17-year old named Jack.

Comment

Comment

Back to school

Jack walks through the halls of his high school; Christian Brothers' Academy

Jack walks through the halls of his high school; Christian Brothers' Academy

Today I walked into high school and it hit me. I had my backpack and Pellican case with me, and I was swept with a wave of emotions. I spent much of my high school career pursuing film and photography, and here I was 4 years later using that passion and talent to tell an inspirational story for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Jack met me in the office and we immediately sat down and did a pre-interview. I recorded it, but only so I could go back and listen in order to get more specific questions. I wanted to get a feel for his story early on the process, but want to save the final interview for later -- once we are more comfortable with one another.

After a while, we got up and he gave me a tour of the school. We walked around the hallways, went to his locker and met with some teachers. I'm going to return next week and spend a longer time with him, going to classes and whatnot -- this was just to get me ready, and give me a better picture of what to expect.

Comment

Comment

Proof of Concept

On Sunday I spent some time at Christians Brothers Academy filming on the field before driving to Manlius to meet with Jack and his family.

I wanted to get some establishing shots and put together a brief video to introduce my project and provide a "roadmap" of where my project will be going -- a "Proof of Concept," if you will:

 


Comment

Comment

Welcomed home

After shooting some conceptual shots at the field, I drove to Manlius and met with the entire Sheridan family.

They welcomed me into their home, sat me down, offered my food and made me feel like I was part of the family. I introduced myself and my goal with the project, and we spent well over an hour talking about Jack and his history, and what the purpose and goals of the project.

We then sat down and went over schedules and I was given access to Jack's life and activities for the coming semester. The amount of trust and faith I had been given is almost overwhelming. At one point Jack's mom thanked me; it was confusing at first. But she thanked me for telling her son's story and honoring her family by producing the piece -- I guess I had never seen it that way, but it put an entirely new light on my project.

After looking at our schedules for the week, we decided I'd meet Jack at school on Wednesday and film him in the halls, and do a pre-interview with him.

The meeting today really put a lot into perspective and completely re-nergized me for this project (and final semester)!!

Comment

Comment

DAY 1

Today marked the first day of filming on Jack's project!!

I woke up at 9am, drove out to the school and filmed the old baseball diamond. My good friend Andy brought his drone and we made a morning of it. We captured the essence of the field and clearly showed its need to be replaced. It was a grey, cold morning and the snow was half melted -- it painted an accurate picture of the school's need.

 

The current baseball diamond at Christian Boys Academy that will be completely redone as per Jack's Wish

The current baseball diamond at Christian Boys Academy that will be completely redone as per Jack's Wish


With the first day of filming underway, I feel alive! The project is officially happening. 

But as if this day couldn't get any better: this afternoon I drove to Manlius and met with the Sheridan family. Kim had welcomed me to their home when we had talked on Thursday. I was ecstatic to meet Jack, though a little nervous. I believe a project like this is all about relationships: my relationship to Jack, and his family, is crucial. I wanted to meet with them to explain myself and my goals; and to field any questions.

As soon as I walked in, I felt welcomed! I was bombarded by two of the cutest dogs ever (Brady and Peyton) and then offered food and a drink -- all before I was out of the front hallway. It felt like we were old friends. We sat in their living room for close to an hour talking and getting to know each other. They told me more about Jack's story, and I told them what I was hoping to accomplish through my video. 

They thanked me. I was floored when Kim said "Thank you, Luke. You're doing us such a big favor." I realized then what this meant to them! The family is beyond proud of their son and here comes someone wanting to tell, and document, his story....This is what keeps me going. Giving back through creating; I will never forget the fact that Kim thanked me for doing this.

The Sheridan's opened their doors to me, today and in the future, and have given me access to tell Jack's story and inspire others through film. This excitement is hard to put into words....

Comment

Comment

An introduction

Today was an exhausting day: I left Louisville, KY at 9pm last night, drove to central-Ohio, slept for 4 hours, and then woke up and drove to Philadelphia, had lunch and hit the road to Syracuse.

As I slowly cruised along the final stretch of I-81 toward Syracuse, my phone rang: it was Jack's mom. I quickly turned off my music, cleared my throat and answered my phone. We introduced ourselves (Dyana had put us in touch), and began talking about Jack and the project.

Jack's mom, Kim, told me a little bit about Jack and bragged about him for close to 20 minutes -- as any proud mom would do. Kim explained that their entire family was excited about this video project, and had always supported Jack in this wish from Day 1.

In the interest of keeping some suspense I won't tell too much of Jack's story just yet, but after talking to Kim m exhaustion was gone; I was filled with excitement to tackle Jack's story!

Comment

Comment

To give a wish

Today I went to the Make-A-Wish Central New York office and was overcome with joy in regards to my project.

I've long been an admirer of Make-A-Wish and the work they do, but being in their office, seeing photos of little kids and talking about this project gave me chills. To be able to help such an organization is humbling! 

Unfortunately Diane was out of the office, but I met with Dyana and was given a tour of the offices. We sat by the fireplace sipping our drinks and introduced ourselves. I explained my goals and expectations, and she explained what they hoped to gain in the video.

The Wish Wall in the offices...Each star represents a fulfilled wish; totaling in the thousands since this chapter started over 20 years ago

The Wish Wall in the offices...Each star represents a fulfilled wish; totaling in the thousands since this chapter started over 20 years ago


After a while, Dyana began to describe the story to me: Jack Sheridan, a 17-year old student from Manlius, gave up his wish and requested that the money from his project be used to build his school a new baseball diamond instead. I was inspired by Jack's selflessness just hearing Dyana speak.


We continued to tour the offices and map out a plan to move forward. As I drove home from the meeting, I continued to think about Jack and his story. By the time I returned to campus, I had fallen in love with the project. I've already mapped out countless different ways to tell his story and I am passionate to move forward!

Comment

Comment

Perfect timing

Today I was contacted by Diane Kupperman, the CEO of Make-A-Wish Central New York.

She explained that earlier today she had been talking to a video production company about filming an upcoming "wish granting project," but they had been too expensive. They were looking for a low-cost filmmaker to document a story...Hours later we were connected, and I offered to lead the video project as part of my Captsone project....Volunteering my time naturally.

After going back and forth via email, we realized that our goals for the project were strikingly similar. I will go to their offices and Thursday and discuss further!

 

Comment

Comment

Semester Capstone Project

No child should have to face a life-threatening illness. But when faced with a life-changing diagnosis, Make-A-Wish has the power to change how a child approaches such a trying time and forever impact their life. Make-A-Wish Central New York® aims to “enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” Not only do wishes impact the child with a life-threatening illness, it forever changes the lives of those around them.


In addition to my personal project on Lockerbie, I will also be producing a series of branded content pieces for Make-A-Wish Central New York®. In an attempt to pursue branded content, and continue to combine my passions for documentary storytelling, as well as commercial films, I will work with "MAW" over the next few months to promote the work, and growth, of Make-A-Wish Central New York® by exhibiting past, future and current stories of wishes, and the impact these wishes have on both the child and those around them, through emotional and telling video content. Providing MAW with promotional material to grow and strengthen as an organization.

The final product will be a series of 3 short pieces that tell stories of the life-changing work MAW does, and will provide MAW-CNY with new marketing materials.

 

I'll be updating Instagram regularly; follow along: #MAW426

Comment

Comment

Lockerbie Project

On December 21, 1988 PanAm Flight 103 from London to New York City was bombed over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 passengers were killed, as well as 11 addition people on the ground. There were 35 Syracuse University students on board the plane; while news of the tragedy shook the world, two towns, Lockerbie and Syracuse, felt the heart wrenching loss of life no town should ever have to endure.

Over the years, family, friends, classmates and neighbors teamed together to tackle the seemingly impossible task of honoring the victims, and celebrating their lives. 27 years later, much of the world has forgotten the tragedy, however a special bond remains between Syracuse and Lockerbie. While the towns are an ocean apart, the bond formed between the two towns is immeasurable. It is founded on love, compassion and hope, and kept alive by the determination to 'look back, and act forward' in honor of the victims.


This past semester I was one of 35 recipients of The Remembrance Scholarship; an award given to graduating seniors in honor of the 35 SU students who were killed in the Pan Am bombing in 1988. Although I wasn't alive during the time, or know any of the victims directly, the connection to them has become strong. I feel a longing to explore the incident more, and to merge my passion for visual storytelling with this interest. 

Later this spring I will travel to Lockerbie, Scotland and will produce a multimedia project on the incident, and its impact on Syracuse and Lockerbie. My goal is to explore the connection between the towns of Lockerbie and Syracuse, as well as show the tragedy in a new light; so as to explore 'what more is Lockerbie' than just a location of a tragedy. 

 

I am excited about this project, and while I am still outlining the themes I'll be exploring, I will share more soon!

35 Dove balloons are released during the 2015 Remembrance Week in Syracuse

35 Dove balloons are released during the 2015 Remembrance Week in Syracuse


Comment

Comment

99 More Days...

As I look forward to continuing my career after graduation in May in 99 days, I am excited by a world of opportunity and chance. While the constant evolution of the industry is overwhelming, it is also inspiring. I am inspired by an ever-growing industry with endless opportunities and chances to successfully move forward in my career.

During my time at Newhouse, I explored many different formats of visual storytelling. My story began with still photography, and as with any worthwhile story, included a transformation. During my sophomore year, I began exploring with film, and 'multimedia.' In no time, I fell in love with motion storytelling. I gained experience with documentaries and commercial work. As I began to grow, people asked me which of the two I was going to pursue. In my typical, stubborn fashion I said "both. I'll combine them."

That leads me to where I am now: a branded content documentarian. I have a simple philosophy: stories have emotion, and emotion sell things. Therefore, selling a brand through a story is the strongest form of marketing.

This semester, I will continue growing my skills in both, documentary and commercial work, while also continuing to explore how to combine the two into what I will call "branded content."

The Carrier Dome in the snow: one of the most iconic images of Syracuse University for me. As graduation begins to approach, the memories of living next to it, shooting sports games and attending games a fan grow stronger in my mind

The Carrier Dome in the snow: one of the most iconic images of Syracuse University for me. As graduation begins to approach, the memories of living next to it, shooting sports games and attending games a fan grow stronger in my mind

Comment