Junior Brianna Fisher


Photo by Crystal Tran

Logging onto YouTube, junior Brianna Fisher posts a short film. Not knowing it at the time, her short film “Growing Up” would later become a finalist in a major film festival.

Fisher wanted a short film to show people the effects of society on people and their transition from childhood to adulthood.

“My short film is called “Growing Up,” she said. “It’s basically about how the pressures that we are out under in society and how they forced us to grow up fast. I kind of talked about how I wish I could embrace that feeling again of being little.”

Photo provided by Brianna Fisher, from “Growing Up”
The title of the short film. Shown in the beginning of the film.

Inspiration can come out of nowhere and where you least expect it.

“I went on vacation with my little cousin in South Carolina and during that vacation, they took us to these mountains that were near their house,” Fisher said. “I was going around and filming her and she’s so open to everything that’s around her, just so free and caring. It just sort of gave me the idea.”

Fisher first heard about the film festival through a guest speaker.

“There’s a program called filmfreeway and that’s what a majority of film festivals go through,” she said. “Basically you just upload your film onto this platform and you can go on and just pick different film festivals to submit it to. The lady from the Richmond Art Museum came in and talked to the RadioTv class. She was kind of encouraging us to enter a piece of some sort and I was like ‘ok well, maybe I’ll do it and this is a really good idea,’ so I just kind of went with it. I entered it in that and I also entered it into our IASB contest. It didn’t place there, but I still entered it there and I also entered it into a Notre Dame film festival with the college.”

Photo provided by Brianna Fisher, from “Growing up”
Facing away from the camera, junior Brianna Fisher yells out to the mountains for her short film.

Her short film ended up being one of the finalists in a film festival. Not knowing exactly how big the festival was, Fisher was taken back when she realized what her film was up against.

“I didn’t really know what to expect with the whole thing in general because obviously, it’s in Richmond,” she said. “But anyone could enter from America or Canada. First I was like ‘well I don’t really know how many could enter’ I knew I had a good piece and it could potentially do well. When I got the news obviously I was really excited and I was shocked, but I was like ‘ok maybe there weren’t that many’ but then as the preview video got sent out which had different clips from each film that was selected, some of them were crazy good. Most of them had 20 people working on them, they had a whole entire crew, they had actors, actresses, it was a whole scene, it was absolutely phenomenal. So especially after seeing everything I was super proud of myself and was really shocked that my work was able to compete at that high of a level.”

However, the film she submitted was almost a completely different film.

“I started out with a completely different idea of a film that I was going to do,” Fisher said. “I literally filmed pretty much all of it, got all of it done, and I went into editing and I couldn’t get into it. I was like ‘this doesn’t make sense’ the way I filmed this made absolutely no sense at all. It just didn’t work with how I wanted to edit it. I scrapped it all, I had filmed these clips of my little cousins in the mountains and had made a different video about it, just kind of like a little montage. I just started writing one day and was like ‘maybe I could turn this into something’ so I took those clips and kind of went with it. I edited around what I had already had.”

Photo provided by Brianna Fisher, from “Growing Up”
Pointing towards the mountains, Brianna Fisher’s cousin stars in her short film.

Being in RadioTv, Fisher was able to get some extra help in creating her short film.

“Mr. Russel our RadioTv teacher, he would help me because obviously, nothing’s ever going to be perfect with how it is,” she said. “He helped me finalize some audio things, that’s one thing I didn’t do very well in my film, so he helped me with that. There wasn’t any really like hard criticism. I actually got a lot of support from the community, especially when first posted the video. I believe it has almost 600 views on YouTube.”

People who get into video making enjoy it for various reasons. For Fisher, she uses it as a personal outlet.

“I think my favorite part is just being able to express myself and be creative,” she said. “It’s kind of like a way for me to be vulnerable and talk about topics that you wouldn’t normally talk about.”

However, being in a small town like Richmond can cause some issues.

“I think my least favorite thing about it is, especially at the stage I’m at right now, is that It’s not like I live in California or somewhere like that where we have huge film programs that I can be of,” Fisher said. “I think it’s just hard because not a lot of people realize that it can be made into a job. It can be something that I can do full time, so it’s kind of been work to kind of convince a lot of my mentors and people that I know, that I can be successful in this and make it a full-time thing. Other than that, I think a lot of people are open to it and are really helpful with whatever I need them to do or if I need help filming or something.”

Photo provided by Brianna Fisher, from “Growing Up” 
Looking at the camera, Brianna Fisher talks about how the pressures of society affect people’s mindsets.

Criticism is bound to happen in the filmmaking business, but luckily for Fisher, the feedback has been mainly positive.

“[my family and friends] were really supportive,” she said. “I’ve been making films and videos for about 3 or 4 years now, so everyone was really supportive. Obviously, I’m apart of the RadioTv program and everyone in that class is super supportive. They helped me kind of finish it up and gave me the confidence to submit it into a film festival.”

To anyone interested in filmmaking, Fisher believes that anyone can be successful if they put their minds to it and make it their own.

“You just need to do it,” she said. “It’s super scary at first and you feel like ‘I’m never going to be able to do any of this, I’m never going to make it’ but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so you might as well just do it and put your content out there. Work really hard. Make something that you like, it doesn’t matter what everyone else likes just do what you want to do and be happy with it.”


Watch “Growing Up” a short film made by Brianna Fisher:


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