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Best of the Week 2020-2021: Excellence in College Prep


Ezekiel (Zeke) Schmiedl '20, an IB HL Film alum, served as the lead cinematographer and editor on a new film series entitled "The Kardiac Kid," now live on YouTube and Facebook. As a first year film student at Oberlin College, Zeke wanted to create a series of episodes exploring different perspectives of devoted Cleveland Browns fans. In an effort to still create art and capture live performances during the pandemic, Zeke worked with his father, a playwright, to turn one of his plays into a film series. "Although I've never been a Browns fan or even a football fan in general, no matter how hard my father tried to indoctrinate me, I've always been fascinated by the football fan community and how the game can touch people's lives, and that's what I wanted this film series to be all about," says Zeke. "Through cinematography, I wanted to encapsulate the emotions felt by Cleveland Browns fans. The series isn't about football necessarily, but the idea of community and companionship and how rallying together for a sporting event can bridge massive gaps between people." Using intentional camera angles and framing, Zeke wanted his series to resemble a theatrical setting so audiences felt like they were watching a live play. "I feel like I was able to really bring a visual indication to the emotions felt by the characters portrayed in this film series," says Zeke. "I was very intentional about my camera and editing work to bring more sprawling visual indicators to how the series' characters react to the world around them. Our sound engineer did a wonderful job capturing emotion through music and sound cues too, considering how important sound design is in filmmaking." Reflecting on his time at St. Ed's, Zeke shared how his IB Film experiences helped prepare him to excel as a collegiate filmmaker. "As a film student, most of the work I do requires multiple weeks of planning and it was the IBDP program that gave me the skills and energy to plan ahead and address any challenges that come along throughout the filming process. Continuing to learn new editing techniques and how to piece together film is something I really enjoy doing. I view film projects like building up a skyscraper, one brick at a time. It's a slow process, but I enjoy taking my time and seeing the finished product that I've built. St. Ed's provided the perfect foundation for me to pursue a film career. As an IB Film student, I learned the basics of film production and how to use film equipment to the best ability to make my ideas into a reality. For students to be able to jump right into a film production and work with real cameras and film equipment is a wonderful way to enter the world of the screen."

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