PROJECT:This video highlights the story of Alexi as she makes strides to graduate high school and leave the nest to pursue a career in fashion design. Alexi is one of many students who have benefited from Elevate Oregon’s mentorship program. Elevate is an awesome non-profit organization for at-risk youth that supports students in the Parkrose neighborhood of Portland, one of the most diverse school districts in Oregon. Their mentorship program is one of a kind so naturally, we were excited when they approached us to produce a documentary-style fundraising video for their annual gala and website.
APPROACH:We felt strongly about focusing this video on a single character so that we could really connect with her life, her family and her mentor Paul in a more intimate way than if we were to split our time with other students. We incorporated a new stage of pre-production with this video we’re calling our “storyfinding phase”. We began with a zoom conversation with Alexi and her mom, Bren Rivas so we could learn about Alexi’s challenges, successes and involvement with Elevate before we brought cameras into the picture. From there, we designed a kind of road map of her story and character arch identifying the hook, conflict, initiation, journey points and resolution. Any story whether it’s a hollywood blockbuster or documentary short incorporates these essential narrative components and we found this to be incredibly helpful when the time came to actually shoot her interview as well as edit the video. Because this was shot during covid, we only had a single producer shoot the entire video to minimize potential virus exposure. It was tough but we love the final cut!
RESULTS: The finished video premiered at Elevate Oregon’s virtual gala which was produced and directed at MetroEast’s very own studio hosted by the Blazers’ Lamar Hurd. We had tons of people tuning in via our youtube and facebook livestream and received a bunch of nice feedback about the video quality and story. A lot of folks liked how the narrative wove in and out of the perspective of the student, the mother and the mentor. Ultimately, Elevate Oregon made their fundraising goal and signed on to work with us for another year! For more information go to elevateoregon.org