Elisa Taylor illustrates her passion and talent for filmmaking

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Lindsay Benza '23

Elisa’s film, “Dream Sequence,” won a Gold Key at the CT regional Scholastic Art Awards.

Elisa Taylor began her filmmaking career in eighth grade.  Three years later, she earned a Gold Key in the Hudson-to-Housatonic region of the Scholastic Art Awards and a nomination for this year’s American Visions Award for her creative piece, “Dream Sequence.”  Following her recognition and awards, she plans on creating films more successful than the last while impacting the world in a positive way.

Elisa’s love of filmmaking started when she made music videos at home with her siblings in middle school.  At Sacred Heart, she began her filmmaking career in eighth grade when she starred in the Advanced Filmmaking class’s production of Mr. Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day.” 

Elisa has been creating films since middle school.  Courtesy of Christine Guido ’20

As a freshman, Elisa took interest in the Introduction to Filmmaking elective.  When she brought home the camera equipment and tripod to make her first public service announcement (PSA) in the class, she was eager to continue filmmaking.  In her sophomore year, Elisa signed up for the Creative Filmmaking elective which involves producing narrative, experimental, and short films.  Students in this elective actively work to express themselves and their creativity through storytelling and filmmaking skills that go beyond what they learned in Introduction to Filmmaking.  A few of these skills include editing videos with Adobe Premiere, color correcting footage, and creating graphics. 

Elisa feels that she has improved her filmmaking skills in the class and is continuing to learn how to make each piece better.  She consistently reevaluates her work to find areas upon which she can improve.  In doing so, Elisa has found a method to create an arc for her film that works best for her. 

“The class has also taught me about how to build a proper story structure that captivates the audience,” Elisa said.  “When I first started as a freshman, I struggled with this because I could never decide how I wanted my stories to end, but I have since learned that it’s best to keep things simple and can be easier to start at the end and work backwards.”

In creating her award-winning experimental piece, “Dream Sequence,” Elisa incorporated her interest in art and drawing to create a two-dimensional animated film.  She seized the opportunity of creating an experimental film to combine her filming and editing talents with her affinity for art.  Elisa created the short film to reflect the fleeting nature of dreams, in the sense that they fade away before she can fully remember them.  

“In the film, each object morphs into the other within a few seconds, so I was trying to reflect how dreams disappear so quickly when we sleep,” Elisa said.  “Since my first year in broadcast, I knew that I wanted to create a 2D animation because I love art and drawing.  I wanted to combine these interests of mine with filmmaking, and I finally ended up taking on the challenge last year.”

Ms. Stewart spoke on Elisa’s growing talent for filmmaking, which her award-winning piece exemplifies.  As her Broadcast Journalism teacher, she feels proud of Elisa for her determination and achievements.

‘Dream Sequence’ is an amazingly accomplished short animated film which reveals Elisa’s artistic talent and exceptional editing skills,” Ms. Stewart said.  “This is a tremendous accomplishment and speaks to how uniquely talented Elisa is as an artist and filmmaker.”

Elisa’s film captures the fleeting nature of dreams.  Courtesy of Elisa Taylor ’22

Elisa enjoys the freedom and flexibility that come with creative filmmaking because there are no rules by which she has to abide.  She can create different pieces, influenced by her own interests and inspirations.  Elisa appreciates that she is able to include her interest in drawing and art in her films.

In the future, Elisa hopes to pursue filmmaking in college and potentially begin making documentary films.  She is looking forward to gaining expertise and producing films that impact her viewers.

“I hope that I can use film to project important stories and information so that it benefits people in some way,” Elisa said.  “Film is a powerful medium that can make audiences feel emotion and empathy, so I would hope that I learn the techniques necessary to leave an impact on people through films.”

Featured Image by Lindsay Benza ’23