In her first year at Northland, natural resources student Marissa Olsen enrolled in a film class, that provided a meaningful vehicle for sharing and interpreting her science classes.
For her, film bridged the gap between art and science.
“By capturing the audience’s attention and interest through video, we have the ability to educate and impassion people on various topics of conversation,” Marissa says.
Marissa discovered Wildeye International School of Wildlife Filmmaking, in Norfolk, England, that same year and for May term set her sights on attending their weekend long session, Introduction to Wildlife Filmmaking.
Northland’s Parsonage Fund helped Marissa fund the cost of the workshop and travel expenses. Marissa gained invaluable knowledge at this workshop, learning not only basic skills, but also networking with experienced filmmakers and and focusing specifically on filming unpredictable wildlife.
Marissa took Introduction to Video this past semester, a course designed to introduce the student to essential filmmaking skills while also discussing the ways film can influence people and shape their reactions to a particular film.
At this year’s ninth annual Big Water Film Festival sneak preview held in Northland College’s Alvord Theatre, several films were previewed, including student shorts.
Marissa and classmates presented short student-made films under the direction of visiting lecturer Paulette Moore. Marissa continues to work with Moore outside the classroom on a documentary premiering in April.
“By presenting images that the audience can relate to, film can draw on people’s emotions to create change and action,” Marissa explains.
Marissa is looking forward to future filmmaking opportunities, mentioning that jobs at the Park Service or interpreting at a nature center sound exciting but she would really like to focus on wildlife documentary filmmaking.
“Whatever I end up doing,” she says. “I hope to be able to educate on environmental issues and promote conservation through my work.”