My Starving Mind

A group of BYU-Idaho students were awarded the Student Award of Excellence at the Northwest Regional Emmys for two short films.

Avery Grasse, video technician and video director for the films said he was really excited about finding out both of the films he had won.

“I was very excited,” Grasse said. “We were just waiting to find out and I was like, ‘maybe, maybe one of them will win if we are lucky,’ but they both won so that was really nice.”

The first film, Escape from Bara Magna, won under the category of the short-form fiction category. The second film, My starving mind, won under the short-form non-fiction category.

Escape from Bara Magna is a star wars short film directed by Jesse Gerrard. Other students involved in the film include: Joseph Kitchens, Jacob Scott Villanueva, Gabe Alexander and Crew Johnston

Grasse said Gerrard decided two weeks before the deadline to shoot the film, so they had to finish it in under two weeks while most applicants had six months.

“You generally have six months to do it but the Jesse Gerrard who directed it, two weeks before the deadline said, ‘we should do this’,” Grasse said. “So it was stressful but we had a lot of really talented people in the crew so it made it a lot easier.”

He said creating the visual effects were difficult because of filming in the dessert.

“Being able to see footprints and everything, were things we had to work around,” Grasse said. “It was also at sunset so we had to work very fast.”

The second film, My starving mind, is a narrative short film which tells the story of individuals who have gone through an eating disorder. The film was directed by Mackenzie Bush. Other students involved in the film include: Casia LaCroix, EvaLyn Houston, Gabe Alexander, Brenton Stumpf, Leah Bush, Janie Dickson, Sarah Haydock, Emma Morgan, Sarah Bowman and Camille Smith

“Bush interviewed quite a few people who had eating disorders and asked them what it was like, to tell some stories about it,” Grasse said. “What she did was curated those stories into a certain narrative and got other people to record them, but word for word it is exactly what it was said. It also includes a visual depiction of what they say in an abstract way.”

Grasse said it was a really important project for Bush because they both have friends who have struggled with eating disorders.

“It’s not something that is very visible, I guess I would say it’s misunderstood,” Grasse said. “She took it upon herself to tell this story but in a creative way. I know that it took a lot out of her, and she asked me if I would help her with this and I said, ‘yeah just let me know what you need me to do.’”

He said Gerrard and Bush are very deserving of these awards because they were the driving forces of these films.

“It’s very exciting to surround myself with other talented individuals, and to help them realize their visions.

Grasse said he began working with a camera when he was younger using his dad’s old camcorder.

“As a kid, I really enjoyed making little videos with my friends on my dad’s old camcorder, and it was something we did to pass the time,” Grasse said.

After he came back from serving his LDS mission, Grasse said the major video production seemed like the major he would have hated the least.

“I went into it thinking I’d probably change, but I never did,” Grasse said. “I’m definitely glad I stuck with I’m passionate about enough to basically surround myself with it.”

To watch these videos you can search Escape from Bara Magna or My Starving Mind on YouTube.