Senior project focuses on filming local artists

Placer High’s Alex Sibaja, Katie Richardson create 30-minute documentary
By: Stephanie Breitbart Journal Staff Writer
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Two students at Placer High School used their passion for art and film to team up and create a documentary highlighting local Auburn artists. Katie Richardson and Alex Sibaja interviewed 16 local artists and art teachers at Placer High School for their senior project. As both students share the same interest in art, they decided to work together to produce the 30-minute film. “We were both just talking about it and both wanted to do a documentary following people and walking in their shoes,” Richardson said. “It’s been a really cool process.” Both Richardson and Sibaja enjoy watching documentaries on TV and hope to one day pursue this type of career. “I’ve always loved art, especially now,” Richardson said. “And I want to get into film, something like National Geographic would be cool because I really love animals.” Although each student is responsible for turning in their own senior project, Richardson and Sibaja equally shared the duties of filming and interviewing the artists. Sibaja’s project will focus on male artists, while Richardson's focuses on the female artists. Equipped with a professional quality camera, the students not only shot their own footage, but edited the documentary, too. “The editing is intense,” Richardson said. “We’ve definitely spent way over the minimum 15 hours interviewing alone, not counting all the time editing.” Sibaja agreed this was the more difficult aspect of the project. “The challenge is finding the time to do it, especially the editing,” Sibaja said. “Also, getting over the fear. It’s always scary to talk to complete strangers.” The students said this project not only gave them the opportunity to see what it was like to produce a documentary but they also were able to see artists making it in the real world. “It’s like hope,” Sibaja said. “Like maybe I can make it as an artist too. It’s good to see the success stories.” Richardson said the experience has been a great one. “It’s been life-changing,” Richardson said. “I think for both of us.” The final documentary will be shown to the school on May 11, and to the public on June 10 during the Second Art Walk. The time and location will be published in a future Journal edition as details become finalized. Donations will be accepted during the public viewing, with all the money going back to the Placer High art department.