That’s a Wrap

Lizzie Esther pursues her love for videography
Senior Lizzie Esther works in Ladues film studio developing her film Nov. 20. Lizzie fell in love with the exploratory part of videography: telling peoples stories. [I like to] learn about different perspectives, stories and learn empathy for the world around you, Lizzie said.
Senior Lizzie Esther works in Ladue’s film studio developing her film Nov. 20. Lizzie fell in love with the exploratory part of videography: telling people’s stories. “[I like to] learn about different perspectives, stories and learn empathy for the world around you,” Lizzie said.
Mac Huffman

The simple word is illustrated in thick red dry erase marker across a whiteboard in room 1337. 

Why.

The word, not a question nor a statement, was the prompt given to Broadcast Technology students for their final project. Mere moments after the students shuffled in, the classroom erupted into chaos, all sparked from the three letters. Despite the students’ wishes for clarification, Broadcast Technology teacher Don Goble refused to give any insight as to what “Why” meant. Senior Lizzie Esther saw this one word as a window into a story worth telling, eventually creating a short film that would be known as “The Forgotten Leftovers of Meaningful Things.”

From a young age, Lizzie had a strong affinity towards the arts. Her childhood passion laid the foundation for her matured love for videography, which she discovered freshman year after taking Broadcast Technology. “The Forgotten Leftovers of Meaningful Things” captured her rekindling love for the arts in addition to a lost connection to an old pen pal, earning her Nation Academy of Television Arts and Science’s Mid-American High School Emmy Award, one of the most sought-after accolades in the junior film industry.

“It was always a lot of fun; there was always something creative going on with Lizzie,” Lizzie’s father, Jim Esther, said. “She would try to play the piano when she was 7 months old. She always tried to entertain us.” 

As many filmmakers know, the process of creating a film, from beginning to end, is strenuous. At the end of the day, after hours of filming and editing, Lizzie is able to press play and watch back her hard work, making all the effort worthwhile.  

“Being able to share someone’s story is what makes all those struggles of audio, sound and a million different retakes worth it when you finally get to show them their story,” Lizzie said. “It’s rewarding to be able to say, ‘Hey, your story is being told so everyone can hear it.'” 

Lizzie was naturally gifted with a talent in filmography, a art form that typically takes artists years to even begin to grasp. Her unflagging pursuit of knowledge and discovery of the world around her set her apart from the community of other highly competitive filmmakers all across the country.

“Honestly, many student videos don’t blow me away like lizzie’s video did ,” Goble said. “Typically [in their] last year, I will have a student who, if I’ve had them for many semesters, may come up with a video that grabs my attention. Because I’m such a harsh critic, I’m always looking for what they [can] do to get better, but Lizzie’s video just immediately took my breath away.”

Lizzie was born a visual learner, making videography and the arts a skill that came somewhat easier to her. However, there are many components of videography that aren’t in visual nature. 

“I remember as a young freshman, she was afraid of public speaking, so to hear her speak [in her film] with such genuine and authentic compassion and storytelling technique was really inspiring,” Goble said. 

Lizzie specializes in short films, where she is able to share people’s unique stories. However, high school videography is merely a step in Lizzie’s ultimate aim of sharing peoples stories well into her adult life. 

“I want to hear people’s stories,” Lizzie said. “I want to learn about new cultures and new places. I want to hear about how people are. There are so many stories in our communities, in Saint Louis. You could walk down the street and see [three different people] and they would all tell me a whole different story and perspective about life that I’ve never seen before.”

The Emmy award ceremony was a once in a lifetime experience alone, yet Lizzie made sure the journey there was just as unforgettable. Driving to the ceremonies with her mother, Ellen Esther, they were able to spend their time catching up and doing some of their favorite things. 

 “She had two wins last year,” Ellen said. “Both times, it was such a pleasant trip with her. [We were] listening to our favorite book that she grew up reading or some Taylor Swift tunes.” 

While winning the Emmy was an immense honor, the events to follow had an arguably longer-lasting impact on Lizzie’s professional career as a filmmaker. 

“If you can leverage this absolutely amazing award to get into the college that you want, which she just did, and have professional networking contacts all because she answered a one-word prompt with a beautiful video that was recognized by a five-state region is pretty incredible,” Goble said. 

One of the biggest struggles expressed by videographers is the discovery of unique angles. Finding the perfect person or idea to visually represent can be a daunting task. However, Lizzie choses to look at all of her films through the eyes of her subject, allowing her to produce authentic content.

“Everyone has a different perspective on how they see the world and the hardest part about creating a film or creating videos is finding how you can write the story in your own words to illustrate how you see the world,” Lizzie said.

See Lizzie’s portfolio

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About the Contributors
Mason Eastman, Staff
Sophomore Mason Eastman is a writer on Panorama, and this is her first year staff. Mason likes to spend her time playing soccer and hanging out with friends.
Mac Huffman, ID Editor in Chief
Chronic mispeller, usually outdoors, photo obsessed and founding ID Editor in Chief. When Mac's not editing, they're typically designing infographics or writing stories about identity, food and harm reduction. This is their 3rd year and final year on publications staff.

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