Lifestyle

In her shoes | Former Islander earns acclaim for short film

Mercer Island High School graduate Cheryl Crow, currently an orientation specialist at the University of Washington Medical Center, won an honorable mention award in the UW’s first annual Pocketmedia Film Festival. The amateur film festival asked UW students, faculty and staff to submit a digital film — no more than 90 seconds long and shot with a camera small enough to fit in a pocket — answering the question “What do you do at the UW?”

The judging panel considered 35 films, awarding one grand-prize winner, a “people’s choice” winner and three honorable mentions. Crow, who graduated from MIHS in 2000, won an honorable mention for her film, “All in a Day’s Shoe.”

Propelled by Crow’s upbeat personality, the narrative follows several pairs of the UW employee’s shoes to illustrate her typical day on campus: a worn pair of running shoes for trips between the UW Tower and UW Medical Center, soccer shoes for her afternoon scrimmage with friends in the electrical engineering department and dancing slippers for sessions with UW Swing Kids. The short video is humorous and captures Crow’s dynamic roll at the University of Washington.

“I loved the idea of making a film based on a camera that can fit in your pocket because it’s accessible to everyone and the focus becomes more on the concept rather than using the most expensive audio/visual equipment,” Crow said, adding that she learned of the Pocketmedia festival in the UWeekly newsletter.

“All in a Day’s Shoe” is not the first short film that Crow has made. In fact, the MIHS grad first learned about digital storytelling while volunteering for the nonprofit humanitarian organization Bridges to Understanding, founded by Islander Phil Borges. As a volunteer, Crow helped children from across the world — from Peru to South Africa — create two- to five-minute videos about their lives and share them online with their peers. The experience gave Crow the technical and editing skills, along with planting the creative seed for her own short film.

“I knew that I had to have a clear, creative angle, and while I was running back from the gym to my office one afternoon, I realized that shoes would be a perfect visual vehicle for showing what I do at the UW, which involves lots of different activities and locations, thus lots of different shoes,” Crow said.

The Pocketmedia judges considered story content, production value, artistic content, originality and use of the university’s purple W logo in choosing winners. The contest was developed “to expand the digital literacy of today’s students” in a “low-barrier way,” said Harry Hayward, UW director of Electronic Media and Special Programs.

Crow’s film can be viewed at http://uwpocketmedia.org.

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