Author Archives: gabrielsampedro

Precious Prey Film

With this last assignment, I wanted to release my best work yet. As I edited my film, Precious Prey, I noticed with all the footage I had taken, I was well over the maximum time limit. This caused me to not only truncate my work, but to snip the big ‘plot twist,’ at the end. Nonetheless I believe the work is still sufficient, but the meaning behind my work shifts quite reasonably.

With this new ‘ending,’ the runner ( Tali Joy ), escapes from a hidden black figure that never actually exists. The figure is simply a product of her imagination, and it’s supposed to represent the problems and challenges she faces in her everyday life. With this new ending in place, Tali successfully escapes her problems, and comes home unharmed—an ending which although I am comfortable with, does not accurately represent my intention.

I wanted to convey to an audience that the things they most often procrastinate on or forget to do, can, and will catch up to them. In the last segment of my video ( the part that is edited out ), the runner ( Tali Joy ), wakes up from a nightmare-like state. As she tries to go back to sleep, a dark figure ( Iliana Barnes-Diaz ), arises from a rocking chair, and creeps toward Tali. This performance concludes the idea that at times the greatest problems you may be running from, may often be too great to outrun.

Despite this setback, I enjoyed filming this project. I learned how to better hold my hands still, how to freeze-frame a short, and how to pick up a scene from where I left off. These new practices will in time prepare me for the film industry, and I’m excited how much further I will be able to progress. But for now, I will continue to practice filming, and urge myself to try new methods with every project. Thanks for reading!

By: Gabriel Sampedro

Self-Expression by Gabriel Sampedro

The engine hovered over the rusted floor. A fierce wind gusted toward the red dusty desert, meanwhile, vines native to the jungle swayed as it rode the breeze. The aircraft latched onto the surface like screws to a wall. Mist floated gracefully as the silver metallic door propped open gliding downward to a steady stop. His glimmering boots flared from the bantam cracks split in between trees. His suit was neatly sealed to prohibit threats such as frostbite, and at times, the dust from thick storms. Focused and prepared, he leaped steadily onto the surface of Jupiter. It was a feeling of an elastic sponge. It reminded him of spider webs back home, only without the sticky feel that whispered death was coming. He rebalanced onto his feet and looked into his bag to grab a rope to which he carefully knotted to create a pulley system, and attached it to the nearest branch.

A minute into propelling himself upward, he searched for a suitable location to nest his capsule in neatly. After moments of peering from above, he noticed a slight twitch about a kilometer away. No noise, simply movement. Out of fear he stayed silent to act invisible. After a few light breathes, he unzipped one of his many pockets quietly, and rose his binoculars to his eyes, to which they could magnify, state temperature, record movement, and identify organisms. But of course, on a strange planet, no creatures are classified. Yet the binoculars could still allow for a quick study.

For a moment he set his binoculars down to rest on his neck, as he raised his pad and pen from his backpack to sketch the figure. His pen glided across the pages of his journal as he exploded with curiosity. Within seconds a faint image of a muscular model was sketched, alongside a detailed diagram listing all its characteristics. The species appeared to be a modified version of a koala. It’s two sets of arms germinated from its abdominal region. It’s lengthy arms grasped nearby branches bursting with pinkish square fruits that the creature would poke holes through to suck the juice out of. As the explorer continued to sketch a figure, he noticed the skin was comprised of a smooth like texture, perhaps one that was dense or thick, as it was topped with various shades of colors.

Below the knee, the author sketched what appeared to be bright spots along the lower regions of the legs, perhaps a characteristic for show he thought. Shortly after that prediction, he noticed the spots glow came to a halt when the creature did as well. As the glow continuously gleamed and faded, it, ever so slightly imprinted a trail of vivid stains. The explorer suspected that this glowing trail could help others find one another during times of separation. In other words, this animal was not a threat, but rather another creature in the mists of life.

During his experience encountering this creature, the explorer’s hands became sweaty, for he lost grip of his light blue pen. Despite this planet’s weaker pull of gravity, the pen slid to the end of the page as if it were a person freeing themselves from a prison cell. The explorer’s heavy gasp fogged up his mask, and for quite some time it remained that way. With nothing more to do than wait patiently for the fog to clear, the explorer sat there in distress. By this time, a different black creature had arrived at the foot of the tree to which the pen had fallen. It was circling the pen as do sharks to seals. The explorer dared to look down and when he did, that light whisper of death swarmed his mouth before he could scream.

He awoke on his ship safe and sound. All is well.

The intention of this project:

As someone who loves film, I love to be reminded of all the little particles that help create a film. In particular, I like to be reminded of the importance of the script. To me, the script serves as the foundation to which characters will demonstrate how they interact, how they will grow, and how they will develop among every challenge they encounter. With the self-expressive story above, I believe I was able to create a narrative for which a script can be written off of. In doing so, the screenwriter will be able to cut and paste different phrases and do their best to keep the character intact with what they would truly do.

This story takes place on Jupiter, but it also never really ‘happens.’ It was a dream that drifted into a nightmare. Much like the ying-yang symbol in which the good side includes a little bit of badness as well. I wanted this story to convey the power of dreams. Both literally and figuratively. In a literal sense, I wanted the audience to know that you should always chase what you’re truly passionate about, but note with a single slip-up it might cost you your career. And in a figurative sense, curiosity, the thing that drives us all might end up hurting us more than we expected. This relationship was something that genetics inspired me to do. With gene-editing technology like CRISPR, I am more than ecstatic about new research, but with newer innovative technologies, comes a wave of harmful setbacks. Setbacks that perhaps are more damaging than the initial goal.

However, for the most part, this project was enlighting because I had a chance to simply let my curiosity run wild, and for a brief moment I get to chase it. This project is something I intend to build off of in the future and perhaps create into a live-action film. Nonetheless, this experience helped me organize my thoughts, and do my best if I were in the position of a set designer, to offer a true and unique set design. Imagining all the infinitesimal details in a strange new world can be daunting, but with passion and determination, anything is possible and I believe in 500 words I was able to do so.

Fruitvale Station by Gabriel Sampedro

On January 29th, 2019, I attended a screening of the film, Fruitvale Station, and I listened to the panel discussion afterwards. The film starred Michael B. Jordan, as he was casted to portray the life of Oscar Grant, the man who died at the hands of the police in 2009. The panel, and in specific Oscar’s uncle, revealed that the movie was 98% accurate to the life of Oscar, and that he owes a lifetime supply of thanks to Ryan Coogler, the director of the film, as he provided the space and acknowledgement needed to voice Oscar’s life.

The intention of screening the film was to both allow for a different narrative to be voiced, and to demonstrate the commonly injusticial practices that not only took place in 2009, but that to the surprise of some, continue to take place today. During the film many tears were shed, but tears hold no significance unless action closely follow. Both Oscar’s aunt and uncle discussed after the film, that they had set up a foundation in the name of Oscar named ‘Love not Blood,’ as it stands to help people who’ve wrongly been accused of acts they did not commit. For the audience and myself, I believe we shared an opportunity to learn, discuss and grow from tragic events, that we too are important, that we too, matter.

However despite these panels, I know truthfully that I am limited in my experience. I myself am privileged to say I have never had a police officer confront me, an officer cuff me, nor a gun pointed at me. Grant on the other hand, did. He was slammed to the ground on New Year’s Day, and a trained officer took it upon himself to draw his weapon. In court, the officer testified that he intended to grab his taser and not his gun, but nonetheless he pulled the trigger on Grant. Grant was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died – leaving behind his girlfriend and daughter.

The panel believes that if bystanders had not recorded the event and if people had not spoken up in protest, then Oscar’s murderer, Johannes Mehserle ( Ex-police officer) would have walked a free man, or worse, received paid leave. Johannes was confronted with a maximum sentence of 14 years, but due to his compliance with authority, he received 2 years ( the minimum sentence he could receive for manslaughter ), and even then was eligible for bail within 7 months. Time and time again, it is evident that police brutality seizes to terrorize people particularly in the United States. Yet, consequences are shown to differ largely based on the color of one’s skin.

Beyond all the chaos, I am however, conflicted. I’m conflicted because I believe in restorative justice – a means to hold the perpetrator accountable, all the while creating a bridge of trust back within the community harmed. In this case, Mehserle is the perpetrator, and out of ‘fear,’ he took the life of a Black man in Oakland. This scenario questions my idea of legitimizing restorative justice because how I am to expect the family of Oscar to simply forgive Mehserle for taking away their beloved relative. To what extent can restorative justice truly satisfy both parties? How can I, as viewer question the actions of those that I was not placed in? Can there ever truly be a reasonable consequence for the actions of murderer?

Professional Blog Review – By Gabriel Sampedro

I chose to review Philip Bloom Blog site because he is a growing independent filmmaker who has gained various experiences with different film styles – those of which include commercials, music videos, corporate films, broadcasting, and other fun videos for the web. I believe from this experience, any Bloom film will not only be enticing but also original.

Throughout the lifetime of Bloom’s career, he has amassed 27 years of knowledge and familiarity with his team, and of course the gear, he is using. Bloom has reviewed numerous cameras and explains on a side-by-side basis, which cameras he prefers and which one he recommends for the job – some insight a curious kid like myself may want to know for a school project. Additionally, Bloom also includes reviews of different types of tripods, drones, and other film-related gear a director of photography might be interested in learning. With links of how to use special cameras and detailed reviews, Bloom demonstrates he’s very supportive of studious learners.

When scrolling throughout Bloom’s blog, I notice there’s ease in finding what I’m looking for. For me, I primarily look for reviews on cameras and other related gears – and that’s a characteristic Bloom’s blog definitely emphasizes. I would highly recommend Bloom’s blog because the information is purposeful and informative. Everything Bloom writes focuses on the audience, and it suits new readers well enough to understand an insight into the art of filmmaking.

Resources for Media Arts Students at Lane – by Gabriel Sampedro

A view from the computer lab sure makes me feel confined.

The home of Lane’s CGI

It’s an empty room now but wait for the meetings.

Art à la Carte

Spread some love – share your art

“Do you know where the cafeteria is…?”

The closer you get, the less you actually see.

Someone’s home for eight hours.

A space for creation.

“How many more classes do I need again?”

“When did these things get here…?”

Representation matters.

“Put two ships in the open sea, without wind or tide, and, at last, they will come together.” – Jules Verne

Galactic Radio by Gabriel Sampedro

The intent of discussing Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia was to help listeners understand that while cancers and other forms of diseases seem scary, there are missions and projects in the works that plan on helping people worldwide, and letting them know that there is hope for the future. During our Info-Hour, we discuss illnesses like CLL, and talk about the symptoms and other related signs so that patients can familiarize themselves with them to ensure their state of health is well and functioning. The sooner a virus or cancer is reported and detected, the sooner doctors can begin to assess how to approach the problem on a case-by-case investigation.

Every day, people around the world become victim to cancerous cells, but with the help of vaccines, people’s immune system could be reprogrammed to attack cancerous cells. With these revolutionary mechanisms, millions of people worldwide would be saved, and people wouldn’t have to live by a clock of life-expectancy so they can live life to the fullest. This project was both informative and joyful because as the radio host, I fulfilled a position of education. Although I may just be one individual, I hope that projects like these continue to help people in need. In the end, the only thing I ever wanted to do was help people, and if this project was able to help at least one person, then I believe I’ve lived up to my dream.

My Mind

IMG_8013Hello, my name is Gabe and I’m an 18-year-old with a dream of becoming a movie director. If this plan does not work, I will rely on medicine. And again if that doesn’t work, I will rely on real estate. My plan for my life is following what I love, and ultimately, I wish to help people in any way I can. When I watch a movie, in particular, one directed by Christopher Nolan, I feel both inspired and optimistic for the future. In a similar manner, I wish to give others the same feeling of hope the way Nolan movies do for me.

Outside my realm of movie sensations, I love to spend time with family and friends. I find laughter as one of the timeless experiences one can share with others. However, on a philosophical note, I would argue that in order to feel this type of greatness, one would need to experience some sadness along the way. From a film standpoint, it’s the ability to recognize the feeling of loss without having experienced it yourself at that moment – a feeling of transcendence.

While I believe heavily in philosophical meanings, I solely remain as an 18-year-old boy with the dream of becoming a movie director. But I believe after this class, I will have obtained the knowledge and experience that will prepare me well for the industry of tomorrow. And as I look for the optimism in life, I am confident that all things will go well.


By: Gabriel Sampedro