Student finds creative outlet through passion for art: Will Hardison


Ryan Manesh, Sports Editor and Business Manager

From a young age, filmmaker senior Will Hardison would film his life, uploading the footage to his YouTube channel. These videos are still there, showcasing his evolution as an artist.

Hardison’s passion for filmmaking was sparked by a class that he took in school. “I got into filmmaking in seventh grade because I took the video production course at JLS Middle School [taught by Jamie] Buddle, and I just fell in love with the idea of filmmaking. The next year, I encouraged all my friends to take the class,” he said. “They all did, and we started making videos together as a group, which definitely made me have a lot more fun with everything.”

Hardison credits his enjoyment of the activity to his friends. “I guess that’s what made it fun for me. It became something that I was able to do with my friends or something I could do in my free time, rather than doing a chore or something along those lines,” he said.

Editing is Hardison’s favorite part of filmmaking, especially because it’s often underlooked. “I like editing the most because that’s where you make the whole movie your own. You know you could have a good story and stuff, but the editing really makes the movie flow and makes the scenes work. It differentiates a good movie from an average one,” he said. “I love to add random stuff in there and just mess around.”

Like many artists, Hardison is ready to continue working with his passion in college and in his future careers. “I’m applying to schools that all have film departments. I’m planning on either pursuing a minor or major in film along with another major probably in the sciences, like biology,” he said. “In the future, I would love to pursue film as a career or something along the lines of film or photography.”

Throughout his young career in cinematography, Hardison has made many films. However, when asked what his favorite was, Hardison decided that for now, it was a film called “Deface” that he made with several classmates. “I put a lot of effort into the movie and we made ‘Deface’ in school,” he said. “It was our capstone project for the advanced video production class. Sadly, we didn’t get to spend enough time on it, but we put a lot of effort into it, we’d shot a lot and the cinematography is good.”

Hardison has learned that he needs to think on his feet when he encounters a plethora of setbacks in his film-making. “You know, it’s really hard to manage people when you’re directing because filming takes in a bunch of components. For example, you have filmmakers, actors and others. You usually have like six or seven people, and there are confusing online chats. You also need to conform to other people’s schedules to be able to get a lot of people together on one day.”

Hardison believes students don’t realize the time, expenses and effort required for cinematography. “It’s expensive. It’s hard to do. I feel like people kind of underestimate the time that goes into making a movie,” he said. “I don’t know if you know the movie ‘Moonlight,’ but they spent like six or seven years making that movie.”

Hardison also believes his passion for cinematography has changed the way he watches movies. “I’m always looking at movies and I’m thinking about how they got the shot or the editing, or like, the pacing might feel slow or too fast,” he said. “You kind of get to notice, especially as time goes on, how movies have evolved.”