Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Filmmakers illuminate lives through cinematic visions: Sophomore Jaylen Wong

Filmmakers illuminate lives through cinematic visions: Sophomore Jaylen Wong
Evelyn Chow

Sophomore Jaylen Wong joined the filmmaking world in middle school, when he signed up for the video production elective. However, it wasn’t until high school that he found his niche: sports filming.

Wong posted his first sports film on Instagram during his freshman year after attending a Gunn varsity football game. Although he received positive community feedback, he found that he struggled with adjusting to filming at night.

“During the game, I had to quickly search on YouTube how to fix the lighting problem, turn up the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and turn up the aperture,” he said. “(I had to figure out) how to increase the lens so more light came through to brighten the shot.”

Wong’s personal journey as a basketball player played a large role in his decision to continue making films.

“I wanted to capture how it felt being there (on the court),” he said. “That’s why I wanted to film sports, because I think (it) is a really great way to show other people’s passions.”

Core lessons Wong had learned from playing sports contributed to his filming mindset.

“Many sports require a lot of patience and dedication, and that really transferred over to my filmmaking,” he said. “(I had to) dedicate a lot of time in post-production, filming (and) planning.”

Wong’s journey, however, wasn’t all smooth sailing. Most of his major filmmaking challenges occurred when he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and tried filming sports he wasn’t as familiar with. In a water polo video, for example, lighting posed a problem.

“It was light out, and it was hard to adjust my camera to the glare from the water,” he said. “Since it was my first time filming water polo, I needed to get used to the sport and know what to look for.”

Usually, Wong creates multiple iterations of a video, and the full film-creation process for a 90-second video typically takes around six hours from start to finish. Much of this time is dedicated to fine-tuning pacing.

“(Making a film) is like telling a story,” he said. “There’s a rising action, climax and falling action. I take that format and use it to (create) the
video.”

Moving forward, Wong hopes to continue filming college sports to bolster his portfolio on Instagram. He has already filmed some Stanford basketball games this past season, and he and his twin brother, Liam Wong, are working to acquire media passes from the video director of Stanford’s football program, Mike Gleeson.

Despite the heavy workload, Wong finds the time commitment to be manageable, especially since he enjoys working on the videos. The feedback he receives further motivates him to continue to create films and seek new opportunities.

“Just seeing the athletes’ reactions make it worth it,” he said. “It makes me happy that they liked the video and that it wasn’t all for nothing.”

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About the Contributors
Anne Dong, Forum Editor
Sophomore Anne Dong is a forum editor for The Oracle. In her free time, she likes listening to music, reading and rewatching movies from the 2000s.
Evelyn Chow, Photographer
Sophmore Evelyn Chow is a freelance photographer for The Oracle. Outside of school, Evelyn enjoys reading, crocheting, and watching Formula One
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