Beautiful Small Moments

By Kayla Thompson

Growing up, the desire to record came with me wherever I went, music videos with my
cousins at family events, documenting a long drive in the car with my mom, or miserably failing at stop motion animation on my moms iPad in the living room. You name it, and I was there with Video Star pulled up on that iPad, and without even realizing it at such a young age, I had already found my passion.

Around fourth grade, my mom found a magnet arts middle school nearby and after immediately applying, I attended the school from fifth to eighth grade. When arriving at the school we did an “intro to the arts”, to try them each out before picking an “emphasis”. My first time walking into the video room time stopped, it was just a small room in the back of the library but 11 year old me felt like I just walked into Disneyland between the poster filled walls, figurines, and the endless extraterrestrial film equipment. Before I even sat down I knew I wanted to spend the next four years in that room. I had finally found a safe place where I could make movies like I wanted to do and learn how to do it properly in an environment of other kids passionate about film.

The teacher, Mr. Kelsey very quickly became someone I looked up to and considered a mentor, and was truly a teacher who wanted us to be ourselves and be creative, and this was the first time I was given space and resources to do what I’ve so desperately been wanting to do. The video room became the joy in my life and my safe place, and continued to be for years after middle school. After school in high school I would head to the middle school to help Mr. Kelsey teach the incoming fifth graders, and each year got to experience the joy of teaching enthusiastic 11 year olds how to make movies and edit them.

Making videos was something I wanted to do before I knew a career in film was even possible, so by the time we were supposed to start thinking about colleges, there was no doubt in my mind on what I wanted to do, and that there were no other options. This was poked, and questioned, and challenged, by family, teachers, and peers, however I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else and wanted to do what would make me happy.

What I love about film is the ability to create emotion and share it with others. I want to make others feel something and highlight the beautiful small moments that come with life. This all started with the need to document my memories and things I thought were cool or pretty, and it’s the same now 10 years later. I spent a lot of my life wondering how the films I watch impact me and my emotional state so deeply, and I think it would be so rewarding to create that feeling for somebody else.

Fast forward to my junior year as a film student at Drexel and I’m living what 11 year old me would think is the dream life, and I’d have to agree with her. With too many amazing experiences to count and a few projects I’m proud of under my belt, I was led to an awesome new internship at JTWO, and cannot begin to explain how excited I am to learn and get all the experience I can to help me grow to be a better filmmaker.

Kayla Thompson is a Junior Film and Television Major at Drexel University. She has been taking classes for and pursuing film since the 5th grade. She is an inspiring cinematographer who has been working on short films in the Philadelphia area to further her skill set. She is excited to start her internship with JTWO to help her learn and gain more experience to become a better film major, and will be graduating in spring of 2024 with a Bachelor of Science in Film and Television Production in hopes to continue her filmmaking journey.