“Sienna Bigelow, a senior at Drexel University and aspiring sound designer, wanted to tell a relevant story through sound. Her interest in social media addiction and observations about digital obsessions led her to write a story about the issues with getting to know people through social media. It’s impossible to see the whole picture when people only show the parts of their lives they want people to see.” 

I can’t believe my first day at JTWO was three months ago. The time I spent in the office and on set flew by, but it was a blast! When the [INC]ubator project was introduced, I was at a loss and was struggling to come up with any interesting ideas that would be within the scope of the project. All I knew was that I wanted to do a narrative and use sound as a major aspect of the storytelling. I came up with an idea that I liked, but didn’t really know if I could effectively communicate what I wanted to say in 3-5 minutes. Afterall, I’m a sound recording student and this would be my first short film ever. After deciding my first idea wasn’t the one, I started thinking about frustrations and challenges in my life. At some point, I started considering social media and how I have a love/hate relationship with it. On one hand, it’s a great place to share life updates and see some of the cool projects people are working on. On the other hand, it can be a platform that promotes superficial relationships and allows people to show others their “good side” while not giving an accurate picture of reality. Along with that, social media is a great place to feed delusions, especially in my generation’s crush and dating department. While I also feed into it (unfortunately), I strongly dislike some of the ways we flirt and “meet” people through digital platforms (even though I, too, am guilty of this). Because of this, I wanted to write a story about how easy it is to let the delusions and obsession take center stage in our lives. 

I got my pitch approved (yay), wrote the script (good dialog is hard to write), and started the pre-production process (I was so out of my element). I wanted to film one scene in a cafe, so I had to go talk to cafe owners which was scary, but huge shout out to GFG (Greek from Greece) on Drexel’s campus for letting us use their space! I had to make sure I had all the gear I needed, then effectively communicate the schedule to everyone involved. I had to balance my perfectionist tendencies with the situations and trust my crew to do their thing (they KILLED it!!). I had to do a lot… Through this process, I learned that directing is not my passion. I love how everything came out, but I have no desire to do the planning and organizing and gear-gathering thing again. I was super happy with the results from the filming days and the footage I had to work with, but there was a lot of stress and responsibility involved in getting there.

Once I got into the post-production phase, I was a lot happier. Stress was still a constant because I really wanted the overlay graphics to look good and feel natural (I’ve seen a lot of cheesy-looking social media short films) but with my limited After Effects experience, I knew there would be a learning curve. I also started editing and cleaning up the dialog, which was more difficult than I’d anticipated. It took a lot of time, but I got the overlays to a good place, got the final footage cut to my colorist, and then exported it. Finally, I could finish up the dialog and start the part of the project I’d been looking forward to: the sound design… except it was Wednesday and our final short film presentations were on Friday. And I had finals for school. The next two days were a blur of working on different projects BUT at 5am on Friday, I exported the final cut of my project, the posters, and my presskit! Then I went to bed. 

I learned a huge amount about the filmmaking process and I’m so grateful for the experience I got at JTWO. I’m very happy with how my short film, “Socializing,” came out (although I might do a director’s cut and make a few minor adjustments to the sound design and overlay graphics) and I can’t wait to show it to friends, family, and the world! Everyone around me during this process was incredibly supportive and I don’t think I can adequately express my gratitude for their help. I had so much fun, met amazing people, and discovered a lot about myself during this process. It was time consuming and took a significant amount of effort, but my time at JTWO was truly an unforgettable experience. Thank you all!


Sienna Bigelow is a sound designer and audio post production assistant dedicated to bringing media to life through sound. Alongside studying recording arts and music production at Drexel University, she has worked on a number of films including Sparkle: A Unicorn Tale, Rittenhouse Square, and others. She is passionate about connecting with viewers through audio and media, and strives to perform at the highest level on all of her projects.

This project was created as part of the JTWO [INC]ubator Project. A semester long internship program built from the ground up to give young filmmakers, content creators, and all around hungry for a challenge individuals a place to stretch their creative minds while preparing them for the road ahead.

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