The Student News Site of Mission Hills High School

The Silvertip

The Student News Site of Mission Hills High School

The Silvertip

The Student News Site of Mission Hills High School

The Silvertip

A Visual Step Towards Suicide Prevention

Now+is+the+time+to+speak+up+and+do+something.+MHHS+video+production+class+had+the+task+of+producing+videos+for+the+California+Directing+Change+Short+Film+contest--here+are+three+of+these+projects.+Dont+Give+Up%21+juniors+Zahid+Perez-Cruz+and+Savannah+Stephens+said.
Photo by Savannah Stephens & Zahid Perez-Cruz
Now is the time to speak up and do something. MHHS’ video production class had the task of producing videos for the California Directing Change Short Film contest–here are three of these projects. “Don’t Give Up!” juniors Zahid Perez-Cruz and Savannah Stephens said.

Don’t give up. Words of support are commonly known as one of the best ways to support a person struggling with their mental health, and they have more impact than people typically imagine. Participating in a Directing Change competition for suicide prevention videos, the Mission Hills High School video production class made their own short films to support the movement and spread awareness, videos which inspire a bigger move for suicide prevention.
“…[suicide prevention] is a very important message and if anything, I hope to get it out there so more people see it,” junior Zahid Perez-Cruz said.
A video by Mariah Lambert and Calee Leavitt features a small group of Mission Hills students that help create a story about struggle, depression, and help. Following a young girl, the story reveals her struggles and mental burden while also emphasizing how those around her treat her in her moments of difference. It shows how many times people will only check in and care when something is visibly wrong or different, and by then, it may be too late. The short film focuses on the hardships of living with mental illness and the consequences–both negative and positive–that the people around them can have, and also highlighting the ways that the viewer can step up and support people in moments of struggle.
“Our film is to help show others that even if someone on the outside looks like they are okay doesn’t mean that they always are…I wanted others to know they are not alone,” junior Mariah Lambert said.
Another significant submission into the project was a short film created by three different students; Ethan, Dante, and Carlos Villalon. Similarly to the other videos in the project, the video follows a boy who is in a place of mental struggle and ends up appearing poor in public and also shown missing school and classes due to his poor health. His supportive friends continuously check in on him, and are even shown to find him outside of school to support him and provide the encouragement and love needed to help him proceed in life and take the steps towards getting better as well. Throughout the short film, they are able to represent the strong bonds and love in a friendship that can often be a key factor into someone’s life-or-death decisions, and it shows the ways that people can support a friend in need, while also showing that friend in need that there are people that will care, and that they are not alone.
“I don’t know where the idea came from, I just had a vision and thought it looked cool,” junior Ethan Shaw said.
One of the most visually and conceptually unique entries from the class is a video created by Savannah Stephens and Zahid Perez-Cruz. Their film takes a simpler but more stylistic approach, showcasing a singular, late 1900’s television that has a slew of older videos playing on it. The videos shown playing are a collection of childhood videos from Perez-Cruz’s life, all pulled directly from stored cassette tapes and transferred digitally. Throughout the short film, there are voicemails playing, concerned over the well-being and safety of the person they’re contacting; as this occurs, the clips playing on the television get faster and start repeating themselves, becoming a quick show of his life until it finally ends with a heavy tone, the last thing displayed being “don’t give up.” This film does a great job building a tense, stressed and sad environment through their visual design and their audio decisions, and the final message it displays is a strong one, one encouraging of help and support.
“All these memories, just gone in a second, that’s what we really wanna capture with this,” junior Savannah Stephens said.
The video production students were able to craft beautiful and impactful pieces through the art of film, and their messages should be heard in every space where their words can ring out. Just as the students said, don’t give up. Life is not a straightforward line, it is a series of ups and downs with hidden crevices that can lead into different paths. Darkness cannot exist without light–there will be someone there to support the darkest times, even when it’s not expected. So don’t give up.

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