12th Grade
English and Multimedia
Rachel Nichols and Margaret Noble
UCSD and HTHMA Film Practicum

In the following three minute films, students capture amazing true stories from, and about, the adults in their lives. Humor, pain and human endurance color these stories that describe the various, unpredictable journeys of life. Watch and, we promise, you will laugh, cry, wince, or say “awwww.”

This semester-long project has been a collaboration of students’ multimedia and English classes. This project began with each student conducting one 45-minute interview with an adult whom they admired or about whom they wanted to know more. Then, as part of the story building process, each student transcribed their own 45-minute interview. Using their own transcription as a guide, students then edited their sound work into a seven minute story. Lastly, and after many rounds of critiques, each seven minute story became a beautiful and concise three minute piece. Through this process, students learned to carefully find and craft a meaningful story. The classes nominated their final 8 selections (out of 25 total) for cinematic production.

Next, students moved into visual production through an extensive film practicum program with UCSD’s ArtPower! program. ArtPower! recognizes that creative learners make creative teachers, and teaching and learning go both ways. ArtPower! Film, Sixth College, and the Department of Visual Arts, along with our 12th grade students at High Tech High Media Arts, embarked on a ten-week creative mentorship program where UCSD students collaborated with and mentored our 12th grade students in order to produce these very special short films. This project was also facilitated by UCSD’s Visual Arts Department faculty member Michael Trigilio, ArtPower!’s Curator Rebecca Webb and Associate Director for the Practicum, Diane A. Forbes Berthoud.

These final films culminated into the following eight projects and were shown at UCSD’s Student Film Festival at The Loft. We hope you enjoy their work.


In the Pit of Your Stomach
One man’s tale of waiting at the alter.
Students: B.C., N.S, S.S. and A.G.
UCSD Mentor: Phoenix Lawton


Duct Tape Ninja
A quirky story about men, women, and duct tape.
Students: S.M., A.M., A.C. and M.B.
UCSD Mentor: Duy Nguyen


Caged Dreams
Trapped in a concrete box.
Students: K.G., A.S., A.C. and A.M..
UCSD Mentor: Kristen M Hastings


Signs of Love
One man’s perspective on love and communication.
Students: R.D., S.B., N.G., C.A. and J.L.
UCSD Mentor: Emma Robertson


Through a Father’s Eyes
A father speaks on living through two wars with his family.
Student: V.A., A.F., D.R., S.W. and M.M.
UCSD Mentor: Gabriela Sanchez


Playa Sola
The choice and challenge presented to a young girl in an extremely difficult position.
Students: J.A., E.B., K.B., J.A., and S.S.
UCSD Mentor: Christopher Nguyen


Extinguish tells the story of Joel E. Bowdan, one of the first African-American firefighters in San Diego, California.
Students: S.L., P.R., T.M., M.V. and I.D.
UCSD Mentor: Cameron Wilson


Trapped Ethics
A tale of fur trapping in the 1940s.
Students: S.S., J.S., C.C., and A.A.
UCSD Mentor: Alana Thomson