In Media Arts, Students

BYU media arts student Aurelia Berryhill used her inner monologues as the inspiration for her music video “Chronophobia.” (Courtesy of Aurelia Berryhill)

BYU media arts student Aurelia Berryhill filmed a music video, “Chronophobia,” after receiving TMA student grant funding

While Aurelia Berryhill was applying for the media arts major at BYU in Winter 2016, she was surrounded by questions and uncertainty in her life. She felt that the fear the questions had caused was holding her back from many opportunities. 

Berryhill envisioned creating a video about these inner monologues for her media arts application but quickly realized she did not yet have the skills or resources for this project.

Nearly three years later, the video she dreamed of creating came to life because of the TMA student grant program. This program — hosted by the Department of Theatre and Media Arts and funded by Mary Lou Fulton — sponsors student projects to help them gain experience outside the classroom in their craft.

For a long time, Berryhill thought that students only received department funding for bigger filming projects; however, when one of her friends mentioned they were applying for the TMA student grant program funding for a music video, she realized she could also apply. 

“I knew that this opportunity was the only way I could make this dance video that had been in my head for two years come to life,” said Berryhill.

In order to apply, Berryhill carefully created a plan — including a schedule, crew list and budget — for the project. Once it had been approved by a faculty member in the TMA department, Berryhill filled out the online grant application and was accepted. 

“Once my project was accepted, I went through a stage of finding and re-finding crew — some of my original crew had too many projects on their plate to responsibly help me out,” said Berryhill. “With divine intervention and stepping outside of my comfort zone, I was able to find my first dancer, Allison Moon. She was heaven-sent and passionate about the project. At the last moment, I was able to find my director of photography, Heather Moser — who was also heaven-sent.”

In addition to Moon and Moser, Berryhill enlisted Wesley Valdez as Moon’s dance partner, Jessica Burgin as production designer and Esther Pielstick as a makeup artist for the music video.

While Berryhill had a theme in mind but no specific vision, she left a lot of the elements of the music video up for interpretation by the dancers, director of photography and composer.  

For her music video funded by the TMA student grant program, Berryhill recruited two dancers to help bring her vision to life. (Courtesy of Aurelia Berryhill)

“Their unique voices came through and were seen in the video. I loved the collaboration aspect of this program,” said Berryhill. “I learned a lot through the process of making this project. I learned that collaboration will make one’s vision come to life more than trying to do it all alone.”

Through this grant, Berryhill was able to practice what she had been taught in the classroom and stretch herself to learn new things that might help her in a future career.

“Because media arts is a mosaic of skills, I was able to practice one skill I learned while relearning a skill that I’ve neglected,” said Berryhill. “Although I had support from faculty and staff, no one was figuratively holding my hand along the way — which was exactly what I needed.” 

Through taking on the primary role of both producer and director, Berryhill was able to solidify her existing skills in producing, while familiarizing herself more with the skills needed for directing. As a result, she gained self-assurance in her abilities as a creator without having to abide by the strict and structured guidelines many of her school assignments have had.

“I usually lacked confidence in carrying out projects that didn’t have a grade or a rubric,” said Berryhill. “This was my first time practicing my newfound skills on something I have been passionate about since the beginning.”

Watch the music video, “Chronophobia,” at youtube.com.

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