About Us

Enjoying a beautiful day in my backyard

Enjoying a beautiful day in my backyard

Who are you?

My name is Katie Atkinson. I’m a digital film student at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville. I come at film making with a strong emphasis on writing.

What brings you to Ex’pression College?

AVE student Chloe Costa, with her project for MSV II

AVE student Chloe Costa, with her project for MSV II

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to tell stories. I’ve taken classes in creative writing, improvisational theater, stand-up comedy, and playwriting. I came to Ex’pression to learn more about the technical aspects of filmmaking. In addition to featuring state of the art equipment and facilities, I’m surrounded by incredibly talented people from the other programs Ex’pression offers, including sound engineers and animation and visual effects artists. Their passion helps fuel my own creativity and I’m blessed to have them as resources for my own projects.

What drives you creatively?

By nature I’m a pretty solitary and introverted person. I’ve been able to experience a lot through my extensive reading and media consumption. The immersive nature of storytelling, especially as it’s evolved into motion pictures, has opened up a whole world of dazzling adventures and fascinating characters.

Me and my sister Jenny

Me and my sister Jenny

On a more personal note, my little sister Jenny was born was cerebral palsy when I was four years old. She can’t walk or talk and has to be fed via a tube. In spite of these obstacles, she’s one of the most amazing people I know. Like me, much of her exposure to the world comes from media, such as music, television, and film. I would be honored to produce immersive works of fiction and nonfiction via the art of movies, so that people like Jenny can engage with the world in spite of their limitations.

What would you like to be doing ten years from now?

Ten years from now, I hope to be working in the film industry, working on producing narrative content for television, movies, or the web. Right now, I could see myself working as a screenwriter, either creating my own concepts and executing them or collaborating with others to produce projects that focus on unique characters and experiences, telling the stories of people who’re often under or mis-represented in the media.

Lights, camera, selfie!

Lights, camera, selfie!

I’d love to use humor as a way to educate and heal people, whether it be through stand-up comedy or satirical news programs like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

What are your biggest influences?

One of my biggest influences, as I’ve said, is my little sister Jenny. Even though she can’t experience everything the way many people can, she wrings joy from every moment of her life, and her infectious spirit brings joy to the people around her.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was thirteen years old and my own illness has often prevented me from seeing all the beauty and possibility in the world. Thanks to the dedication and compassion of my family, my friends, and a group of wonderful mental health professionals, I’ve been able to make an amazing amount of progress, including enrolling at Ex’pression to pursue my dreams.

Some of my influences

Some of my influences

In addition to the people in my immediate circle, I’ve been a lover of comedy since I was very young. Comics and humorists like Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Maria Bamford, David Sedaris, and many more, celebrate the absurdities of life and forge laughter from their pain. I think one of the best way for people to find relief from emotional suffering is to share their experiences with others and know they are not alone.

What do you create?

I tell stories and capture moments with photographs, drawings, short plays, stand-up routines, concepts for films and motion and still comics. I create laughter with my self-deprecating sense of humor and my often warped point of view on life. I create drama (on and off the page and screen) with my compassion and perception. Everyone has a story to tell, and we all benefit from sharing our experiences with one another. The best way to break down barriers between people is to remind them that, at the end of the day, we’re all people searching for meaning and belonging. I create a bridge between minds, a window into unfamiliar experience.

Clayton Smith

clayton_motorcycle

• Who are you?

Clayton James Smith, the youngest of two children from Renee and Terry Smith.

• What brings you to Ex’pression College?

Education, and long and winding road. I started at a junior college in Fremont CA after my junior year of high school. when i left high school i thought i wanted to eventually get my master in photography like my father. After a few semesters I dropped out and started working. Later after working for a year some months I attended a different junior college in Chico, CA with the aim to study Fashion another interest of mine. I dropped out again a few months later and went back to work. I have always love music and even wrote a paper on jobs in the music industry specifically live sound my junior year of high school. I attended SAE SF in 2010 enrolling the Electronic Music Production program (E.M.P.) to see what the school was all about. After finishing the short three month program,

•What drives you creatively?

My Brain is my driving influence for creativity, I hear, see or read things that trigger chemical reactions in my brain and i want to know how they work, and why, then I’m usually inspired to create something. The biggest influence on me and my creativity is music. Music influences my moods, my style, my life.
• What would you like to be doing ten years from now?

Still breathing, still riding my motorcycle and to have a career i truly enjoy.

• What do you create?

I recently started working and tooling leather goods for my motorcycle. I am slowly relearning how to play guitar.

 

Lucas Medina

lucas_cloud_chasing

• Who are you?

Lucas Keanu Medina, a 21st century teenager making his way through the confusing universe with the help of family and friends.

• What brings you to Ex’pression College?

Recruitment and a desire to make a living out of my passion. Spencer Brown, my girlfriends brother also started attending a term before me, inspiring me to push on to actually enrolling at expression.

• What drives you creatively?

Inspiration and encouragement are both things that drive me creatively. I make a decent effort to find inspiration in the small things of daily life, I believe that mindset makes for much more relate-able material.

• What would you like to be doing ten years from now?

Ten years from now, ideally I’d love to have found a good company I enjoy working for and can also keep me from worrying about money issues which currently plays a big role in my life and stress levels. Ten years from now, I’ll only be 28, but that is getting close to the time I’d like to settle down and possibly have a family. Only if the situations were good enough though.

• What are your biggest influences?

Biggest influences are the directors and creators of the current cartoon network shows including “Clarence” “Adventure Time” “The Amazing World of Gumball” “Flapjack” “Steven Universe” “Regular Show” and many others. Movies produced in hand drawn animation such as Miyazaki films also play a big role in inspiring me.

• What do you create?

I create works of artistic expression including paintings, signs, drawings, graphic content and have a variety of skills that allow for DIY activity often in my life, so creating for me is something that applies to my daily life.

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