WESTFORD — With graduation fast approaching, Nashoba Valley Technical High School students are using four years of education experience to showcase a variety of senior projects.
Students are tasked with researching a project that relates to their trade workshop according to Eric Stevenson, a television and media instructor at NVTHS.
“They have to do a research paper, which they do in English,” he told WestfordCAT. “They then have to make a product that can be related to the research, but it doesn’t have to be.”
WestfordCAT was invited to view and evaluate four senior projects from a TV production classroom at NVTHS.
Nyk Fischer – Live Performance
“Letters from the Front: Fitchburg and the War of the Rebellion,” depicts an original story set during the Civil War.
The performance, held at Forest Hill Cemetery, uses historical texts to depict accounts of Fitchburg soldiers who were laid to rest during the war.
Fischer, who plans to attend Salem State University for Technical Theater, served as assistant director for Fitchburg Historical Society’s performance.
“It was a fantastic trip,” Fischer told WestfordCAT. “It was a long process but it was very worth it in the end.”
They continued, “For me, this was kind of a launch to a career that I’ve been wanting for a long time. I’m excited to start working in a somewhat professional setting.”
Elsa Vig – “How Cartoons Teach Us”
“How Cartoons Teach Us” illustrates how animation can promote inclusion and teach social skills to neurotypical and neurodivergent children and adults.
“I realized why I love cartoons so much,” Vig told WestfordCAT. “I like feeling seen and like when I find someone who’s like me and who fits how I feel all the time.”
Vig noted that their research in animation has helped them to deeply understand their emotions, as well as where they learned certain cues and expressions.
“I use my eyebrows a lot when I talk,” they said. “Like the animated body language, that’s something I learned from cartoons.”
They continued, “[Cartoons] made it so I was able to find a medium between being overly exaggerated and how I am naturally.”
Vig will be attending Salem State University where they plan to study prop and costume design.
Timothy Crane – Original Screenplay
Finding joy in the series “Wings of Fire,” Crane created a 121 page screenplay between Sept. 2021 and Apr. 2022.
The series, written by Tui Sutherland, depicts a universe where tribes of dragons are engulfed in conflict. A group of dragons, known as the ‘Talons of Peace,’ are destined to fulfill a “mysterious prophecy” to end the war.
Crane’s screenplay focuses heavily on the “Wings of Fire” universe, with a majority of his inspiration coming from the series. He notes that his work on his writing has opened a potential avenue to pursue for his future career.
“[In this], I found something I truly enjoy and can potentially pursue in the future,” Crane told WestfordCAT. “I’m not thinking about college because I’m not certain yet.”
He continued, “I’m not going directly into the media field or anything. I’m in a spot where I’m trying to find where I want to focus my efforts and where I want to aim for the future.”
Jeremy Dolan – “Comedy,” with original film
Over the course of three months, Dolan directed, built and edited an original film. The film takes inspiration from his admiration of The Three Stooges and his love of hockey.
“I’ve loved making videos for a long time,” Dolan told WestfordCAT. “But I’ve also been playing hockey since second grade.”
Dolan was tasked with creating an original, 15 minute film, but his final cut was over 30 minutes long. The film is complete with a number of unique settings, puppets and Dolan as the sole actor and director.
“I can’t act,” he said. “But I’ve wanted to do stuff like this for a long time. I want to be a camera operator for NESN.”
Dolan does not plan to attend college in the fall, but he says the option is on the table for the future.
“I’m going to try to get in [to NESN],” he said. “But if that doesn’t work, I’m going to go to college and then try again.”
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