Video Art III class changes focus of video

Sara Evall

A new bus safety video was filmed May 5 in honor of Julia Siegler ’14, who was killed by a car while walking to her bus in 2010. Michelle Paster ’98 shot the first bus safety video in November, but when Video Art teacher Cheri Gaulke showed it to her Video Art III class, they decided that it did not have the right tone. Gaulke had her students propose new ideas for a video, and chose the concept that Jack Goldfisher ’14 came up with.

“I sent [Gaulke] essentially a rough outline of the script and she liked it so we got Jake Feiler’s ’13 approval who, again, worked on behalf of Julia and her parents in the campaign and then we shot probably about three or four weeks ago,” Goldfisher said. “Now we’re just in the editing process and it should be done in the beginning of the summer.”

Goldfisher had nine of Siegler’s friends visit her memorial site, place flowers and trinkets on it and wear purple.

“It was very relaxed and simple vibe in the concept,” Goldfisher said. “It essentially is focused around Jake and his relationship with Julia and it’s told mostly through voiceovers. There’s a voiceover that [seventh grade dean Kate] Benton from the middle school did about general bus safety rules and then Jake narrates about his personal experience with Julia and having lost her, which is I think emotional and gripping in a way that the first one was not.”

The video will be sent out to students and parents and students before they sign up for the bus service at the beginning of the year as well as the Atlantic Express bus company.

Paster was heavily involved in the making of the new film. Goldfisher said that since she did not know Siegler personally, initially she did not have the right perspective for the project.

“Now that [Paster has] talked to a lot of people who did know and love Julia, she really did understand what we’re going for, so I don’t think [the flaws of the first video were] her fault certainly and our production of the second video wasn’t against her in any way, it was just wanting to make sure that Julia was remembered positively,” Goldfisher said.

The goal of the new video was twofold; it is meant both to pay tribute to Siegler and to try and prevent an accident similar to Siegler’s from occurring both within and outside of the Harvard-Westlake, Gaulke said.

“[Goldfisher] is currently finishing up the video and I have high hopes that it will be moving, powerful and most importantly, effective,” Gaulke said. “Sometimes life hands us an horrific tragedy that is difficult to overcome. We hope that by providing training to students and parents that we can help to mitigate future tragedies in our community.”