West Iron students create Blank Films
IRON RIVER—It all started with a “silly” video of some kids running around playing the paintball-like game Airsoft. Now, the film work of Josiah Holroyd, Tyler Upperstrom and James Swanson has become much more sophisticated, to say the least.
The three West Iron County seniors-to-be have started what they call Blank Films, and their work has advanced far beyond just goofing around in a park somewhere. In fact, a videography produced for the Iron County Watershed Coalition by Holroyd and Upperstrom was accepted into the Fresh Coast Film Fest in Marquette last fall, and Swanson won first place in digital media production at the Business Professionals of America national conference in Dallas in early May.
But it all started when their older friend, Isaac Serbinski, asked them to help him produce a video he was working on at the time for his multimedia class at West Iron.
“When this was going on, the most popular YouTube videos were like fake war videos,” Holroyd explained. “It was kind of what was trending. And he definitely wanted to do that as well. So we had all these fake guns and we were running around filming action videos.”
The collaboration went on for months, which, because of their ages, led to some interesting circumstances.
“If you go back and watch those videos, they were filmed over a process of a year, just one video, so we’re getting bigger and older, and our voices are changing,” Upperstrom said.
“It was just absolutely phenomenal,” Holroyd said, laughing. “From soprano to bass.”
But that was a few years ago. Now, Holroyd and Upperstrom have grown in their craft to the point where they are taking on professional jobs. About a year after the success of “The Story of a Watershed,” Holroyd and Upperstrom have edited a wedding video and Holroyd shot a video of a fishing trip in North Dakota and an autobody shop training video for a relative in Arizona.