The path to college can be a difficult one- not just for students, but for their families as well. Having a child leave home and head off to an unfamiliar place can be daunting. It can be especially daunting if those parents didn’t attend college themselves, and are unfamiliar with that process and experience. That’s where the Texas Education Agency comes in. TEA has a state wide program called Texas GEAR UP (or TXGU) that is dedicated to increasing early college awareness and readiness in traditionally underrepresented groups. Although TXGU’s main focus is educating and assisting the students, they also do a lot of work with parents, by helping them with the college prep transition. This year, Revelator partnered with AMS Public Interest and Texas GEAR UP to create a series of informative videos for these parents. Covering a different important topic in each video, the ultimate goal was to provide parents with the confidence and knowledge to help guide their children on the road to college.
The video above, ”College Life”, is the first video of the series. It addresses possible concerns of a parent with a college-age child. One thing that adds to the difficulty of a child leaving home is that many parents aren’t always aware of all of the resources available on college campuses. They’re concerned about their child’s health, safety, and well-being, and aren’t sure if their child will have access to the help they need when on campus.
Revelator was tasked with crafting an engaging and aesthetically interesting video that would give parents an idea of the many resources available on college campuses. We decided to take the “day in the life” approach, following a student around their campus and seeing what they would do in an average day. This format works to communicate all of the activities and facilities we wanted to highlight while also adding an emotional arc to the narrative. We see Veronica eating at the cafeteria, getting a check up at the health center, and studying at the library, as we hear her reading a letter to her parents and explaining to them why coming to college was the right choice for her. All of these narrative points were used to help our parent audience have a first-hand and visceral experience from the view-point of the college-ready student.
The video was written and directed by talented Revelator director Carlyn Hudson. “I was excited to direct something both meaningful and narratively engaging,” Carlyn says. “I think, in the end, we created a film that will make people smile and help put the parents of first-generation students at ease.” Carlyn joined the team last year after spending many years as a freelance director for commercials, narrative, and documentary films. She has worked with clients including Vice, Verizon, Dell, and Legos, and her first feature comedy, The Big Spoon, premiered at Austin Film Festival in October. We think Carlyn’s humor and and empathy for the character in our “College Life” film is a great illustration of her natural intuition as a director.
We’re proud to have helped bring this unique and supportive piece to life and are honored to help Texas GEAR UP and AMS Public Interest promote college-readiness in first generation students and low-income Texas families. Be sure to check out www.texasgearup.com for more information on how this incredible program is helping a new generation of students and parents.