David Scherker’s dream is to go to film school in California — UCLA is his top choice. So when he learned about the Stop Bullying Video Challenge put out by the Department of Health and Human Services, he decided to enter although the deadline was less than a week away. And although the process was fast, the results were terrific.
“I didn’t win the contest yet, but out of 900 applicants, my video made it to the top 25,” Scherker said. “On Dec. 3, we find out the five finalists and those go to popular voting.”
Because the topic is bullying and Scherker had the experience of being bullied in middle school, he was able to come up with an effective video in that short time frame.
“Since I did, in fact, go to middle school, I have experienced bullying,” he said. “Every middle school has bullying.”
In the film, he shows the three different type of bullying — verbal, physical and isolation bullying. “I started off with the isolation bullying, then physical and verbal,” he said. “All without dialogue. This entire video is under a minute. You see multiple things happening at once through split screen.”
The message of how to stop bullying was highlighted by the tag line “It starts with one, where one person does the right things.”
“One kid sees one girl do the good deed and he goes to help. Another kid sees them do the good deed, that inspires him to help the kid who was bullied,” he said.
Scherker said he was subjected to more than one type of bullying in middle school.
“I’ve also been through the isolation bullying,” he said. “I’ve never been physically bullied but I’ve seen it in the halls. You can always find bullying in middle school.”
In most cases, adults say the child needs to tell the teacher, but that often just leads to increased bullying. Scherker said that usually doesn’t help except in the case of extreme physical bullying.
The Coral Reef High School junior said as soon as he found out about the contest, he came up with his idea and wrote an outline.
“I figured who I wanted and made sure they could be in it,” he said, adding that he used fellow students from his drama class for the actors.
Then, just a couple of days before the entry was due, he sat down with his TV production teacher to plan out how to frame the shots to make editing easier and the video smoother looking.
“If you frame the shots badly, it looks very choppy and distracting,” he said. “We filmed Friday and when I got home Friday I edited until late at night. Saturday, I edited all day and added tints and colors to the videos.”
He also went over the rules and doubled checked to make sure he followed them so his entry qualified.
The video should be posted online within the next few weeks.
Scherker said he has been working hard to become a good filmmaker. As a student in the Visual and Performing Arts magnet at Coral Reef, he takes television production and drama. He currently is interning at the Borscht Film Festival, doing some acting and helping prepare some of the movies.