What I Would Have Missed

I have been making videos my entire life, and I am probably the most proud of this one.

I used Final Cut Pro to edit this, but I used a lot more than just a camera and a computer to create this.

When I saw that this week it was an option to create my own assignment, I got rather excited. Don’t get me wrong, the assignment bank helps when I’m in a creative rut; however, I often find myself stuck in a box. So now that it was my turn, I decided I’d tell an important part of my story: my struggle with mental health. This assignment I am placing at 7 stars because it has taken me 6 days, and I have also put an immense amount of time, thought, and effort into the story shown through it/the symbolism in the story. I wrote out my plan, watched 12 hours of old footage to pick my favorite parts, and tried out new editing techniques. I tested the waters in mixed media by physically drawing out the doodles on green paper and transferring the images to the video.

I am/was terrified to post this video. The vulnerability aspect is definitely a lot, but it’s my story, and I’m gonna tell it.

Every photo/video is one of my favorite moments from my sophomore year forward. It was 2018 (the end of my sophomore year) that I dedicated myself to improving my mental health, and I’ve been happy ever since. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been hard, and not every day is perfect, but overall, the improvement is crazy. It really does get better.

When it came time to song choice, I went with “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi. Ironically, this is one of my best friend’s (and ex-elementary/middle school bully) favorite songs. But on the broader spectrum, I think I’ve learned a lot about happiness over the past few years. But the two most important things are that

  1. You choose to feel it.
  2. You don’t have to feel it all the time.

Happiness really is in the journey… or the pursuit if you will. So this song was an obvious choice.

Then, it came time for the editing.

I document everything.

The amount of pictures I have of moments with my friends is astronomical, and I knew I needed to include a bunch. I thought it would fit best in the intro of the music, and I like how I edited it so they pop up one by one–almost like someone is laying them down on a table in front of you.

Then I placed a projector filter over the photos/first half of videos. I did this because my favorite thing in the entire world is to rewatch whatever I document. The projector symbolizes me reflecting on how far I’ve come, and the wonderful journey I’ve experienced.

At the end of the video, there is a frame holding short clips of my most favorite moments with the sunset in the background. The clips are timed to the music and change every beat to show how fast these past few years have gone. I remember my mental health not being the best, and feeling like I was going to be stuck there forever. It’s nice to look back and see how fast the good times go.

I added a final touch of doodles. This is where this project left the screen. I used lime green paper and white paint markers to draw my doodles. I then took a picture, put it into Final Cut, and green screened it. The doodles moving took the longest. I treated it like a stop motion project and moved them frame by frame. It was definitely the hardest part, because if they moved too slow, too fast, or in the wrong direction, it looked off. So I had to make sure that they moved at the right pace. I don’t think this project would be what it is without the doodles. To me, they show how life really is just simple and silly.

I will forever be proud of this project and how far I’ve come. I’ve been meaning to make a video for myself on this topic for a few years now, and I’m happy this class has given me the opportunity to do that.


  1. Cailyn, this is so amazing!!! I really love everything about it and your post is so well written. I can tell how much effort and love you put into this. I always look forward to seeing your work at the end of the week because I feel like you were born for this class LOL. You did a really great job!!!!

  2. This is amazing! I absolutely love your video. I feel like it really encapsulates the balance of “your story/our story” because while watching all of your precious moments with your friends, I could think of difficult points in my life and memories of my own friends that have helped me keep going.
    Thank you for being vulnerable.
    And thank you so much for staying. I don’t love talking about my mental health online, but suffice it to say, I’ve been close to where you’ve been, too. It takes a lot of courage and a lot of strength to get back up on your feet. I’m so proud of you. Sending love and positivity!

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