My name is Whitley Hawkins. I am a film student currently attending the Art Institutes of Minnesota International. I have been a film student for two-and-a-half years, and was presented with an opportunity that would change me forever.
The school’s photography program offers a travel study program where you go to New Orleans, Louisiana. This year the program decided to bring along film students. The program does count as a class and consists of six weeks pre-production, one week down in New Orleans for production, and six weeks of post-production.
The topic that I chose to do my project on was Muslim Culture and Islamic Faith. I chose this topic, because of the required book, “Zeitoun”, the class had to read. Zeitoun is a Muslim man that stayed behind and endured Hurricane Katrina, but was captured and imprisoned for months at that time do to the fact that he looked like what many of us consider to be a terrorist.
After reading this incredible and shocking story I knew that I needed to dive deeper into the topic, so I began to contact people and gain interviews.
The end result was: an interview in Minnesota with a council member of the American Islamic Relations, and in New Orleans an interview with an Imam (spiritual leader of the Islamic Faith), a Loyola professor, an Arabic editor for a local Muslim magazine, and students who were a part of the Muslim Student Association at Tulane University.
Overall, this trip was an incredible experience. I ended up falling in love with city of New Orleans and the people. This project has changed me as a cinematographer as well. This was the first project I had ever taken outside of school and filmed and edited on my own. I hope you all like it, and please feel free to leave any constructive criticism.
This video was made for my Ethics class, as a creative project. I chose Utilitarian views which support animal rights. I wanted to show what it’d be like for an animal to be hunted by putting a human in it’s place. The person in the film is myself, and the editing was done by myself as well. (as you will see in my obnoxious and somewhat redundant credits) The short was filmed without sound, and then sound was added later through freesound.org and my own recordings.