Freestyle Academy proudly presents
2016 Innovator Project by AavaS

The purpose of the Senior Innovator Project is use your own passion to innovate, create, and develop your own project.

Project Proposal

I am studying the psychology of eating disorders because I want to learn why eating disorders are stigmatized as a "woman’s problem" in order to express that this is an issue among both genders and all ages. My final project will be in the form of an experimental film focusing on the issues amongst men. I know a lot of people who have gone through these struggles and am majoring in psychology, so this will be a good intro into what I want to study.

I have never used After Effects in my films so this would be my first project including that and I try to branch out on the film equipment I use such as filters on lights, macro lenses, etc.

Project Productions

Read my research paper

Project Reflection

I chose the idea for my Innovator project because I have always wanted to inform the community about eating disorders and the innovator was a perfect chance. Not only was I passionate about the topic, but since I am planning to major in psychology, I was able to learn some of the psychological aspects and therapies regarding eating disorders. Rachael and I saw that we were exploring similar topics, so we decided to collaborate. From the get-go, I had so many ideas and was extremely excited to start my creation. I came into my research paper with some previous knowledge on the issue but I was still able to learn so much from my studies. As long and hard it was to write the paper and complete the research, the knowledge I gained from it is so much greater. Furthermore, my research paper aided me in that it was directly link to my innovator project itself, allowing me to take my studies and apply it right to my PSA film.

If I could do this project over again, I wouldn’t mind keeping the same topic since it is one that I am very interested in, personally connected to, and relates to my major and what I want to do in the future. Although I would want to get out the same message through my innovator, I would chose to change the format of my project. My main focus my Freestyle career has been film and I wished I had taken the opportunity to try a new realm of media as my form of expression.

This project has taught me a lot of lessons. First and foremost, just like any other Freestyle project, the Innovator project reinforced to me the importance of deadlines and how quickly they approach. Secondly, I learned to rely I on myself even when working in a partnership. I was taught to take on the workload of others when they didn’t follow through and to be prepared when things don’t go as planned. Furthermore, these two lessons have come together to teach me an even greater lesson: to make a schedule. Yes, deadlines act as a sort of schedule, but I believe for myself it would help to have a schedule of what to accomplish each day on top of what is due on specific days. For the future, I plan to take what I learned about scheduling and deadlines and apply it to my work to be more efficient.

I believe I innovated my education because I was able to explore whatever I wanted to research and thus I was able to learn about a subject that related to what I want to do in the future. Over the years I’ve learned that the best way to remember content is through application. Thus, I was able to take the content I researched about eating disorder and apply it to my film.

In all honesty, the innovator was my least favorite project of my Freestyle career. I believe I was more challenged in all my projects than I was during the innovator. I know for many that having a lot of room to choose what they want to do for the next three months of school is the opportunity of a lifetime, but I believe for myself I needed a little bit more structure. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to work wherever we wanted whenever we wanted, their just seemed to be a small flaw in the structure of the project.

Overall, as much as I didn’t enjoy the innovator, I still found it to be a great learning experience. To end on a high note, I was able to gain something out of the experience that was not planned. For my research paper I had learned about the different types of therapy when treating eating disorders. During the time I was researching Rachael and I went and interview a man named Jeremy who spoke about his therapy and I was able to connect it to the different ones I was learning about. What was most fascinating for me was when he pulled out his artwork and talked about how art was a form of therapy and how much being able to express himself through his drawing helped him recover. Thus, I decided to try out this sort of therapy myself. I bought coloring books and everyday during the project before I went to bed I would color for at least 15 minutes. I found myself going to sleep so much more relaxed and waking up much more rejuvenated by doing this compared to the days I didn’t color. Furthermore, I was able to put my research into my filming. I had researched about men and eating disorders and when I went to ask guys to be featured in my film (which required them to stand in front of a camera without a shirt to portray different body types) 4 of the 12 whom I had asked said they were too insecure to participate. It was interesting to see how my research came into play. Although this wasn’t part of my innovator, I was able to see that any project can have outcomes that weren’t planned to happen in the first place- good or bad.