A photograph taken by my father of the mountain scape.

“How do you creatively and truthfully portray a significant person, group, place, idea, or issue in the community?”

In the Junior Documentary Project, students were tasked with creating a profile of a subject of their choice and use primary and secondary sources to create a clear and original perspective. We created a paper for our English class and used that as a foundation for our magazine articles and a documentary film, commercial, and website.

My profile focuses on the experience my dad, Catalin Popescu, with mountaineering and the advice he has for people. He’s a role model for how people should safely approach challenging hobbies.

This projecting felt very rewarding to me because I’ve learned how to create a cohesive body of work that spreads across various mediums. I’ve interviewed my dad for the project about mountaineering and got at least two hours of footage. I had to condense the two interviews into the essentials to effectively be presented to an audience.

In our English class, we wrote a full profile of our subjects, which includes a nut graf, scenes, and prospects for the future.

I made an animated documentary to highlight some bits from the documentary and share the wisdom my dad has regarding challenges. I used Clip Studio Paint to create the animations and edited in After Effects to include photography my dad took on his trips and music.

We also made magazines with our writing to showcase the research we’ve done more aesthetically and for easier reading. I used the photographs my dad took as well as mad my own graphic images. I used InDesign to create the entire layout of the magazine.

Click me! This takes you to the magazine.

Animated Documentary

In our elective classes, we made an extended piece of work to showcase highlights of the interview. We created trailers for our documentary projects. I chose to animate a new segment for the beginning of the trailer and compiled the photographs and clips of animation from the documentary. I used After Effects to make the trailer and ProTools to edit the narration recording.

Below is a trailer to the documentary.

In my animated documentary, I learned how to effectively create and put together an animation in a very limited time. I animated on twos for some shots and also took creative liberty with the colors to evoke emotions in the audience. If I were to do this project again, I think I would try to incorporate more dynamic camera angles and movement. I’m happy with the art direction of my documentary and how all the different elements came together when I edited it in AfterEffects.

Concept Art

For the project, I did studies and created concept art of the topics my dad talked about.

Ideas for the challenge monologue and what visual metaphors to use.
Character design idea of my dad.
Studies from photographs to get an idea of what colors to use.


Progress of me animating in Clip Studio Paint.