“Convocation signifies a journey,” said Evan Staley ’14 as he described his recently edited and completed five minute film capturing one of The Miami Valley School’s most symbolic ceremonies. Staley’s passion for film began in third grade, and he hopes to channel his talents into advanced study and, ultimately, a career in the film industry.
“I asked Evan to film Convocation for MVS this year because he has expressed an interest in volunteering his incredible talents for the school,” said director of development Colin Dunnigan. “He did a beautiful job with the camera.” In describing the importance of enlisting students to communicate the school’s message to the constituency, Dunnigan said, “it is extremely important that we draw upon their talents and service because they live out this program–they tell you and show you what is real and true about the school.” The Convocation event, coordinated by the development office, featured addresses by headmaster Peter Benedict P’18, ’20 and distinguished alumnus Todd Lang ’84.
“I wanted to capture what we stood for-what MVS is all about,” said Staley. “It’s incredible to think of those seniors about to end a journey and begin a new one while we invite in the younger kids to become part of this amazing place.” Staley described a vision for using images about transition and life stages to combine with the emotion and feelings that the event evokes.
“Film is about creative process and storytelling,” said Staley. “I hope one day that I am involved in the film industry producing short films and documentaries that capture life-maybe interning or working with a great director.” Staley has been making films since third grade teacher Julie Paul’s P’09, ’11, ’16 class.
“I remember making a film titled War of the Medieval–kind of a take on Lord of the Rings, with all of my classmates.” Staley went on to indicate how the community helped to foster his talents and his friends at MVS have always had “starring roles” in not only his films but his key experiences. In retelling the story, Staley said pointedly, “this is MVS.”
Staley and classmate Stuart Lane ’14 were given Best Documentary honors at the Yellow Springs’ Sundog Film Festival last year for their short film Gonzo Homecoming which documented the students’ attempts (and success) at crashing the upperclassmen-only MVS Homecoming Dance.
Staley is the son of Sam Staley ’80 and Susan Staley.
For more of Staley’s work, visit his two YoutTube channels, Stalemate Films, where you can find short films including one where he recently experimented with layered editing to produce a special effect that appears as if a person is holding and throwing a ball of fire, and Evans Shades, a collection of ideas, inspired projects, or more documentary work on MVS and its community.
To view Staley’s film titled Miami Valley School Convocation 2011, click play in the video box below: