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Study in the USA Blog

New Year Brush Strokes

Posted on January 17th, 2015 by Danielle Boxill

My sister and I


Hello! Sorry for my long absence during the Christmas and New Year’s Day break. I’m back with some more on what I’m learning as I go through the scholarship, application process and preparations for studying abroad.

Planning for University


For the New Year I am planning on filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It is available to U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens. I am also re-applying for SAT exams. My marks weren’t bad the first time around but the higher my score the higher the scholarship.

So on that note I have decided to talk about my process with doing SAT’s as well as a little “behind the scenes” on how I made my video for the Travel Video Contest.

I decided I wanted to go away to study as soon as I realised that Animation/Film was my passion. I thought taking the SAT would be a must for American Universities especially if I wanted to be eligible for more scholarships. The first thing I did was sign up with a school located in my country that gave lessons for and walked students through the SAT exams. Then there was practice. The exam is laid out quite differently to what I’m used to- especially the time given to complete it. Practicing in exam conditions, as much as possible, was crucial for me. It helped me time myself properly and, since I hate sitting still and concentrating for a long period of time, it helped condition me. All in all the SAT is pretty basic- basic math knowledge and english- the only difficulty was remembering that I have to spell using American English and not British English like I’m used to. However, don’t be afraid to tackle the exam head on!

Now on to a little bit about my travel abroad video. I actually got the idea when watching one of my favourite french singer’s music video. The first thing I did was check out the amazing videos that won the competition in past years- I needed a few clues on what the judges were looking for. Afterwards, I decided that since I want to study animation I might as well do something with art in it.

The script was the part that I took the longest to prepare. After finishing that everything went smoothly. I quickly sketched the storyboard and then drew the still illustrations. The hardest part was actually trying to figure out how to record my screen. I was painting in photoshop and didn’t want to see all the tools pop up when I was switching the paint colour, etc. I spent a really long time looking for a free screen recorder that wouldn’t leave a watermark and would only record the canvas area in photoshop. After that hurdle was crossed (and a few test tries). The real work began. I made a series of short videos and then edited them into one. Last was the sound. I had to record my voice and master it as well as download free music from youtube as the international student site suggested.

And that’s the skinny on how the video was made :).

I hope I helped you somewhat with this blog and that my journey to University is inspiring you and encouraging you!
Stay tuned for my next blog when I’ll talk about what I’m learning as I apply for scholarships so you won’t make my same mistakes!

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