Minnesota School of Business-Richfield (MSB) alumnus Leah Teravskis recently had one of her short films featured in the Twin Cities Youth Media Network Showcase (TCYMN) at the Walker Art Center. Leah and another MSB graduate, Tom Okins, were among 17 other young filmmakers who were selected for this prestigious event.
Leah’s film, entitled “Scars,” depicts a woman taking a bath and we are shown several scars she has on her body. The physical walls, or “barriers,” of the room are removed and with each scar we see, another scene follows it depicting the woman’s younger self at various stages in her life as she receives those scars. There is no dialogue but the film is accompanied by a moving score composed by Leah’s high school friend Carl Schroeder. Leah served as the film’s writer, producer, director, editor and set decorator while friends and fellow MSB students, alumni and staff assisted.
When asked how she came up with the idea for the film, which took three quarters to complete, Leah said, “It’s so hard to describe: I was taking a bath and looking at my scars as physical representations of my life—good or bad. I thought it’s not something you see when you meet people; not something the world sees.” Leah said that in the film the woman is not having flashbacks but we, the audience, are looking at her life as it happened.
At just over seven minutes long, Leah was not constrained by the time limit. “It wouldn’t have survived a feature length film—it would have been too drawn out,” she said.
Leah described the feeling she had when she learned that her submission was selected for the showcase this way: “It felt great. I loved the Walker growing up—I was always so inspired by the environment. To have my film shown there was pretty amazing. It also felt really good that someone watched my film and said, ‘Yes, let’s show that one.’”
Leah hopes that viewers of her film walk away with the message that none of us can know someone simply by looking at them. “The only person who can know your complete self is yourself. This is represented by [the main character] taking a bath. She is the only one who knows everything (and of course we as an audience). I hope the film helps people think for a second before they rush to judgment. I also hope it helps people think about their own lives and their own scars. Everyone carries scars around with them, either externally or internally—but most often both. Scars show that the wound is in the past—you have healed, you have survived. Your body, your life are beautiful because of all these life experiences. Own your past, remember it, but don’t let it be an excuse to fail.”
Leah graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from the digital video and media production program last December and she is currently working as a digital content producer at Axiom marketing. At Axiom, Leah assists with film and video production, editing and social media for clients. She also gets to write and work on infographics. Leah says, “I love it. I get to work on something different every day. I’m always excited to go in every day. Sometimes I’ll spend the whole day working on an image, and I feel like I didn’t work because I love what I do!”
Leah said that landing a job in her field was “a piece of cake.” The MSB career services department connected her with an internship at Axiom, which eventually turned into a full-time position.
Leah explained why she chose the digital video and media production program here at MSB. “It was something I always wanted to do but I never took the risk. Once I did, I loved it. It was a three year cushion to play around and learn about what I wanted to do.”
Her advice to other students? “You are only going to get out of it what you put in. It is what you make of it—if you want the most out of it, put in the effort!”
Well said, and we couldn’t be prouder of you, Leah!
If you would like to view Leah’s impressive film, it can be found here.