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Bruellman catches Buccaneers on camera

By Staff | May 28, 2017

Justin Bruellman, the Blue Earth Area High School senior behind the district’s new promotional video on Buccaneer activities, shows off the lens that delivered his latest portfolio piece, which could be used for eighth-grade orientations.

Blue Earth Area High School is rolling out a new video starring nearly 30 students and featuring just as many extracurricular activities in an attempt to promote the district’s wide range of opportunities for student involvement.

And it is all thanks to one BEA senior who does not appear on screen.

Justin Bruellman, who is wrapping up his time at the high school, is also the man behind most of the footage and all of the editing for the three-minute promotional piece, which has been lauded by district superintendent Evan Gough and figures to be a part of the school’s orientation for incoming eighth-graders.

To Bruellman, the project was, in one sense, just another avenue for exercising a passion for media.

“I’ve always been interested in video editing,” the senior says, highlighting YouTube as a source of inspiration and noting plans to attend Minneapolis’ IPR (Institute of Production & Recording) College of Creative Arts after high school.

But when Gary Holmseth, BEA’s tech integration specialist, came to Bruellman with the idea of marketing the district’s student activities through a video this spring, the project also became a twofold opportunity.

It became, Bruellman says, a platform not only to leave BEA having showcased the talent of dozens of his peers but also the talent of his own work.

And, of course, the prominence of activities within the school.

“These activities are often some of the most memorable events in your high school career,” says BEA principal Rich Schneider, who joined Holmseth in encouraging the project and reiterated his sentiment in Bruellman’s video. “There truly is something for everyone.”

For Bruellman, that something was taking the school’s Panasonic camera, his own Sony Vegas editing program and logging as many as eight hours shooting and splicing clips of things happening around the school.

“I met with Gary Holmseth,” he says, “but the actual video and making it was pretty much up to me.”

Holmseth contributed with a few shots from Riverside Town & Country Club’s golf course and other locations, but for the most part, BEA’s activities video came from the perspective of Bruellman’s creative lens.

Opening with an introduction from BEA activities director Rob Norman and closing with an urge by Schneider for students to get involved, the finished product features clips of 29 different BEA clubs, sports or organizations, each represented by a student or athlete in appropriate attire, at different locations, and accompanied by spoken characteristics of “Buc Pride” and the school’s activities.

Among those on display: The yearbook club, gymnastics, volleyball, blood drive volunteers, cross country, boys and girls golf, track and field, theater, the Speech Team, softball, baseball, boys and girls basketball, FFA, the Robotics Team, Math League, boys and girls tennis, cheerleading, wrestling, National Honor Society, choir, football, hockey, Knowledge Bowl and student council.

“It was a great idea,” says Bruellman, son of LaDonna Bruellman, of Kiester; and Bruce Bruellman, of Blue Earth. “And it was kind of cool they came and asked me to do it.”

Both Holmseth and Gough, who unveiled the video for the BEA School Board and guests at the district’s Coffee and Conversation event on April 26, insist that Bruellman is as much a representation of the “We are Blue Earth Area” slogan that a crowd of students is seen chanting together from the center of the high school gym near the end of the video.

After all, they caught wind of Bruellman’s video skills and valued them enough to task him with promoting the school.

And if the senior’s latest portfolio piece, the BEA activities video, touches incoming high schoolers as much as it has the district’s administration, Bruellman will simply further cement his impact his presence in Blue Earth Area.

Even if his contributions come from behind the camera rather than in front of it.