ACCS students document stories of the Miss-Lou
NATCHEZ — Chance Seyfarth grew up hearing the stories his father, Oscar, would tell him about his time in the Air Force and serving in Vietnam.
But it wasn’t until his father became the subject of a documentary for his Adams County Christian School documentary film project that he realized other people might want to hear those same stories.
“Seeing people’s reactions to my dad’s answers to some of the questions was surprising,” Chance said. “I have heard them so many times, but when other people heard some of the stories, they were like, ‘Oh my God, really?’”
Chance is one of several students in the school’s “Introduction to Film and Photography” class, which aims to teach students how to document events and edit their photos or video to produce a high-quality product.
Chance’s classmate and project member Kayla Wisner said Oscar was the perfect subject for their documentary project because of his military involvement.
“We interviewed (Chance’s) dad about an association he is involved in called Wreaths Across America and about his time in the military,” Wisner said. “It’s basically a documentary about his life before the military, during the military and after the military when he started doing the wreaths.”
Oscar is the coordinator of the Wreaths Across America program at the Natchez National Cemetery. The nonprofit organization coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at national cemeteries across the nation.
The students traveled to the cemetery three weeks ago to film Oscar and ask about his service career.
Asking the questions during the interview, Wisner said, was her favorite part of the project.
“I don’t like asking the sad questions, but they’re the ones that get the most response sometimes,” Wisner said. “They’re the tearjerkers.”
Chance said he was happy to leave the question asking up to Wisner.
“She asks the questions, and we hit the button,” Chance said. “If they had started crying during the questions, I probably would have started crying, too.”
After the students finish filming, they download the footage onto computers at the school and begin the editing process.
“The editing is pretty much the only thing we have left to do,” Chance said. “It’s like putting it all in a blender and seeing what comes out.”
Wisner said her favorite part of the project was listening to Oscar’s stories about returning after serving in the Vietnam War.
“That’s all stuff I had no idea happened before we made the documentary,” she said.
Instructor Mark LaFrancis said he’s pleased with all his students’ work so far and hopes they continue to produce quality films.
“The more we can try to accomplish, the better off they are for getting to have these different experiences through the class,” LaFrancis said. “We’re looking at a variety of things for next year that we’re really excited about.”