All posts by maddiereynoldswhite

Making the Impossible Seem Real

“I was kind of a latchkey kid,” he explained, “My parents worked a lot so I’d get home from school and watch TV. Movies kind of made the impossible seem real.”

Scott Kim knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a filmmaker. Having grown up in New Jersey with two working parents, he spent a lot of time alone with his television set. “I loved the underdog stories like Rocky, where the odds were stacked against them to get to their dream.”

Kim applied this indomitable attitude toward his own life, as he earned his Bachelor’s from Ramapo College of New Jersey and shortly thereafter joined the U.S. Army.

In the Army, Kim was a Public Affairs Specialist, which he describes as “basically a journalist.” He wrote stories and took photos both for the Armed Forces Network newspaper and for American media companies such as CNN. “It was cool. We were basically the pubic relations for civilian media. Some of our events aired on national television and radio.”

However, Kim’s love for storytelling was not to be confined to journalism alone. Upon leaving the Army, he used his G.I. bill to attend the Los Angeles Film School, where his lifelong dream of filmmaking became a reality.

“I used to read comic books as a little kid, and now you have comic books being made into films. It was exactly what I’d always wanted.”

At school, Kim worked hard to define his strengths and hone his skills in the filmmaking medium of storytelling. This experience led him to many Production Assistant jobs post-graduation.

However, as many artists in Los Angeles tend to find, gathering investments for your film budget can be difficult. Kim found a way around this by funding one of his short films with a crowdfunding website called “Kickstarter.”

Not only was his campaign successful, but there was also a certain level of artistic camaraderie on crowdfunding sites. He helped to support the artistic efforts of his cohorts, and they supported him in return.

While Kim currently works for the IT department at Creative Artists Agency, he still manages to produce and direct films and commercials in his spare time. He is a firm believer that crowdfunding sites are a great gateway for struggling artists.

“At the end of watching a movie you kind of ride that high where anything is possible,” explained Kim. “Despite recent scams, I think crowdfunding sites are a great tool for independent artists.”

“At the end of a movie you kind of ride that high where anything is possible,” Kim said, “Crowdfunding sites allow that to happen for LA audiences.”

Music Festival Deaths Prompt Questions of Security

Last weekend at Hard Summer Music Festival in Pomona, two teenaged women died from suspected drug overdoses, one of whom was identified as a U-C-L-A incoming sophomore. While this is certainly a tragedy of its own, this is no new concept. E-D-M music festivals have been the setting for the death and injury of several young adults in recent years. I spoke to Los Angeles locals about why they think this happens and what can be done to prevent it.

While crowd control is a challenge for many festivals, the consensus from those I spoke with was that, beyond just awareness and education, there are more measures organizers can take to prevent deaths at these events.

Fashionable Young Journalist Finds Strength in Breaking Boundaries

With bright red lipstick delicately framing her words, Taiye Ojomo describes herself as a “beautiful, charismatic soul traveling through the waves of life, seeing color in each dimension.” As a boldly curious and passionate individual, traveling and open-mindedness comes easily for the 21-year-old New Yorker.

In the summer of 2015, the Nigerian-American Queens native and recent graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore moved across country to enroll in Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Ojomo thought growing up in an urban environment in Queens had acquainted her to the harsher realities of life, but she was exposed to a different way of thinking in Baltimore during college, where she gained a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

“I saw a lot of poverty in Baltimore,” she said, “For a lot of people, that’s all they knew. It was considered normal.”

She encountered various friends whose parents were involved with drugs and crime. This experience and others jump-started her motivation to make a difference through journalistic efforts.

“I want to go into issues that aren’t really spoken about,” she explained with bright inflection and determined eyes, “It helps people to not be stuck in one idea.”

Besides journalism, Ojomo is a passionate advocate for drawing, self-expression and colorful, eye-catching fashion accessories. Art was always her favorite class in high school because she found it to be relaxing and therapeutic. She proudly dawns dynamic clothes, mostly from thrift stores and online Etsy shops, and borderline-shocking accessories such as silver Doc Martens, ultra-rounded sunglasses and septum jewelry.

Her bright and bold exterior is a reflection of her desire to broaden the minds of the public. “Everyone has a story,” she explains, “I like to make people think.”

Although she loves art and fashion, her aspirations run deeper than what is seen on the outside. “I want to open a youth center in Baltimore, she says, I want to give [less fortunate people] school supplies, workshops, and take them on trips.”

Unapologetically open-minded and impossibly chic, Ojomo hopes to use her passion for journalism and art to better the world and make people understand what she holds true for herself: “There’s another side to life other than what your environment is.”

By Madeline White

TAIYE OJOMO (Conflict Copy)

Confident Young Journalist Finds Strength in Breaking Boundaries

For some people, relocating nearly 3000 miles from home is an intimidating move. But for the courageous and motivated young journalist Taiye Ojomo, there is simply no breadth of distance that is going to stand between her and her dreams. In the summer of 2015, the 21-year-old Queens native and recent graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore decided to pack her things and move across country, as she had been accepted to one of America’s most sought-after graduate programs: Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

While growing up in an urban environment such as Queens certainly accustomed her to the harsher realities of life, Ojomo was exposed to a different way of thinking upon her move to Baltimore for college, where she pursued a degree in Broadcast Journalism. “I saw a lot of poverty in Baltimore,” she recounted, “For a lot of people, that’s all they knew. It was considered normal.”

This experience was one of many that jumpstarted her motivation to make a difference with her journalistic efforts. “I want to go into issues that aren’t really spoken about,” she explained, bright red lipstick delicately framing her words, “It helps people to not be stuck in one idea.”

Besides her obvious fervor for journalism, Ojomo is a passionate advocate for drawing, self-expression and colorful, eye-catching fashion accessories. Art class was always her favorite class in college because it always calmed her down after a hard day. She is drawn to clothes and accessories that are interesting and make people think, like silver Doc Martens, ultra-rounded sunglasses and septum jewelry. Her bold nature serves to give her a look of effortless chic in her day-to-day life.

Not only does she want to broaden people’s minds, but she wants to make a difference in human lives as well. “I want to open a youth center in Baltimore. I want to open a youth center; I want to give [less fortunate people] school supplies, workshops, and take them on trips.”

This optimistic unabashedness that Ojomo exudes externally matches directly with the values and beliefs she holds internally. She hopes to use journalism as a medium to change the world, and make people realize what she has held true for herself all along: “There’s another side to life other than what your environment is.”

By Madeline White

Confident Young Journalist Finds Strength in Breaking Boundaries

For some people, relocating nearly 3000 miles from home is an intimidating move. But for the courageous and motivated young journalist Taiye Ojomo, there is simply no breadth of distance that is going to stand between her and her dreams.

In the summer of 2015, the 21-year-old Queens native and recent graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore decided to pack her things and move across country, as she had been accepted to one of America’s most sought-after graduate programs: Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Besides her obvious fervor for journalism, Ojomo is a passionate advocate for self-expression, eye-catching fashion accessories, and school spirit. Her Twitter profile picture features her cheerful mug in trendy round sunglasses and septum jewelry. She proudly dawns a USC shirt and bright red lipstick.

This optimistic unabashedness that Ojomo exudes externally matches directly with the values and beliefs she holds internally. When asked to describe herself, she explains that she is a “beautiful, charismatic soul traveling through the waves of life, seeing color in each dimension.” She includes a quote from fellow New Yorker Sean “Jay Z” Carter, which reads, “Knowing who you are is the foundation of everything great.”

By Madeline White