When Giants Fall

Kaila Calhoun, Staff Writer

Jessica Ring is a senior at Southern Oregon University and will be graduating this spring. By that time, she will have completed her degree in Human Communication with certificates in Conflict Resolution and Management of Human Resources. Recently, she was presented with an opportunity to assist in the making of a film being produced locally called When Giants Fall.

The director, Ms. Leslie Griffith, had reached out to assistant provo, Jody Waters asking for an intern to assist in the production of the film. Jody believed that Jessica would be a good fit and within the week, Jessica had met with the director and they both felt she would be a good fit to help assist with the film.  Three months, she was asked to join the team full-time as a production manager.

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Jessica mentioned that “prior to working on the film, I had presented on the devastation and slaughtering of elephants in Africa in various classroom settings.” She also expressed that she has traveled to four countries in Africa over the past two years. “The elephants have been an underlying motivation and inspiration throughout my college journey.” There were many different factors that led Jessica to pursuing this opportunity. Her first reason was that she loves elephants. She has conducted extensive research about their behaviors, family dynamics, and migratory paths. By working on this film, she was able to apply her love and knowledge about elephants on an international level.

Her second reason for pursuing this opportunity was that she knew it would provide her with a vast amount of experience. “While my goals after graduation do not encompass working within the film industry, it is something I have always wanted to learn. I have met some truly incredible people over the past year. Future career prospects have also occurred because of my own involvement in the film.”

The final reason was that she was able to utilize the opportunity as an academic endeavor as well. During her first few months on the film she developed a practicum paper with her experiences. She described her experience working on the film as extraordinary. She was the youngest individual on the team, which was something that pushed her farther. During production time, she had the privilege of partnering and personally communicating with some inspiring organizations including the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Save the Elephants, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

The struggle balancing her work-load and being a full-time student was difficult at times. “For a year, I didnʼt have a life outside of work and school! But it was all worth it.”

“The entire experience was a dream,” She while discussing being able to witness the beauty, love and intelligence of elephants.

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