Garrison Asma (center), a 2014 Westosha Central graduate, and his crew consisting of Eric Robinson and Harley Astorga conduct equipment checks during a trip to Chateau de Gudanes in France (Submitted/The Report).

Graduate, current film student, presents at Gateway

By Jason Arndt

When Garrison Asma attended Westosha Central High School, the Salem Lakes resident won Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Public Service Announcement video contest, which showed the benefits of athletic activities within the state organization.

The 2013 contest and a scholastic art award sparked his interest in video production.

“That encouraged me to keep going with filming,” said Asma, who graduated from Westosha Central in 2014.

His interest continues today as a film student at Loyola-Marymount in Los Angeles, where Asma and two other students collaborated on a documentary, which was presented at two Gateway Technical College campuses last week.

The presentations were hosted by Gateway’s International Education Department as part of International Education Week.

Asma, who traveled to France for the documentary, studied the history of Chateau de Gudanes alongside 10 Gateway students for the project.

Chateau de Gudanes, constructed in the 18th century, is undergoing restoration after centuries of neglect.

“This involves the restoration of this 18th century chateau, Chateau de Gudanes, which we were able to travel with the Gateway group and document the history,” Asma said, describing the documentary. “It talks about the history from when it was built until the current restoration of it.”

For Asma, the opportunity to produce the documentary presented itself, when he needed to create a senior thesis.

With help from his mother, Elaine, who takes Gateway students abroad, Garrison saw it as a perfect opportunity.

“It was kind of the perfect storm, because this kind of works as my senior thesis in my film school,” Garrison said. “It was the perfect opportunity, I had myself and a couple of my friends from film school come and help shoot it.”

Joining Garrison were production director Eric Robinson and Harley Astoraga, who served as director of photography.

While the 10 Gateway students focused on their curriculum, the three worked on the project, which Garrison reportedly found enjoyable.

“It was an enjoyable project to work on,” he said.

His project, however, was not his first video experience as a college student attending Loyola Marymount.

Last year, when Garrison was a junior, he added a short film to his portfolio along with an internship at Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation.

As a company, Lions Gate won 30 Academy Awards of 122 total nominations, according to the website.

Garrison, who helped with video editing and marketing, said the internship brought valuable experience.

“I ended up staying the whole year because it was a great experience,” he said.

His experiences, he said, would not have been without the early support he received from Westosha Central.

Garrison, who noted faculty members Bryan Wehr, Brian Monday and Vincent as strong supporters of him, became interested in film while he attended the school.

“They were always supportive in helping my creative projects,” said Garrison.

Bolstering his creativity were the awards he received at the school, including the WIAA video, which was shown at state meets in 2013-14.

“It was a video contest for the WIAA and I shot it with friends, and they used those videos to play at state meet for the year,” he said. “That was in high school when I just started to get interested.”

Along with Elaine, Garrison’s family consists of father, David, and sister, Maddy.


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