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A Personal Reflection: Alexis’s Unexpected Path to Filmmaking

I am no Lamborghini or a Hollywood star, nor do I condone being tipsy while driving a car… BUT I do love sushi so I guess Alexis Rose and I have that, our sense of impeccable style and our first name in common.

Interestingly enough, when I first started watching “Schitt’s Creek” with my family, they were all amazed at the number of similarities between Alexis and I. At first, I was slightly insulted that I was being compared to a spoiled socialite who flails her hands when she talks. But then I watched episode 89 of Backflip’s Happy Hour Podcast and realized that I too flail my hands and play with my hair obnoxiously like Alexis Rose. So that’s cute… However, I know I am an irreplaceable, indispensable, and unrepeatable human being, which is why I think it is only fair that I write my own rendition of “A Little Bit Alexis.”

 

A Little Bit Alexis 2.0

[Verse]

I’m an editing queen; I’m a Backflip star

I’m a bit of a rookie when I play guitar

I’m living the dream; you’ll find me on the beach

I’m a God-loving girlie; listen as I preach

[Pre-chorus]

I’m a little bit

I’m a little bit

I’m a little bit

I’m a little bit a–

[Chorus]

La la la-la la la la, a little bit Alexis

La la la-la la la la, a little bit Alexis

La la la-la la la la, a little bit Alexis

Lift your voices, sing your praises; I’m a little bit Alexis

 

Wow… I don’t think songwriting is in my future. But who knows, maybe one day we’ll make a music video. 😉

All the silliness aside, I wanted to take some time to share a little bit more about Alexis…aka me. You might be wondering, where did this girl come from? How did she find Backflip? Does she really have hip-hop moves so fresh they make onions cry and potatoes mash themselves? I’ll leave that last one up for you to decide.

 

Stumbling into Production…Literally 🎬

When I started college at UW-Madison in the bleak year of 2020, I was deeply passionate about journalism and creative writing. I had high hopes of becoming either a news anchor or a screenplay writer, but after taking one creative writing class, I realized that I did not appreciate the immense criticism one receives when authoring anything. Granted, that class was exclusively held on Zoom which might’ve tainted my experience, but I ultimately decided that I would keep it as a hobby, not a career.

Fast forward to that winter, the health of the UW campus was in shambles, which sent us all home to complete the rest of our semester online. After finishing my classes, I was desperate to find something to do, so I decided to join the “old lady choir” at the Catholic parish in my hometown. I wandered into the choir room to speak with the music director and found myself in a makeshift production studio that he had set up to film smaller projects for the production company he owned.

After a brief discussion about my interests and hobbies, he invited me to work with him on editing projects and eventually at film shoots.

This opened me up to the world of Catholic filmmaking and commercial production which I immediately fell in love with. It encompassed everything I was passionate about: the storytelling, the inspiration, the creativity, the cool gadgets…I LOVED it.

So that next semester, I enrolled in the cinema production certificate and began my journey in the filmmaking world.

 

Running Around Like a Crazy Chicken 🐓

Capturing photos and videos not the flag in a competitive game of Capture the Flag

After gaining some film and photography experience throughout my sophomore year, I got a summer position as the photographer and videographer at Camp Gray Catholic Summer Camp.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this new summer job. All I knew was that I’d be living full-time at a summer camp, taking pictures and videos of all the fun festivities. What I didn’t realize is that I needed to capture a large variety of activities each hour that were spread across the entire camp. I also had to mindfully take small video clips so that I could create a highlight reel video at the end of each week.

This was no easy task and most days I ran around like a crazy chicken trying to capture the rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, archery, swim time, and arts and crafts all in the same one-hour rotation. Needless to say, I certainly got my steps in that summer.

Even though this job demanded a lot from me, I learned so much about photography and faith-based video production. I taught myself how to manually take and edit photos and cut together a week’s worth of footage into a high-quality highlight reel.

It was so rewarding to know that when the campers finished their exciting week at summer camp, they could leave knowing that their memorable experiences were captured in hundreds of photos and a super fun video.

Finding Out That Backflip is Not a Gymnastics Center 🤸🏼‍♀️

My experience at Camp Gray solidified my desire to work in Catholic video production. However, I only knew about national companies that were likely only remote jobs or a bit out of my reach. That is when one of my co-workers at camp mentioned Backflip. I had never heard of Backflip before and to be honest, when he first said it I thought he was talking about some sort of trampoline park or gymnastics center. He assured me that it was indeed a creative marketing company in Madison that happens to do a lot of projects with Catholic clients.

I was reluctant at first because it kind of seemed too good to be true. Is there really a production studio in Madison that has everything I’m looking for? Creative marketing, website development, video production, brand design and a great working environment? One quick glance at the Backflip website quickly confirmed that YES, this is all true.

I was sold. So, immediately after that, I got connected with a previous employee, interviewed for an intern position, and officially started in May of 2023. I continued part-time as I finished my bachelor’s degree at UW-Madison and am now a full-time editor and producer.

Here are some of my favorite projects I’ve worked on so far!

Cheers to all the Adventures to Come 🥂

From the freshmen year pandemic Zoom classrooms to the bustling studio of Backflip, my journey has been filled with unexpected twists, delightful surprises, and plenty of flailing hands. Just like Alexis Rose, I’ve learned to embrace my quirks and celebrate my unique path. Whether I’m capturing the perfect picture at a summer camp or editing a compelling video for Backflip, I know I’m exactly where I need to be.

So, here’s to more adventures, more creativity, and maybe even a music video or two. Stay tuned!

 

[And if you’ve made it this far, you should probably check out the original video from ‘Schitt’s Creak’]

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Alexis Bakken