Berman looking to make impact through magic of technology
With the right combination of imagination, drive and the proper tools, Haddonfield’s Harrison Berman could be the next rising internet superstar. He’s aiming higher, though. Familiar with the work of Steven Spielberg, Berman even has his eyes on admission to the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, just as Spielberg did before becoming famous.
Those of you who might say the young man needs to slow down and enjoy his childhood can read on and see he’s doing exactly that.
Back in December, the Haddon Elementary fourth-grader won the Fresh Films MILK IT! Video Competition, which invited students ages 8 to 16 to highlight the things that make them awesome in under three minutes, through a video judged on originality and passion.
Harrison was one of two winners chosen for his age group and was rewarded with a GoPro Hero 7 camera and accessories along with $500 in cash.
“I really like magic and I also like editing and making movies, so I wasn’t really sure what to do at first. But then, when I thought of combining them and doing ‘editing magic’ which I showed when I jumped through the door or snapping my backpack on in the video, it shows both parts of what I like,” he said.
Whether it’s the magic of producing something on screen or his additional interest in sleight-of-hand used to entertain, Berman approaches both with thoroughness, but makes sure not to let it become too time consuming.
“We went to a magic show, and I liked all the tricks, and I started looking up videos on how to do magic tricks. From there, my parents got me some magic-related stuff and we found some more magic stuff in one of our closets, and I just started doing tricks for my friends and they liked it,” he said. “So I started getting more magic-related stuff and it’s been really fun to do. I don’t practice it every day, but I practice it just for fun.”
Harrison started his own YouTube channel almost a year ago, and asked his parents for a better camera because, when he started, he was only using an iPad in selfie mode to shoot and edit video. He received a Canon T6, a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, and, not surprisingly, found he started to like video editing. He also previously edited footage on his dad’s PC, but when his sister downloaded iMovie onto her computer, he found he liked the way it added effects, and liked splicing footage together to create unique content.
Berman’s channel is called “Harrison Tube Studios,” and he’s getting close to his goal of 100 subscribers. Currently, the channel features 25 videos, and he will be shooting and editing more in the near future.
He has already put his reward to good use, embarking on a trip with his family over winter break to HersheyPark with the GoPro and shooting a vlog that has yet to hit his channel. As for the cash prize, he’s still saving up for his own personal laptop so he can edit things he shoots more quickly and turn them into videos.
As part of his prize, Harrison was also asked to nominate a teacher to receive a $500 grant from Fresh Films. He chose Debbie Adams, his third-grade teacher. Adams, who has spent nearly a decade at Haddon, had her work recognized as a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator in 2015, one of only 100 educators from across the country to earn the honor.
“I chose her and she knew that I chose her because I told her. When I found out that I won, my parents called her and she was really happy and said that she was proud of me. She didn’t say what she was going to do with the prize money, but I think she’s going to put it towards something good in her classroom,” he said.
Berman’s winning video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hr9T2RoAPE. For more information about how teachers can become involved with Fresh Films’ effort, visit freshfilms.org/educators.