Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Get to Know…Arielle Mari ’12, Video and Digital Media Specialist

Get to Know…Arielle Mari ’12, Video and Digital Media Specialist

Honestly, Arielle Mari should star in one of her videos. CC’s first full-time, in-house video and digital media specialist says that “my CC education is the best thing I have going for me in my job.”

Good thing, because this English/Film Studies major’s job is to create videos that tell the CC story.

Arielle (pronounced AR-ielle, not AIR-ielle) Mari is well suited to the task. She has done videos for the Admission Office to send to prospective students. She herself was a prospective student, visiting the campus from her native Charlotte, N.C., after a weather-plagued trip that reduced the odds that she would ever attend CC. She’s interviewed alumni discussing the value of a liberal arts education for the Advancement Division. Says Mari unabashedly, “My liberal arts education is of inestimable value to me.”  She was home-schooled by her mother, a family physician, and her father, a software engineer, who instilled in her a sense of confidence and professionalism, a high comfort level with adults, and a drive for perfection. “I’m an intense perfectionist,” she says, “and I have a low tolerance for poorly made videos.”

Although she officially started in her position in October 2012, Mari has been making films at CC since Half Block of her first year and began interning in the Communications Office the summer following her sophomore year. She spent the first semester of her junior in Dublin studying film through the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, where she more than held her own with more experienced students. Because of her familiarity with the Block Plan, she knew she could accomplish a lot in a short time. “Sometimes there would be equipment that I hadn’t worked with before, and I would just tell myself, ‘I will learn this skill, and I will get good at it.’ “

The Block Plan, she says, is a real asset to filmmakers. “In a CC film class, you would get the assignment on a Wednesday morning, plan the shoot that afternoon and maybe start shooting. You’d shoot Thursday, and if you were a real risk-taker, maybe Thursday evening, and then spend the night editing it to present to the class on Friday.”

More Arielle Mari facts:

  • In her spare time she enjoys cooking food that “looks complicated, but really is deceptively easy.” She also enjoys singing, particularly jazz and folk music (she took voice lessons at CC) and traveling (did we mention she loves Ireland?).
  • Movies need to be: “Compelling, relevant, and tell the story stylishly.”
  • The second of five children, all of whom were home-schooled. The four who have completed high school have all gone on to highly selective colleges.
  • She was very active in the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, N.C., both acting and doing backstage work. She came to CC undecided between being a theatre or film major, but film won out.
  • In another life, she would be a doctor or a pop-culture theorist.
Show the long version of this story »

Full Story

So when she shoots videos of alumni talking about the Block Plan, she gets it. “Two days on the Block Plan is an eternity at CC,” she says. Another reason she is well suited to the job: “I know the student experience at CC,” she says. “That’s a perspective that helps in so many ways.”

Before she takes on any project, she asks herself and the client, “Why should this story be told on video?” Although she loves film, she says that not all pieces are best told in that medium. “Not all stories translate visually,” she says. “Video is the most unforgiving medium. There’s nothing to hide behind if the story isn’t good.” And this videographer is the first to admit that when pursuing news online, she often reads the text as opposed to watching the video. “I can read the story faster than they can tell it to me,” she says. “You have to find the right medium for the story.”

Mari likes film because it allows her to communicate and help open dialogue.”With film, you can make people laugh and surprise them,” she says. Often when filming, she notices themes emerging from the interview. “My job as an editor is to tease out the possibilities,” she says. “The magic of editing is that’s what makes the story.”

Among the videos Mari has produced recently for the college: “Welcome to the Block Plan” for the Admission Office; “You Can Play,” a collaborative effort between the Athletics Department, the Wellness Resource Center and the Office of Minority and International Students; Strategic Planning updates and other messages to parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and students from the President’s Office including the highly viewed holiday greeting, “My Favorite (CC) Things”; and numerous alumni profiles for a series called “What Are Recent Grads Up To?” for a collaborative effort between the Career Services Center and the Communications Office.

Mari, who credits Film Artist-in-Residence Clay Haskell with much of what she has learned, offers these words of advice for those seeking a video:

  • Shorter is better. The longer a video, the more likely your audience will not finish it; 60 to 90 seconds is ideal.
  • Show, don’t tell. Film is a visual medium. Ask “Why should my audience watch this story instead of reading it? What is it about this story that it can only be told in video?”
  • Innovate. Imitation is nothing to applaud. Take risks. Go a little crazy. Be adventurous. Do something that’s never been done.

Says Mari, “We are CC.  We are so different from other liberal arts colleges in this country. No other college in the world is like CC, and we should celebrate that to every end.”

In short: She gets CC.

For information on having a CC video made, go to: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/offices/communications/video-projects/

More Arielle Mari facts:

  • In her spare time she enjoys cooking food that “looks complicated, but really is deceptively easy.” She also enjoys singing, particularly jazz and folk music (she took voice lessons at CC) and traveling (did we mention she loves Ireland?).
  • Movies need to be: “Compelling, relevant, and tell the story stylishly.”
  • The second of five children, all of whom were home-schooled. The four who have completed high school have all gone on to highly selective colleges.
  • She was very active in the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, N.C., both acting and doing backstage work. She came to CC undecided between being a theatre or film major, but film won out.
  • In another life, she would be a doctor or a pop-culture theorist.