Student expresses artistic ability through Youtube

Marshal Will, News Reporter

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Francisco Angel, sophomore psychology major at Winona State University has taken to Youtube for a creative outlet. A self proclaimed “local filmmaker,” Angel features his shorts films and independent shows he has created over the years through his personal youtube channel.

“I started freshmen year in high school.” Angel said. “Originally, I was just doing a project, I was in religion class, and we were supposed to do a project that was religious-themed. My group did a short film that was really bad, but it was fun to make and we uploaded it to YouTube. It escalated from there and I continued to make films.”

Angel’s videos focus on several themes, his most recent upload shows Winona State students reacting to a funny video titled “Winona Reacts Try not to laugh w/ water.”

In the video, students watch a series of funny videos with a mouthful of water. Students would lose points if the video they watched made them spit out the water from laughing.

In Angel’s films, he often employs friends and acquaintances or anyone who shows an interest in being in his films.

“Basically, I just use my friends. I know there are kids on campus that just want to act, and they love it,” Angel said.

One of Angel’s most viewed original films, “Harleys Choice: A Harley Quin D.C. Fan Film,” has the D.C. universe character Harley Quinn as a main character. The description of the video is a teaser for the plot.

“After getting kicked out by the Joker once again, Harley Quinn roams the streets of Gotham when she bumps into eco-terrorist Pamela Isley, a.k.a. Poison Ivy. With Batman gone they become known as the Queens of Gotham as they wreak mayhem throughout the city,” the description said.

Angel said developing the plot was time-consuming. He said he believes his hard work paid off once the story was finished.

“It was a project that I was the most nervous on because it took a whole year to make. I was scared because with my other projects, I create my own characters with their own personalities,” Angel said. “For the Quinn film, there are already established stories with their own distinct characters and fanbases. I wanted to make sure I was being as faithful as possible with the characters.”

Angel said part of the reason he created a fan film for Harley Quinn is because he said he feels the recent film, Suicide Squad, did not depict the character accurately.

“After watching Suicide Squad, I was sad that they changed that or distorted to making the Joker and Harley a loveable couple. I wanted to make this short film of Harley Quinn going back to her origins,” Angel said. “I did a whole month of research just for this and an additional whole month just writing and re-writing to make the story work. I received compliments from fans online that out of many short films that this is their favorite.”

Angel explained why he focuses so much on the Harley Quinn character.

“I love the character. Harley Quinn was not originally in the DC comics. She was created for Batman, the animated series, a show in the 1990’s. She was supposed to be a one-off character, but became very popular from there,” Angel said. “She was always depicted as a victim of abuse from the Joker. She always blamed herself, it’s really dark but really interesting.”

The character of Harley Quinn helped inspired Angel’s focus in his other film’s which center around drama and human psychology. Angel uses his psychology major to help create the characters in his stories.

“I liked to observe people and I wonder why some people make certain decisions. I will ask why someone is a certain way so I’m always thinking how can this fit in when I’m creating characters,” Angel said. “I take what I observed and try to implement that into my characters, some are more flawed then others.”

Angel emphasized one of his favorite things in movies are fight scenes. Currently, Angel’s most popular video, All Black Widow Fight Scenes, is a compilation of all the fights the character Black Widow has. The video currently has over 900k views. Angel said he enjoys making fight scenes like the ones Black Widow does in the Marvel movie series.

“For fight scenes, they take the longest to film but in the end, they’re the most rewarding. It’s interesting to see it all put together,” Angel said.

Based on inspiration from Marvel and D.C. films, Angel has generated some of his own fight scenes. In his personal episode series called Hidden, Winona State students with superpowers are depicted in fight scenes with each other.

“In the beginning of 2018, I started a series in Winona about students that have superpowers. The superpowers are really dumbed down, they are not overpowered,” Angel said.

The plot includes various students with superpowers trying to deal with life and their college responsibilities. Angel talked about the characters in the series.

“It’s five characters and the one that brings them together is named Andrew and he’s the one with super intelligence. He says he wants to study their powers. Something to remember is that these are just college students, they don’t want to put on tights. They want to stay under the radar,” Angel said.

In the story, Angel said there is a cult of mutants who discriminate against others who are not mutants. This becomes a point of conflict in the series.

“We don’t know how many there are but we do know. The whole point is though that if you don’t join them then you die. This group keeps going after the other mutants and it becomes a problem,” Angel said.

Angel’s most recent work is a film called Closure. It is a project he later hopes to submit to a film festival competition.

“My longest film is probably my most realistic one. It has to deal with loss, and how this specific character reacts to it. It shows what happens when he doesn’t grieve and shows what happens when you do that,” Angel said. “It’s really depressing, but it’s also the most realistic project that I have done. It will probably be up to an hour or an hour and a half. It should be done by the end of summer.”

One of the requirements for the film festival is the film cannot be publicly released until it has been judged. Because of this requirement, the film will not be available for a while.

Angel said he plans to continue his filmmaking passion.

“As of now I’m considered an independent film maker. I hope with my major in psychology that I can later become a psychiatrist,” Angel said.