Pioneer Public: Mara Leroux


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Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

For sophomore cinema production BFA major, Mara Leroux, the semester hasn’t been easy. But that hasn’t kept her from embracing the positive parts of the semester and looking forward to the future. 


While this semester has been hard on many, Leroux decided to try to make the best out of this semester. For her, this meant focusing on what she’s passionate about and being grateful for those in her life. It made all the difference in making her less anxious and being able to focus on her schoolwork more. 


“There is a lot to be unsure about and that can make me very anxious, but this year has also helped with bringing to light the things and people I am thankful for,”  Leroux said. “It’s totally normal to struggle and fall into a pit of no motivation, but once I worked on things I was passionate about and got closer to friends and people I really admired, I realized this year wasn’t just some year on pause, it was a year of growth and self-reflection.”


Many cinema courses and activities were put to a halt this past semester as well as many regulations taking effect while filming due to the novel coronavirus. Leroux also has a minor in screenwriting and those restrictions gave her the perfect opportunity to focus solely on her writing, instead of having to put her filmmaking first. 


“What got me through this semester was focusing on the ‘bigger picture’ that goes into cinema production,”  Leroux said. “This focuses on writing scripts, character development, lots of visual analysis and more knowledge on how to film something that not only looks great but makes you feel impacted after viewing. I think there’s been a lot of good that came out of not filming, because now I know that my film will be better than it would have without all these factors I absorbed this semester.”


Leroux didn’t get to film any productions on her own, but she did get to help out with Tiffany Walker’s “Kaleidoscope” on sound and production assistant work. It wasn’t the same as filming normally is, but it gave her a taste of what to expect when she films on her own with coronavirus still being a factor.


“I love working on set, so it still was a lot of fun, but it definitely felt different as not everyone could be there every day,” Leroux said. “There is a lot of caution that goes into it, and I feel like that only causes more stress in this field that’s already stressful. But, it’s something we learn to get better at and accept that we need to be safe and get used to it.”


Outside of her major classes, she took this semester to discover other courses and other parts of the arts that she doesn’t normally get to enjoy and give her attention to due to the busy atmosphere of cinema production. 


“I took a psychology class, and it has really helped me place trauma and other topics in my mind more clearly,” Leroux said. “I’ve gotten to know myself better and with that I feel like my writing is maturing as well as my own voice in what I write. It has helped me reach out to therapy and to notice my own ego getting in the way of things in my life.”


As the semester comes to a close, Leroux plans to keep the same upbeat, positive attitude in the next semester as well. She’s hoping to be able to get back into learning in-person but also hopes to embrace whatever is thrown at her with the uncertainty of next semester.


“With filming also comes meeting new people, so I am very excited to be able to engage with more people,” Leroux said. “Next semester, I want to make something I really enjoy, and I want to meet new people I can make art with. I also hope to grow more on my own and be more confident with myself and my work. The future is unknown, but I’m determined to make the best of what I’ve got!”