Artist in the Spotlight: Liam Baker

By Fleet Wilson, Staff Writer

Every day, as a member of Reynolds High School, we are surrounded by exemplary students doing extraordinary things. They spend hours practicing and working to perfect their crafts, and while their work is making waves in their respective communities, a majority of RJR students have no idea of the everyday brilliance of our peers.

A prime example of this brilliance lies in senior Liam Baker, a talented filmmaker and photographer, who loves using camera angles and effects to convey his message.

“I very much enjoy the visual language that is inherent of telling a story using small camera movements and quick cuts,” Baker said. “They can say thousand words without saying anything.”

Baker’s published works thus far consist primarily of short films that he has both written and directed. A film he created last year, entitled “The Kite,” won a Scholastic Gold Key Award for Excellence in Visual Arts.

“The Kite was a video I made in response to the theme of ‘Let Your Imagination Fly’; it was a relatively quick process because there was just one location and one actress that I had to worry about,” Baker explained. “It only took around a day to film and maybe a week to edit, but for other projects it can take up to a week of filming.”

One of Baker’s biggest fans at Reynolds is Visual Arts teacher Phil Benenati, who sings high praises for the work Baker has done in his time at RJR.

“As far as I’m concerned, Liam is a great example of a model student,” Benenati said. “Having known him for the past three years in Photography, eMedia and Animation, you really get to witness his dedication to learning.”

Benenati also pointed out that Baker’s accomplishments have extended outside of the classroom and into Winston-Salem.

“Liam has also done something very cool as the co-founder of the Winston-Salem Film Club in conjunction with Aperture Cinema in downtown Winston-Salem,” Benenati said in regards to Baker’s out of school activities.

“I basically wanted to curate a community for filmmakers working in Winston-Salem,” Baker explained. “Members work together creatively to make a film and we go through various stages of production. Aperture is involved with allowing us a facility to hold our meetings and a base of operations.”

As his time at Reynolds draws to a close in his senior year, Baker is looking forward to pursuing filmmaking in college and beyond.

“I’m planning on majoring in film, I’m not sure where yet, but I am down to a small list of schools,” Baker said.

For those interested in checking out some of Baker’s work, he has a YouTube channel dedicated to showing his best work.

“I’ve made a bunch of films, but the number of films that I’m actually proud of is around seven,” Baker said.

His current YouTube channel is host to an array of different projects including his award-winning short titled “The Kite”, enlightening documentaries about students here at Reynolds and even a riveting anti-drug PSA. Anyone interested in viewing these and other videos, check out the link to his page in the graphic next this article.