MARSHALL,TEXAS: Baily Briggs Atchley, age 38, is more than just a wife to Chad and mother to Zoey, age eight, Phoebe, age five and Caden, age three.
The Marshall High School(MHS) teacher is a film maker and a storyteller.
Baily, who works during the summers for the Nate Parker Summer Film Institute at Wiley College in Marshall, shares stories through film.
“I think sharing stories helps us see things from another viewpoint. Ultimately understanding others solves a host of problems,” Baily told The Murphy Gazette. “I may not have lived someone else’s life but if I can see it cinematically it or read it in a book, then I can come closer to walking a mile in their shoes.”
She said, “I grew up a voracious reader. I consumed books and loved movies. I knew I wanted to do something in the movies and as a writer from a very young age.”
“I just hope my children love to read. We read together every night. It’s so important to raise readers.” Bailey continued, “I think storytelling is what makes us human. It’s a universal concept to share stories with others. In every culture, beloved stories are passed down, and I think it’s one of the things that makes us all the same.”
She explained her beginnings in film. “When I was fourteen, I was cast in a movie shooting near my hometown. I loved acting and had grown up a theatre kid, but the art and the technology of film making really caught my attention.”
Baily finished high school and went on to receive a bachelor of arts in cinema/television from Southern Methodist University. “Most of my career has consisted of making commercials. I love the challenge of telling a compelling story in thirty seconds,” Baily stated. “Recently, I’ve received associate producer credits for short films created during the Nate Parker Summer Film Institute.”
Of the NPSF Institute, she explained, “Our students come from all over the world, and we make a short film in a week. This work has my heart. It’s energizing to work with professionals and mentor young people and get to go home to my family every night.” For more info on the institute, please visit nateparkerfoundation.org/
At MHS, Baily said, “I teach Principles of Art/AV/Communications, Graphic Design & Illustrations, and Audio Video Production I & II. Principles is a beginners’ course to give students a taste of the rest of the pathway and to lay a foundation for them. My goal in my advanced classes is to get my students certified in Adobe programs® such as Photoshop® , Illustrator® , and Premier Pro® .”
“I just want to tell original stories. In our reboot, sequel laden world, I crave stories I haven’t heard before,” Baily stated. “Sure, there’s comfort in the familiar, and I do love all things Marvel and Harry Potter, but I’d love to tell a story that people haven’t heard before.”
In looking toward her future in film production, she said, “Next up, I’m writing a script to shoot this year for the Louisiana Film Prize. I don’t want to say much about the project yet because it’s still very early in the development stage.”
When asked where she finds her direction for her scripts, she said, “I find inspiration in many things. I’ve written many different genres from drama, to comedy, to horror, and fantasy.”
Baily offered this advice for those interested in film. “If a person wants to be in the film industry, then do it. When I went to film school, you had to have an actual camcorder or film camera to record stories.”
“Now most kids walk around with an incredible video camera in their pocket. Anyone can make a film with their cell phone and decent editing software. Then they can show it on YouTube,” she said.
“There are no excuses,” Baily concluded. “You don’t need a lot of money now to make a film. You just need a solid story and some hustle.”
And maybe a little hope?
Baily was asked to define hope, and she said, “Hope is a joyful dream.”
(c)Photo Atchley Family