Out of the hundreds of Polaroids taped to her wall Ellery Platts points to one in particular.
“It’s a picture of a friend standing on the library steps at King’s,” she explains. “ It was during orientation week in my first year. Someone had to go up on the library steps. They were given an egg and they had to crack it on their heads, not knowing if it was raw or hard-boiled. If it was raw, you not only had yolk all through your hair but you were also out of the competition.”
Ellery then finishes the story with a laugh.
“When I took that picture my hair was covered in yolk.”
That anecdote tells you at least two things about Ellery. She loved her time at King’s and she loves to document and to tell great stories.
Ellery came to King’s from Calgary and immediately made herself part of the campus community. An avid field hockey player, she played for Dal throughout her degree and reffed and coached high school field hockey. She ran the social media and was photographer for the King’s Athletics Department, as well as playing on the King’s badminton team. She also joined a sorority—explaining that she “wanted to find opportunities for volunteering.”
Ellery found an interesting synergy between her extracurricular activities and her studies.
“It’s very rewarding to help others. And journalism allows me to do it as well. I want to give a voice to people who don’t have that opportunity, to allow them to share what is going on in their lives.”
In her fourth year Ellery teamed up with fellow student Travis Devonport BJ(Hons)’20 to do just that. They set about making a video documentary profiling the work and passions of photographer Steve Skafte. Then the pandemic hit. But Ellery and Travis, though socially distanced by a few thousand kilometers when Ellery went home to Calgary, managed to complete the doc—working together, apart. It earned them each a two thousand dollar scholarship from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF).
Not bad for a first crack at making a video doc. But there’s more. The doc, The Lonest of Wolves was also part of the 2020 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival.
“I cried when I watched it. Because of COVID and how hard it was to work cross-country on it, then seeing it actually come together and be something that people thought was good enough to be in the festival—it was an amazing validation. Overwhelming.”
After graduation Ellery went looking for work and quickly got two jobs. One as a photographer for a portrait studio; the other—“I’m called the Innovative Ideas Editor for BoardRoom magazine. It’s a niche publication for private clubs such as golf clubs, yacht clubs, tennis clubs.”
Ellery gets four pages each issue to write about new business ventures and unique programs at clubs around the world.
“It’s good because it keeps me working and learning. I’m learning how to make connections and develop trust with people long distance. It’s helping develop all my journalistic skills.”
That’s something Ellery will make use of as she plans her next documentary.
Posted: October 2020