Senior duo of aspiring directors becoming YouTube sensations


Archive Photo

Jackson Elmore (left) and Reid Ramsey (right) started by making short comedy skits, but they are now venturing out into other genres with their filmmaking.

Living in an age where someone can sit in front of a computer for hours and end up watching an endless number of YouTube videos that involve dogs “singing”, there’s been some question about the website’s artistic value.

Helping to resolve that issue are Bearden High seniors Reid Ramsey and Jackson Elmore, whose YouTube channel The Crying Balloon has garnered 15,000 views with their comedy skits and, most recently, a dramatic short film titled “If I Died”.

The two best friends have been making these short videos for the past few years, but they just recently decided to share with the world. What started out as videos of Ramsey’s juggling turned into a dedicated hobby. Though both direct and act in many of their films, Elmore is the one who does most of the writing and draws his inspiration from different places.

“It comes from a desire to show just life’s truths, even just showing the negatives of it,” Elmore said.

After watching many films by directors like Steven Spielberg, the two decided to take their videos a step further and try their hand at drama and suspense. While their comedic skits are made for the purpose of entertainment, their first short film “If I Died” deals with pain and suicide, the complete opposite of anything they’ve done before.

“I probably had the most fun doing the short film that we did, because it was just so new,” Ramsey said.

As they’ve gotten more and more involved in filmmaking, the team has gone from using Elmore’s regular video camera for the comedy skits to using Ramsey’s DSLR camera, light boxes, and a boom microphone for the short films.

According to Ramsey, as the videos have gotten better, the filmmaking process has also gotten longer. Whereas the team used to take an hour to put out a three or four minute video, they took a week of filming to put together their 20-minute short film.

As their videos have gotten better, they’ve also gotten more attention. Though their channel has over 15,000 views, with some individual videos over 1,000 hits, the two filmmakers continue to make videos because it’s what they love, not just to get more views like many of the video makers on YouTube.

“I thinks it’s awesome that they’re so dedicated and that they enjoy making their films so much,” said their friend Lexi McCarty, a junior.

Being seniors, both of the boys are looking at film schools to turn their hobby into a profession. They have both applied and are waiting to hear back from Florida State University which will give them a great chance to expand on their filmmaking abilities.

Although they don’t have any specific ideas for future videos, according to Elmore, the team is planning on making one of their upcoming films a big senior project that will be mostly dialogue based.

In a world filled with pointless videos, these two filmmakers have proven that quality films with an actual meaning can be found on YouTube.