- New Hope-Solebury School District
Luke Whitney ('21) earns top honors for film projects.
Luke Whitney's ('21) Journey in Filmmaking
Luke Whitney began making short films at seven years old using stuffed animals for his lead actors. Though his interests in film started early, it was when he reached Mrs. Ferber’s elective film class at New Hope-Solebury Middle School that he developed a deeper appreciation for the filmmaking process and its possibilities. Luke started teaching himself to use Adobe After Effects and experimented with creating his own special effects. Later, in Mr. Marchok’s public speaking class at the high school, he had his first chance to share this knowledge. The assignment was to create a “how-to” presentation. Accordingly, Luke developed a video to demonstrate his process for creating unique special effects. Impressed with his presentation, it was his peers that offered encouragement and suggested he consider pursuing his interests further.
Luke learned about the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology (MBIT) in the ninth grade. He was most intrigued by the opportunity to spend half of his school day making films. During his initial years at MBIT, he studied photography and observed the work of the older students. It was through this process that he discovered his greatest area of interest, cinematography, and forged his own style and approach. He also had the chance to utilize the MBIT’s industry-grade film technology and equipment. Most importantly, he was given the time and independence at MBIT to explore, discover, and create.
The SkillsUSA Competitions and Greenfield Film Festival offer high school students the chance to earn recognition for their productions. Over the past two years, Luke and fellow MBIT student Billy Kubacki were awarded distinctions for numerous short film submissions, including Short on Time, The Uncomfortable Silence, Earl, and Static. For his role in the partnership, Luke oversees the visuals and how to make the framing, lighting, and all other aspects of the picture itself reflect the story and its characters. They achieved great success, earning the title of Best Director(s), and recently placing 4th in the SkillsUSA National Competition for Digital Cinema.
Luke’s greatest takeaway from his filmmaking experience is “you can’t be settled with what you did before.” He goes on to suggest to other aspiring filmmakers, “Just keep doing it and don’t look at it like a job. I had no clue what I was doing and often felt overwhelmed and stressed, but I just kept practicing and watching films. This is how I kept learning new things about light and visuals.” Following his recent graduation, Luke plans to continue submitting films to festivals and to pursue film directing, editing and cinematography opportunities.
To see Luke’s work, visit and subscribe to his YouTube Channel Static Studios here.