Storytelling student says he spent over 100 hours on five-minute video

ByDavid M. Conte

Jul 8, 2021

Photo by Emilio Valenciano

Emilio Valenciano said he prefers making videos rather than photographs because he enjoys telling stories and creating an emotional connection with audiences.

Valenciano, a senior from the Philippines who studies exercise and sports science, is a passionate content creator who tells inspiring stories and captures beauty through film and photography.

His wife Sarah Valenciano, a Colorado alumnus who is also a photographer and videographer, said she admired her husband’s talent for interacting with the people and things he was filming. He knows how to represent them very well, she said, adding that she had learned a lot from him.

Emilio Valenciano said he enjoys connecting with his viewers and loves hearing how his videos and photographs have touched them. He said it brings him joy to know that his hard work provides people with the emotional experience he strives to create.

The creative process

Emilio Valenciano said that it takes many hours to produce great videos. He expressed that he tries to do high quality work with precision in order to convey his messages with ease. He remembers spending over 100 hours working on a five-minute video of a BYU-Hawaii student’s weightlifting trip called “Lifting Burdens Short Film.”

He explained that the process of creating good content is about starting with an idea, finding inspiration and talent, and bringing the idea to life. A unique aspect of his process is to first record the audio and sync it with the music to create a vision and layout for his video. He said: “I like to put things together with music and audio before I even start filming because I want to listen to the audio, listen to the music and imagine what the end product will be.”

He said he seeks feedback from fellow videographers and photographers during production in order to improve the quality of the video and have a fresh outlook on his film. He often asks his wife for advice, he says, as she is also familiar with photography and videography.


A man dives underwater with a mask, snorkel and fins.

Photo by Emilio Valenciano

Passion for everything

His friend and fellow creator, Harold Pedroso, a senior from the Philippines studying hospitality and tourism management, shared Emilio’s passion and drive to create and tell stories through his work. He commented, “Whenever he feels exhausted he always comes up with these crazy ideas that we should be doing, which always brings back my motivation to keep creating.”

Pedroso noted that Emilio Valenciano often does work for fun and as a creative outlet, rather than doing it for money or praise because of his pure passion for creation. “He doesn’t think of getting paid when he takes on a project. He cares about whether the film is going to impact a lot of people and how he’s going to do it.

Sarah Valenciano said: “He has a bolder outlook on life which definitely reflects his personality through his work. He’s a go-getter. He dreams big, which can be seen in his works.

Emilio Valenciano said he discovered his passion for creating videos and photographs when he arrived at BYUH three years ago. He recalled marveling at the beauty, colors and sunsets, and said he felt inspired to capture the beauty through his camera. Valenciano said there are so many places to find inspiration to create. “I really like the saturation and the colors of Hawaii, especially underwater when I’m diving. I love the feeling of freedom and the underwater life. It’s so blue and one of the most beautiful places. It’s almost like stealing, ”he noted. He added that inspiration can be as easy as taking a walk or swimming at the beach.


A guy is surfing on the ocean with blue sky and clouds in the background.

Photo by Emilio Valenciano

Valenciano urged novice designers to follow their passions with one simple piece of advice: repetition. “The best way to master it is through repetition. I can see the difference between my first shot and my shots right now. Editing is one of the main factors that affects the beauty of a photo. It took me hours of editing, tons of tutorials and tons of going to the beach, diving and taking photos to create my images today, ”he commented.

He also said it takes practice to “find the right timing, the best shot, the best angle and position as well. If you’re in the wrong position, you obviously won’t get the best shot you can. ”

He added that aspiring creators should get out there and enjoy what they have in front of them during their time on the island. He said: “Give yourself a break, go for a walk, watch the sunset and enjoy nature. ”