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Appreciating fortunate accidents, caring communities, lifelong memories -30-

Crystal Trinh stands for a portrait. (Julia Zhou/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Crystal Trinh

June 10, 2024 8:58 p.m.

My video production journey started accidentally, but I never looked back.

I first started in high school when I was trying to find my math teacher for office hours after school. It just so happened that her classroom was next to the computer lab that turned into a student news station after school. As a lost freshman, I entered the lab and was immediately enamored with the studio set up. I returned to the lab every week for four years excited to share the stories of my school community.

And I’ve done the same at the Daily Bruin for the past four years. When I arrived at UCLA, I was determined to continue sharing the stories of our community at large.

I started my Daily Bruin journey hunched over at my desk at home. Fall of 2020, I joined my first assignment desk via Zoom with the video production team. We ended our first meeting with a pitch: a video collaboration with the Quad’s Bruin Gastronomer series on how to cook chicken properly.

My first video with The Bruin was spent searing chicken from a convection top stove and sprinkling salt on my camera lens for an “aesthetically” appealing shot. I soon realized that while I thoroughly enjoyed practicing the filming and editing mechanics of video, I particularly enjoyed making sure the video was going through the publication process in an efficient manner. I enjoyed the process of creating a video and being in a space to receive constructive critiques.

So at the end of my first year, I took a chance to apply and was hired as an assistant Video producer. A few months into the position, the Video producer had to step down from their position and I was asked to step in. I was extremely anxious.

As a second-year in Fall 2021, I walked through the doors of Kerckhoff 118 for the first time for editor training and immediately felt welcomed by the golden yellow chairs, walls of under-watered plants and a lovely class of new editors. I remember immediately being welcomed into a small icebreaker group in which we discovered that our hot take was that we all loved brussels sprouts. And that is when I knew that everything would work out. My fellow brussels sprouts lovers were also entering new roles with new responsibilities.

At the beginning of my editorship, I had one main focus: creating community. Seeing the tight-knit relationships formed between editors, I set out to create a space within the Video section for students to learn from one another but also a smaller supportive community to foster strong relationships within the larger UCLA community.

Coverage of the Palestine solidarity encampment at UCLA was a true testament to the caring relationships we have fostered within and outside Kerckhoff 118. I will never forget seeing and experiencing the overwhelming support through regular Slack check-ins, snack offerings, appreciation posts and much more.

Reflecting on the past four years at The Bruin, I cannot help but smile – many times with a giggle. I will remember the times Video staff members said to me “Oh, I will be going with X person to film,” or “We are going to meet up at a cafe to edit this video.”

I will never forget the time I met up with Zoë Busenberg on campus at 4 a.m. to cover the UAW strike from the start. I will always remember working into the early morning hours with Matthew Beymer to ensure a timely first episode of Daily Bruin Television. I will never forget contributing to #DB-eats with Abi Siatkowski with our chickpea curry with roasted sweet potatoes when our class was canceled.

I will never forget Olivia Simons, Tyler Cho, Mia Tavares, Isabel Rubin-Saika, Helen Quach and I venturing two hours out to The Rainforest Cafe in Ontario, just because. I will always remember the joy I felt when my roommate, Elinor Hough, joined The Bruin, let alone her first article in print that is plastered on our fridge. Soon, next to her first article will be a PRIME piece we co-wrote.

I will never forget the Fall 2024 Foodie Digest Flatpage. My freshman self that created a chicken tutorial from home would be smiling knowing that three years later, I would be spearheading a food-related collaboration across content sections. I will always remember being in the ads office late into the evening and filming staffers as they tried a variety of Trader Joe’s fall items and full-body jumping and screeching after spotting a jumping cricket on the ground.

I will never forget the first time I was #Wild-DB-ed when Sanjana Chadive spotted me on the way to campus and with eyebrows raised, smirking, she frantically juggled her phone out to snap a photo of me, and immediately chuckled as she walked away. I totally have not done this to any other Daily Bruin staffers…apologies, Kate Green.

I will always remember the excitement I experienced when a Video staffers’ project was officially published on our YouTube channel. I will never forget sitting at our end-of-year -30- celebration table and seeing Video staffers talking and laughing among themselves. As I look back at the past three years leading Daily Bruin Video, I am overwhelmed with joy.

My video production journey started accidentally. Looking back, I am so grateful for getting lost that one day in high school. It led me down a path that has brought some of the most meaningful experiences and friendships I will carry with me for a lifetime.

Trinh was the Video producer 2021-2024. She was also a contributor to PRIME, Design and The Quad.

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Crystal Trinh | Video producer
Trinh is the 2023-2024 Video producer. She has served in the role since 2021 in addition to contributing to Design and The Quad. She is a fourth-year international development studies student minoring in global health and information and media literacy.
Trinh is the 2023-2024 Video producer. She has served in the role since 2021 in addition to contributing to Design and The Quad. She is a fourth-year international development studies student minoring in global health and information and media literacy.
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