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Ashley M. Purvis

Research: how do I make a gothic children’s book?

I spent all summer thinking about what I wanted to produce for my senior capstone project. Throughout my time at Juniata College, I focused on creating videos for myself, on-campus clients, and community partners — yet, I had always wanted to write a book (and amidst COVID-19 and social distancing, it seemed the perfect time to do so).

Illustration by Hayley Purvis

Americans in Prison

Thousands of men and women in the United States are currently imprisoned, some serving life sentences, some serving several years, but there is a commonality with all of them; for those with a chance to leave prison, on average, most of those individuals will return, stacking up a history of crime-related incidents for their record.

According to Gwynne Watkins in her paper about arts programs in the prison systems, a large 49 percent of those individuals without previous participation in any rehabilitation program will be arrested again within two years of release. …

Tatum Poirier, Ashley Purvis, & Hayley Purvis on site at the East Broad Top Railroad

I didn’t know how we were going to succeed this semester, but I tried not to show my pessimism. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and my passion for film, I didn’t think we could make filming work while also keeping our distance and being safe.

Who would want to watch people being interviewed with masks on? Would we be able to get compelling footage by keeping our distance? And would we put ourselves and others in danger by going on site to film? These questions were always on my mind.

August 2020 — Stuff I really miss. I miss doing normal, mundane stuff. Didn’t we all just take every little thing for granted?

Ashley M. Purvis

Filmmaker | Writer | Artist

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