Skye Wingo learned many things while studying abroad in Japan during his junior year, perhaps none more important than this: impossible dreams can come true.
“Being a student in Japan was … a dream I called impossible. Once it hit me that I was actually attending classes, the classes I had only seen on TV or read in books, I saw the impossible become my reality,” Wingo says. “So I let my childhood run wild in Japan and told myself that when I left, my childhood would stay in Japan. I wanted to return to the U.S. serious about achieving my impossible (dreams).”
And Wingo, 21, a senior screen studies major and management minor at Clark, is well on his way to achieving his next impossible dream, which he says is paying it forward to his family from his art. In fact, he believes, “that impossible is pretty possible.”
Wingo, who received his first camera as a Christmas gift at age 10 and made his first video two years later, realized he wanted to be a filmmaker at 14 after staying up until 4 a.m. editing an episode of “Kids At Dark News,” a video series he created where children reported on fake news stories.
Since then his projects have become more sophisticated. While a student at Clark, Wingo wrote, directed and edited his first short film called “The Fourth” – he describes it as a “Cleveland love story” – which was accepted to the Lake Erie Arts and Film Festival. With his production company Swingo Films, he also edits the web series “Weird Enough to Work” as well as working on music videos and videos for Clark’s Marketing and Communications Department.
Check out four vlogs Skye made when he was studying abroad in Japan
While Wingo knew he wanted to study film before enrolling in college, he chose Clark over other colleges and universities because it offered more than just film.
“The schools I applied to were liberal arts because I wanted to get a well-rounded education instead of just focusing on my art,” he says. “I wanted to study films as I had a touch of production [experience], but no previous knowledge of film theory, so I decided to attend Clark as I felt the theory was the strongest here.”
Looking back on his four years here, he’s even a little in awe of his progression from his first year.
“I just knew I wanted to do something with film at that time, and I'm surprised that not only have I kept up with it, but I have gotten a lot out of my experience,” he says.
He credits the Clark community for helping with that. Specifically, Professor Hugh Manon, who gave him his first job making videos for Clark’s YouTube channel, and Professor Stephanie Larrieux, who provided opportunities to learn about film outside the classroom.
“The community has been nothing but supportive,” he says. “Professor Manon showed me my work is something to recognize and every Management professor gave me the confidence that I could earn everything I work for in my field. I can't thank them enough.”
As for life after Clark, Wingo has applied to graduate school, but is up for anything.
“I want to go out and do something, experience what's around me. Even when I make it to the big screen, it will be for nothing if I don't have a few stories along the way,” he says. “So maybe I'll move to New York, or Seattle, or fly back to Japan. The only outcome I see clearly is that I've only just begun to see who I am and the difference I can make.”