Local News

Ashton Ross Shares History of California

By Owen Fugit

Media Production Editor

When LGHS sophomore Ashton Ross first started his project back in January 2022, he had no idea it would become the hour-long film it is today. California Long Story Short (CLSS) is a movie about the history of California from the discovery of the Americas to the early 1800s. Jam-packed with knowledge and comedy, Ross’ film is “a retelling of history,” that finally released on December 17, 2022, to an eager audience. 

CLSS follows the many adventures and voyages of settlers and missionaries in California, beginning with the British ‘discovery’ of California. The movie follows the story of Junípero Serra (played by junior Andrew Truesdell), a Spanish missionary tasked with expanding Catholic influence over the Spanish-controlled lands of California. During the movie, Ross covers many historically significant events, such as the foundation of colonies like Monterey, or the discovery of important bays and rivers. The story is narrated by Ross’ character, a professor at the fictional ‘California institute.’

Ross’ “baby,” was the result of years spent at the KCAT film summer camps. When asked about this, Ross said “…let’s do the history of the world. And then eventually, that became just the history of the US. And then one of the counselors there, who was one of my brother’s good friends, started calling it USA Long story short.” After the summer camps, Ross enrolled in the Multimedia Journalism class as LGHS. A main feature of this course is the long-term project (LTP) students create in the second semester. Ross thought about recreating another “Long story short” title, this time about the state of California.It was just me, my friend Jadon McClements and Andrew Truesdell going out into the forest in British explorer outfits, and goofing around. And that was supposed to be … a little 10 minute thing.”

This ten minute short story quickly evolved into a huge undertaking, consisting of nearly a year of work to bring California history to life. Ross said that he learned a lot, but mostly “…how to make a film. How long it takes working with people on set. Especially because organizing something like that, it’s very hard to get everyone there on time,” along with improving his camera and editing skills. Ross said his favorite part of the project was that “It was really fun to make with all my friends. It’s informative. It’s a very fun way to learn history,”. California Long Story Short can be found on Ross’ personal YouTube account, “Ossornothsa.”

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