Just weeks ago some of our team went to Bentonville High School. They spoke to the video production class about the business we’re in.
One student inspired us. Zane Smith is an exceptional person and it’s clear he’ll go far despite anything in his way.
Zane Smith loves film.
“All my life I’ve thought filming just makes sense to me, you know, the pointing and shoooting and I love editing,” Smith said.
He won an award this year for a PSA he titled “Stamp Out Smoking.”
“I love putting it all together,” Smith said. “Sequencing and lining up shots.”
But not only is Zane an avid video shooter and editor, he earned national merrit after taking the PSAT, has a 4.0 and as a sophomore already has colleges contacting him.
“School is important to me, you know,” Smith said. “It comes first.”
Zane credits his success to his disability.
16-year-old Zane was diagnosed with a congenital retinal disorder called Retinitis Pigmentosa, or RP, when he was eight.
“It’s not as much an obstacle as it is motivator,” Smith said.
Doctors can’t give a timeline, but Zane will eventually be completely blind.
“I can’t see my hand right now,” he shows us. “You know i can’t see my hand right now. You know, I can’t see my hand right now,” Smith continues as he moves his hand closer to his face.
Two years ago he had to stop playing competitive sports. He started using a mobility cane at school just this past September. But through it all, he remains positive.
“If I spent my whole life being upset about this then it was just going to pass me by so you know,” Smith said. “I’m going to do everything I can every day just to be successful.”
Zanes video production teacher Scott Fusselman says Zane does everything he can and his talent is exceptional.
“To not only produce something similar to what his classmates are doing but to actually exceed them is truly remarkable,” Fusselman said.
But, Zane won’t always be able to see the monitor, even with a large screen on the highest brightness with a zoom feature, like he uses now.
“This is you know, ‘finder, file, edit,'” Smith said as he showed us his magnified screen.
But he has found his true passion.
Without sports, video production, or eyesight in his future, Zane found a love of being in front of the camera dancing!
“When it’s in the kitchen it’s annoying,” Zane’s mom Melody Smith said. “He gets told to please quit but when he’s on stage and when he’s performing there’s nothing like it.”
He started about two years ago when his friends got him into it.
“I probably took up that next hour dancing and fell in love with it and I mean, haven’t stopped since,” Zane said. “I just couldn’t imagine breathing without dancing.”
It’s a love he won’t ever have to lose.
If you want to see Zane in action he will be in studio to dance on our morning show May 24.
He’ll be on KNWA in the 6am hour and FOX 24 in the 7am hour.