A look from behind the lens

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By Blaine Netzer / Special to Viewpoints

A look inside (Alyss Alarcon / special to Viewpoints)

By Blaine Netzer / Special to Viewpoints

Not many people can say that they work with zombies one day, and Marilyn Monroe the next.

For Corona resident Alyssa Alarcon the average work week includes finding such characters or simply just her friends in the viewfinder of a camera.

“Photography is basically my way of trying to show the world the way I see it,” Alarcon said, who is an avid photographer, cinematographer and video editor.

A freshman at Riverside City College, Alarcon was born and raised in California with her two younger brothers and her parents who were fellow artists themselves.

“She’s always trying to learn more about her passions and dedicates countless hours to learning her crafts,” said Alarcon’s best friend since childhood, Felicia Berger, a student at Cal State Fullerton.

Berger has been watching Alarcon’s passion for photography and cinematography grow for a countless of years.

“She’s a very visual person and has this knack for capturing the magical moments of life. She sees beauty in places that I think are trash,” Berger said.

Being raised by two artistic parents had a major play on Alarcon’s, passions.

“I’ve always seen things a bit more offbeat than most. I’ve been trained since my childhood to look at the world in my own perspective,” Alarcon said.

Home-schooled from kindergarten until her sophomore year of high school, Alarcon believes that she learned more by being home-schooled, even though she disliked it.

During the course of her freshman year, for example, she had a 12 class workload, though she could go at her own pace.

“I definitely wish I’d been exposed to people my own age younger, but at least I can speak well to adults,” Alarcon said.

But not being as exposed to kids in her own generation did not stop alarcon from being social, or reaching out to other kids.

Instead she just found her own way.

When she isn’t setting up spotlights or positioning her subjects into poses and looking for the right lighting during a photo shoot, Alyssa is working on a picture-a-day type project, which she calls her “Project 365.”

Drawing inspiration from other similar projects, Alarcon snaps a photo a day of something in her life and posts it to her ongoing album on her Facebook profile.

On top of doing photography, she also writes, films and directs her own original Web show called ‘”The End.”

“The End” was inspired by “The Guild,” another Web show with a gamer-based audience.

However, her web show “The End” is far from being based on a video game.

“The End,” basically got birthed through a random conversation that went something to the effect of me saying I want to make a web show. My boyfriend asked about what, and I said zombies,” Alarcon said.

“The End” is currently being filmed and produced, with established outlines for a second season.

“A typical filming session is basically just a cluster of madness, to be honest,” she said.

Alarcon and her crew found out the hard way, filming is more than just the snap of a camera.

“We plan everything out beforehand, but no matter how much we plan, nothing ever goes as expected,” Alarcon said.

Along with the help of her production staff, the show has finished filming its fifth episode, with hopes of many more to come.

Photography and cinematography aren’t the only outlets for her creativity.

Alarcon also spends time writing scripts, outside of her Web show, and devotes a large amount of time to reading, which she says is like a breath of fresh air for her.

Much of her spare time outside of her hobbies is spent catching up on the latest televison shows such as, “Dr. Who,” “Supernatural,” “Chuck” and other shows, as well as taking a Medieval Swordsmanship class at Cal State Fullerton.

Amidst all of her work with media, Alarcon’s life took an interesting turn within the past few months.

After struggling with math and memory, Alarcon was diagnosed with two learning disabilities she has had since childhood.

The first, dyscalculia, hinders her ability to process numbers.

“I see a number as a symbol that means nothing. Thus, I have a lot of trouble with math,” Alarcon said. She explained that if a number were 3D, she’d only be able to see the 2D portion of it.

Because of this disadvantage, Alarcon has had some trouble in math classes, requiring more effort.

However, with the help of her counselor, she is finding ways to advance in college and work around her problem.

The second disability is one that has to do with her short term memory, which Alarcon said is “terrible”.

“Unless something holds prevalence over my immediate life, I can’t remember anything. It’s really frustrating,” she said.

She lightheartedly commented that she now uses four planners and a calendar to ease her aggravation, and help with her organization

Despite being diagnosed with two disabilities, she is determined to not let them consume her life, or cease her dreams.

“Once I was diagnosed, a lot more things started to make more sense,” she said.

In Alarcon’s desired future, she sees herself traveling in Europe, or more specifically Dublin, Ireland.

“Out of 39 states and five countries, I’ve never felt more at home anywhere. Just the energy of the country, it’s incredible,” she said.

Alarcon vows to one day live in Dublin.

Aside from travels, she intends on studying film at Cal State Long Beach with hopes of becoming a film editor.

“I’m just obsessive compulsive enough that I can do the job,” she said, adding that putting the story into sequence is gratifying.

She makes it clear that film is her passion and first love.

“Photography will probably stay a hobby rather than a career path,” Alarcon said.

In addition to “The End,” Alarcon has also edited video pieces with her boyfriend, James Delhauer.

She worked on his film, “Identity,” which proceeded to win various awards in the Corona Goes Hollywood film festival for the Corona-Norco school district.

The film also won several awards in the Palm Springs Student Short Film Festival. With a win at this festival, Alarcon also earned a ticket to another festival next year, as well as an interview with a radio station.

“I see the world in colors that don’t exist,” she said.

It’s through this lens that Alarcon finds the drive to capture the world in still frame, or have her take in video.

Whether it be filming the zombie apocalypse, or finding comfort in the sound of the shutter of her camera, Alarcon finds solace in media every day.

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