Elisa Platillero combining a love for storytelling with a eye for video
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
Elisa Platillero is young by calendar age, but seasoned by experience in her chosen profession as a video producer.
“I have loved telling stories my entire life,” the President of Sherwood Media told us recently at Old City Java, one of her favorite downtown Knoxville coffee shops. It’s also clear the telling involves the visualization that comes from her eye for video.
Platillero picked-up a video camera at age 10 and has never looked back. During her freshman year at Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK), she and her best friend produced a video titled “Truancy Loves Company.” It was about kids who skipped school to go to a concert.
“Our parents had to drive us around to shoot the video,” Platillero explained. After all, the two high school students were too young to have a driver’s license.
While a student at Asbury College, Platillero was able to serve as a Camera Assistant at the Vancouver Olympics. She subsequently worked as a Director, Technical Director and Camera Operator for Ichthus Ministries; Photographer and Photo Editor Intern for Alltech; and a summer as a Co-Producer and Assistant Director for the American Film Institute.
Through those experiences, she absorbed considerable knowledge that would serve her well in her chosen profession.
“There’s a lot of work going on in the background,” Platillero told us. “I loved getting people to work together.”
Graduating one semester ahead of schedule, she took her camera and went to Spain – Platillero is one-quarter Spanish – where she worked at RioVida School developing a promotional video.
Back in Knoxville, she found many closed doors before landing a position as the Media Production Coordinator for the University of Tennessee’s (UT) Center for Sport, Peace, and Society. The organization is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative.
The Center’s webpage describes its work as using “sport, physical activity, and recreation to promote cultural understanding, to enhance student learning, to improve community welfare, and to foster social change.”
Platillero went on two-week trips with girls from various, largely underserved countries, “capturing the stories” of these cultural exchanges and producing three-minute highlight videos of each trip.
“The videos created a great way to measure the impact of the program,” she said.
Her contract with UT ended in January, and Platillero founded Sherwood Media.
In the few short months since founding Sherwood Media, she’s worked on the “What’s the Big Idea” 48-hour launch, undertaken contract work for Scripps Networks Interactive and HGTV, and even started producing a music video.
“It’s been steady work . . . life is good,” Platillero says. On June 13, she’s getting married.
As she pursues her professional goals and focuses on three-minute videos for the web, telling stories remains a central part of her philosophy.
“A frame captures a moment, but a story captures a legacy,” Platillero says.