GCC Student Creates 'Happy' Video with Hospital Workers

Pink Theme Draws Attention to Breast Cancer Awareness

Batavia, NY- How do you make a fun video with your employees on a minimal budget? Wyoming County Community Hospital (WCCH) enlisted the help of GCC student Thomas Atkinson of Warsaw. A film and video enthusiast, Atkinson—through friends—was contacted by the Hospital to make a video for Breast Cancer Awareness that features hospital staff. The 21-year old volunteered his time, some 30+ hours. The Pink Glove video is now posted online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6N1-PlQoAc.

“He gave so much more than we expected from him initially, and more than what he expected,” said Marilyn Werner, a community relations consultant working with the hospital who helped organize the videotaping along with WCCH Director of Emergency Services Elizabeth Gray. Gray had done a similar video at her previous employer, Highland Hospital in Rochester. “She put out a note to the staff here, and we were floored by the enthusiasm. Everybody just wanted to participate,” Werner said.

Werner enlisted the choreography help of her daughter, Kristen Drilling, who’s also taken classes at GCC and manages Images in Dance locations in Batavia, Perry, Brockport and Akron. Drilling directed the first scene, which features hospital administrators entering the main lobby and being greeted by people from six hospital departments all clad in pink, dancing to the Pharrell Williams hit “Happy.”

From there, the video highlights a number of different departments, 27 in all, according to Werner, who each came up with their own costumes and ideas. “A lot of the staff actually went out and purchased pink tutus, scarves, hard hats, all of that was done by the staff,” Werner said. It took two days to shoot every scene. “It was my first time on my own both shooting and editing a video,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson has always enjoyed watching movies. A friend of one of his sisters has a film degree and makes videos for Spotlight Movie Theater in Warsaw. He got Thomas more interested in how a movie comes together. “I like connecting the dots of how long it would take to make a movie, how much effort, and I really started getting interested,” Atkinson said. Making this video for the hospital was a real learning experience. “Looking back, I’m not disappointed at all with how it came out, but I can see where I can improve myself in the future,” he said.

For the “Happy” video he saved his favorite footage for the last scene in the four and a half minute piece. In it, members of the dietary department are outside the hospital cafeteria where they had chalked and spray-painted a pink ribbon on the ground. “They’re having the most fun,” Atkinson said. “They had pink cream pies and they pied each other in the face. I felt like they were the most happy and natural group.”

Atkinson is in his second year of studies at GCC’s Warsaw Campus Center. He’s pursuing a General Studies degree which he hopes to complete by next summer. After that, he may transfer to a 4-year school and pursue a film degree. For now, he’s enjoying activities at the Warsaw Campus Center and encourages others to get involved. “There’s usually free food,” he commented, knowing what attracts fellow students.

The hospital couldn’t be happier with Thomas’ effort. “Oh my gosh, it’s amazing,” Werner said. “We’re excited about it.” The hospital is using the video during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to promote awareness about the breast screening services it offers.

Thomas is happy too, though—after listening to the song too many times to count--he won’t mind if he never hears it again. “I’m not a big fan of the song anymore.”

Thomas is the son of Amy Davis and has one younger sister and three older sisters.

For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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Editor’s Note:
For a photo of Tom Atkinson at GCC’s Warsaw Campus Center go to: