Behind the Curtains of Publicity


Story by Dakota Currier, Staff Writer

Stolen camera equipment, lost footage, and being stuck in the woods during a rainstorm. This all sounds like a plot to a cheesy movie, but is what happened to East Meck filmmakers. 

Throughout the 2021-2022 school year the Film Club wrote, filmed and produced a short film titled Publicity all on their own–but not without its setbacks. 

From August to December 2021, five members of the film club wrote and finalized a script that best fit what they refer to as a “mockumentary” style short film. This mockumentary was supposed to be a fun, cheesy movie, which director Mercy Kinsey describes as, “a school’s film club’s attempt to make a movie,” proving all too true to the situation. 

Pulling in parts inspired by real life and adding overdramatization, the final movie showed similarities between what the club went through while filming, and the writers’ creative flair on the story.

After creating a final script they could begin filming. The club would meet after school and film parts of the movie for hours at a time. The cast filmed in different places, ranging from East Meck’s campus to the woods behind Kumani Bey’s house. 

The group struggled to find their specific filming spot buried deep in the woods. The search had taken so long that, “when we finally got there I looked up, and I saw the clouds rolling in,” senior Kayne Domenech, who played the character Eli said. “It didn’t rain on us, and Mercy had us all going, then at a certain point it started getting darker out,” Domenech said. 

Then, out of nowhere, the clouds opened up on the cast and crew, sending everyone running for their cars and halting the filming. This setback caused tensions to rise as together they had to wait out the storm and push back filming.

 Filming sessions like this became long and stressful, but everyone on set worked to bring each other up and stay motivated while working towards their goal. This final end goal is what kept them going through it all. 

Unfortunately they’d be hit with yet another setback that even the most bubbly of cast found hard to look past.

Towards the end of filming, the lead cameraman’s car was broken into, with all the camera equipment stolen, including the SD card that held all the film’s footage. “The day after we didn’t know, then Mercy broke the news to us,” Domenech said, killing the productive buzz found around the film crew. “It was a big hit for us,” and film club had to quickly come up with a new plan. 

Working fast the crew began reshooting as much as they could, and with luck on their side the SD card and stolen footage suddenly reappeared, without explanation to the crew. However, Kinsey couldn’t let both films go to waste, and incorporated a stolen-footage sequence to the short film, in order to account for the real life theft that happened.

Through the challenges that the film club faced, they found that they had the ability to creatively adapt to the situations thrown at them and work as a group to solve their problems. Maeve Merrick, co-writer and actor for the character Kelly said, “We did well with our group’s chemistry as friends,” which played a part in the group’s ability to overcome these situations. However, such a good team dynamic did lead to its distractions on set, and loss of focus from cast members.

“We could have improved a little bit on focus and organization,” Merrick said, adding that working with such a big group was often difficult when it came to coordinating shooting days and times, and dealing with distractions on set. But with such an amazing group chemistry it only makes sense they lost focus in a dynamic like that.

Despite the setbacks faced, and hurdles they jumped, Publicity and its crew made it to the finish line. Publicity has been released on the PinkRoomEntertainment YouTube channel, and a screening for the public occurred Mon. October 17 in East Meck’s Auditorium. 

If interested, you can find out more about Film Club and PinkRoomEntertainment through their social media and future film club meetings.