On June 17, the first day of classes at the National Student Leadership Conference, five students began writing a sinister short film at American University.
Tasked with creating a final project for their Script Writing and Video Production class, the production team decided on a film that includes action, comedy and a dark plot twist at the end. The film was set to debut at the end of the 11-day leadership conference, which brings students from across the country to Washington D.C.
Arthur Churchwell, a 17-year-old from Nashville, Tenn., who was cast as the lead actor in the film, said he was enthusiastic about his role. Churchwell said he was surprised at the amount of scriptwriting the team ended up doing in comparison to the actual filming of the project. He didn’t expect the ratio of time spent writing to filming to be so lopsided.
Kashi Hall, a 17-year-old from Eugene, Ore., wrote the majority of the script, including many of the key plots twists. The short film revolves around one of the characters who comes into contact with a backpack containing something valuable to the antagonists. A chase ensues throughout the film and eventually comes to a close after the lead character goes through a series of trials that test him physically and mentally.
Hall said the writing and production course was very informative and almost exactly what he expected. A highlight for Hall was being able to see other films that students in the class had directed and produced. Hall said he enjoys seeing the creativity and level of effort that people put into their projects.
“I enjoy seeing the different ways of thinking that my peers have,” Hall says. “One must always ask the question that will make the improbable become probable.”