Walpole High’s 10th Annual Film Festival Gets Rolling


Andrea Lee

Everybody in Walpole High is familiar with the famous Film Festival; they’ve seen the groups of kids walking through the halls with a camera in hand, the noisy groups behind the partition in the computer lab, and of course, the finished products during the May showings. But what many don’t know is the action that goes on behind the scenes, and the crazy, hectic schedule of any crew that is participating in the Film Festival. And this regular insanity is currently in full swing, as all crews have been in production for over a month now.

Cherry Crew:

Movie: “The Weaver Report”

Directors: Senior Derek Caneja, Senior Pete Bruen, Junior Andrea Lee

Actors/Actresses: Junior Jackie Gately, Sophomore Jimmy Lombardi, Senior Emma Batting

Art Director: Junior Darci Bruce

Assistant Director: Sophomore Jimmy Lombardi

Synopsis: The Weaver Report is about a student who is failing TV Production; so, in order to save his grade, he begins to create false sensational stories about select teachers at Walpole High.

Summary: Cherry had a lot to take on with Jimmy Gillon’s script that is brimming with faculty performances and needs an adequate amount of art direction with some of the scenes. Caneja is known as one of the most skilled directors of the bunch, and has had a lot of experience with the camera and editing. Bruen, who worked on the basketball documentary last year, has stepped up to not only help the actors and give direction but taken on a lot of the editing responsibilities too. Lee, balancing between two films (Weaver and the Documentary), has been working on the scheduling and learning the film process from Caneja and Bruen. Bruce has had her hands full with a lot of art direction that this movie needs, working with Lee to schedule and get all of the actors and props all set. And Gately and Lombardi have exceeded expectations when it comes to acting, along with Batting, who serves as Gately’s competition during the film.

Dragon Fruit Crew:

Movie: “Promzilla”

Directors: Senior Rebecca Goula, Senior Casey McGuill

Actors/Actresses: Junior Nicky Browne, Senior Casey McGuill, Senior Rebecca Goula

Art Director: Sophomore Bri Doherty

Assistant Director: Junior Rachel St. Germain

Editor: Senior Gabby DiRino

Synopsis: A journalism student follows the hectic ups and downs of her friend’s prom preparation experiences.

Summary: Goula has taken on a significant amount of work for this movie; not only did she write the script, she is directing and acting. Dragon Fruit was also the only crew to start filming before December vacation, and has proven to be one of the most productive crews. Browne has been doing a great job of acting in her debut main role alongside Goula, constantly changing outfits and subjecting herself to actual prom disasters ( for instance, tanning lotion gone wrong). McGuill, who has played the lead male role before (Texting the Limits, last year’s Film Festival), is succeeding yet again in both directing and acting. St. Germain has been learning in stride and handling the camera when Goula and McGuill are in a scene together. The “mockumentary” is sure to be a funny one, bringing to the surface the traditional prom problems. This crew has exceeded and earned a spot in the fruit nest several times because of their productivity.

Horned Melon Crew

Movie: “Wicked Man”

Directors: Senior Anthony Earabino, Senior Pete Dugdale, Junior Phil Reidy

Actors/Actresses: Senior Pat Maloney, Junior Phil Reidy, Freshman Jenny Hunt

Art Director: Junior Jess McNamara

Editor: Senior Mike Hebner

Synopsis: A crew in the film class try to document a mystery, entangling themselves in a mess until the terror is unleashed upon them.

Summary: Earabino wrote the script himself, and did a fantastic job bringing horror into writing; now, he is directing to bring the horror to the screen. Reidy has been taking on a significant role in the movie with being a director and an actor. Dugdale has also been being a strong director and filming almost all of the scenes. Maloney is not only continuing to be a successful actor, (Lunch Lady Land, last year’s Film Festival) but also working on music for several movies. McNamara has also stood out with her role on the crew, handling a lot of the difficult tasks that the movie brings. And Jenny Hunt, despite only being a freshman, has been exceeding expectations as an actress. Horned Melon is almost done with filming, and based on the script, the movie has a lot of potential in the horror genre.

Pomegranate Crew

Movie: “Triple Dog Dare”

Directors: Senior Kellie Jo McCann, Senior Julianna Donaher

Actors/Actresses: Junior Becky Chariton, Sophomore Chris Barajas, Junior Evan Parsons

Art Director: Junior Becky Chariton

Assistant Director: Senior Tim Sullivan

Synopsis: A shy student at the school is triple dog dared to ask a girl to prom, but he refuses. Now, he has to do whatever anyone dares him to do.

Summary: “Triple Dog Dare” is definitely one of the most humorous scripts of the bunch, as it was written by McCann and Donaher themselves. Chariton, who has been in drama club for years, has been bringing just as much to the movie as she has to productions. Parsons and Barajas are perfectly cast as the two main male characters in the film, and the three together are very successful. McCann won best director with senior Jen Sifferlen and Matt Mullen at last year’s Film Festival, and now is trying to bring the awards to TDD alongside Donaher.

Plum Crew

Movie: “Marvin the Mentor”

Directors: Senior Kayla Sweeney, Senior Jenny Landon, Junior Matt Johnson

Actors/Actresses: Senior Marvin Jean-Simon, Matthew St. Martin

Art Director: Sophomore Mike McKeon

Synopsis: When a student is getting into consistent trouble in classes, administration steps in and tries to teach him a lesson by pairing him up with a first grader who serves as his mentor.

Summary: Plum by far has the most personality crammed into one crew, and is constantly seen with their mascot, Penelope the Plum. Sweeney and Landon have been bringing all of their past skills from being Plums last year, and Jean-Simon is, of course, providing comedy. St. Martin has been working very hard, despite having such a significant role at such a young age. And McKeon and Johnson have been doing their part too: McKeon has excelled as an art director and has worked on editing, while Johnson is one of the most experienced in the class as he has been doing movies throughout his high school years.

Cranberry Crew

Movie: “A Serious Student”

Directors: Senior Dan Meyers, Junior Erin Batchelder

Actors/Actresses: Senior Dan Meyers, Senior Luke Witherell, Junior Ali Russo, Senior Colby Locke

Art Director: Senior Carolyn Nascimento

Assistant Director: Junior Ryan Erwin

Editor: Junior Ryan Erwin

Synopsis: A student’s world begins to shatter as rules around him are continually being broken.

Summary: The script was written by Meyers himself, who clearly has a big role in the making of this film as he is acting and directing. But Batchelder is without a doubt one of the hardest working in the entire class: she films everything because Meyers is an actor, she schedules, and is constantly after school working. Erwin has proven himself to be a skilled editor, and now is helping out with directing too. And Nascimento has had her hands full with the abundance of art direction that is needed in this movie that Meyers wrote to dig deeper than traditional plots of films do.


Movie: Film Festival 10th Year Documentary

Directors: Junior Andrea Lee, Junior Erin Batchelder, Junior Phil Reidy, Junior Matt Johnson

Synopsis: A documentary about the 10 Years of the Film Festival

Summary: This crew has had their hands full, because each director is also on a different crew (Lee on Cherry, Batchelder on Cranberry, Reidy on Horned Melon, Johnson on Plum). The four juniors have had a lot of help with Film Festival alumni Emily Cotellessa and Thomas DaSilva, who have been contacting other alumni and doing interviews. The crew always has footage that needs to be gone through but it takes a lot longer for Crabapple business to get done because the directors all have other commitments.  However, they have continued to get interviews done, and are soon going to begin sifting through the numerous hours of footage they have.

Huckleberry Crew

Movie: “Adorn in the USA”

Directors: Senior Dan DuBois and Senior Carl Tempesta

Actors/Actresses: Senior Dan Adorn, Senior John Griffin, Senior Hope Kelley

Art Director: Senior Carl Tempesta

Assistant Director: Junior Steve Bean

Synopsis: A bunch of directors pitch various, interesting ideas about the last installment in the Adorn trilogy.

Summary: The progress of the third and last Adorn movie has been moving along smoothly, with both directors having adequate experience in film making. Adorn is, of course, keeping it classy as always, as the crew hopes to complete the trilogy with great success. Kelley has been doing great in her debut main role in a film too. Tempesta has proven himself to be a hard working director, constantly after school and even using free periods to work on the movie. Art direction has also been fantastic so far, as so much art direction is needed, and extras, as trivial as they may seen, have been a tremendous help to the crew. Based on the script, the movie has a lot of potential to be funny, the type of comedy that only Adorn can bring as he has for the past two years.

Pomelo Crew

Movie: “A Full Windsor”

Directors: Senior Jen Sifferlen, Sophomore Rory Hardiman

Actor: Senior Justin Connolly

Art Director: Senior Justin Connolly

Assistant Director: Senior Chris Boran

Synopsis: The life of a student is significantly changed when he masters the tying of a full windsor knot.

Summary: While there were several people who wanted to do this movie, Sifferlen and Hardiman claimed it first and have been doing very well filming. Sifferlen won Best Director along with McCann and Matt Mullen in last year’s Festival, and now is back with a completely new crew. Pomelo has the very funny Connolly as the main actor, who won Best Actor last year too. Clearly, this crew has a lot of potential both directing and acting, and Hardiman has been a key asset to Pomelo, even though he is only a sophomore. Joining Pomelo recently is Boran, who is now serving as the assistant director. Filming has, of course, been underway for weeks now, and it has been a success; there is obviously an abundance of talent on this crew.

Mulberry Crew

Movie: “Finals Day”

Directors: Sophomore Hannah Mullen and Sophomore Rory Hardiman

Actor: Sophomore Kyle Raftery

Art Director: Sophomore Ashley Waldron

Assistant Director: Sophomore Doug Stewart

Synopsis: A student is unable to pass his history final due to a series of unfortunate events, causing him to have to take it again and again.

Summary: Mulberry was the last crew to get the green light on their movie. The script was written by the directors themselves, and Mulberry is the only independent film crew this year. Mullen and Hardiman both have a lot of work to do on this movie, because they signed on later than the others and because Hardiman is also directing another movie. Mullen’s brother happens to be Matt Mullen, one of the most well known Film Festival participants because of his skill and dedication. The only reason Mulberry was able to be taken as a crew name was because Hannah is a Mullen; to anyone else, it would not be open.

Every crew has a blog on www.whsfilmfestival.com, as well as a Twitter account. All of the fruits will be in full swing hectic production and editing in the months ahead until the showings in May.