Dearborn High School students Edwin Cerbantes, Ralph Evangelista, Evan Foret, Kevin Connor, Christopher Perez and Andres Hernandez pose in front of the poster for “Saint’s Cove,” a movie they filmed that premiered Wednesday at the Michael A. Guido Theater.
‘No Hollywood filmmaker has to pass pre-calc.’
— Kevin Connor
By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – A film produced by students at Dearborn High School premiered Wednesday at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave.
“Saint’s Cove,” is the latest effort from the school’s video production class, which has been producing its own films since 1999. It tells the story of a teenager who inherits a small-town cabin inhabited by members of a cult.
The latest film is the first full-length thriller the class has produced after doing mostly comedies. Last year, they produced a short thriller that was met with positive reviews from audiences, class members said.
Senior Kevin Connor, who wrote the script, said he ventured into a new genre to expand his creative horizons. He said students felt they needed a new challenge after continuing to excel at comedies.
“The comedies were better and better each year,” Connor said.
Connor and senior Evan Forett, who directed the latest film, agreed that organization was the most difficult aspect of putting it together, and that managing the film while trying to keep up with school was challenging.
“No Hollywood filmmaker has to pass pre-calc,” Connor said.
The reason the class’s films have been a success so far is because the group of students get along well, said senior and sound manager Ralph Evangelista.
“Other programs aren’t as engaging,” he said.
The student films have premiered at the Michael Guido Theater since 2005, when the mayor for whom the venue later was named allowed the class to use it. Films previously premiered wherever spots were open, including the basement of the Henry Ford Centennial Library and the Ford-Tel Theater, now a donation center for the blind. At the Ford-Tel, the films sold out three nights in a row, video production teacher Kurt Doelle said.
One year, the students premiered a film in the video production classroom, which usually holds about 50 people.
“It was a disaster,” Doelle said. “Imagine a hundred people cramped in here.”
Forett said class members feel lucky to have been able to do the latest project, and that they hope it helps to raise public awareness and ensure future stability for the local film industry.
“I hope that people see the importance of film in Michigan,” Forett said.
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected])