2012-05-11 / People

SMCC students enter “mockumentary” in festival

By Kristy Wagner
Staff Writer

Will Porensky, Kaycee Hendricks and Shawn Quirk have collaborated on a film titled “Ushers,” which will be shown at the Maine Mayhem Film Festival. (Kristy Wagner photo) Will Porensky, Kaycee Hendricks and Shawn Quirk have collaborated on a film titled “Ushers,” which will be shown at the Maine Mayhem Film Festival. (Kristy Wagner photo) Three students from SouthernMaineCommunity College – two of whom are from South Portland – have completed a feature film that will play at the Maine Mayhem Film Festival in Portland.

Kaycee Hendricks, Shawn Quirk and Will Porensky collaborated on the short film, “Ushers,” which is based on Hendricks’ experiences working at Cinemagic movie theater in Clark’s Pond. Quirk and Hendricksarebothresidents of South Portland.

“I started writing it in the fall,” Hendricks said. “It’s a mockumentary about working in a movie theater. It takes place over one whole night following the premier of this big movie called ‘Nightfall.’”

“Nightfall” is Hendricks’s parody of the popular “Twilight” vampire movies that have gained a large following in recent years. Hendricks said she started writing the screenplay with two of her co-workers at the theater. The comical mockumentary style parodies the traditional documentary.

“We started out with writing down things we saw at work or things that were ridiculous to us and it just evolved,” Hendricks said. “Every scene is basically based off something that actually happened, but just more exaggerated.”

The three students take an advanced audio video applications class taught by Corey Norman; the movie is the culmination of the course for students. Norman is executive producer for all four of the films from his class that will play at the Nickelodeon in downtown Portland.

“I joined up with these guys in January and we started production, then we went into post production and now we’re here,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks worked as writer, director, co-producer and she also did some camera work. Quirk and Porensky co-produced the film with Hendricks and they both helped with editing and audio. Porensky also acted in the film.

“I play a character that goes into the theater on this huge opening night of a movie not knowing what I want to see at all,” Porensky said. “He holds up the line for, like, 10 minutes.”

Maine Mayhem Film Festival is an annual display of films written, directed and produced by SMCC students who study in the communications and new media department. The festival had its debut in 2011. Each film is the result of months of work on the part of the students involved.

“We worked pretty hard. We went weekly and over break we shot for several days,” Quirk said. “We filmed once a week and during post production more than once a week.”

Hendricks gained permission from her supervisors at Cinemagic to film scenes in the theater.

“We started shooting at 11 p.m. when they closed,” Porensky said.

The students said they were grateful for the support the theater gave to them by letting the group film in the building.

“It was extremely nice of them to let us film there,” Porensky said.

Movie goers pay $5 for a ticket to the film festival and the Nickelodeon will donate half of the night’s proceeds to the Red Cross.

“There are about 220 seats and there only about 70 seats left,” Porensky said.

The film, which chronicles the experiences of five movie theater employees and their boss, is the first for the three students, although Porensky had past experience working on the set of “No Country for Old Men” while studying at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. The showing at Nickelodeon brings a real-world flare to the school assignment by allowing the students to present the final product to a public audience, Hendricks said.

“It’s something a little more than just a school project that you hand in,” she said.

Staff Writer Kristy Wagner can be reached at 282-4337, ext. 219.

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