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PW Students are writing, filming, producing, and editing a feature film 

PW Students are writing, filming, producing, and editing a feature film 

by Leena Krayyem, PWHS Class of 2024

With over 150 hours spent developing, writing, filming, and editing, the Plymouth Whitemarsh Film Production Club is on course to premiere their second feature film titled The Roomlink Initiative. The premiere is located at the Montco Cultural Center at Montgomery County Community College this June.

The film follows a group of students as they work together to prevent the total takeover of a productivity Artificial Intelligence system. The AI pits students against each other in a battle for the greater good of the school.

PW Film Club with camera and boom mic recording scene on stage

PW Film Production Club shooting a scene in the school's auditorium. 


Click here for tickets to the premiere

History of the Club

The Film Production Club began in the fall of 2022, after current Junior Koseli Thakali realized that there were no such active clubs at the school. Since then, the Film Production Club has completed a short film, and is in the process of producing another. The team has also produced a documentary about the PW Cheer team called Hitting Zero: A PW Cheer Documentary that will be shown at the premiere this June.

“I noticed that our school didn’t have a club like this,” Thakali says, “And once we got started, we were just too stubborn to let it go without actually finishing it.” 

In just two years, the club has evolved significantly from having a measly fifteen members to doubling the production team and the actors, and now working with nearly a hundred people throughout the process, including teachers and administrators. 

Team Involvement

Thakali assumes the role of director and producer on the production, overseeing the ideating, the plotting, the writing, the scheduling, the filming, the re-scheduling, the re-filming, the editing, the advertising, and the celebrating of the final product.

However, producing a movie is not a simple feat, and it truly takes a village to put on a production of this scale. This includes Gabriel Fullerton, who is the executive producer of the film. His role entails overlooking the production schedule, and scheduling actors and crew. Fullerton also was cast in a featured role in the production. 

“I love what I do,” Fullerton says, “being at every shoot while being so deeply involved gives me a great perspective on everything.”

Fullerton’s role is especially critical when it comes to scheduling filming during some of the busier times of the year. Jackson De Guzman, the Head Writer and Casting Director, mentions that “the amount of dedication and time that needs to go into a project like this rivals other high-involvement clubs like TSA and Mock Trial.” All aspects of the film have totaled around well over 150 hours throughout the course of the year, demonstrating the great time commitment that all of these students devote to the project. 

The Roomlink Initiative Synopsis

The idea for The RoomLink Initiative was inspired by the increasingly digitized world that high school students are entering. In 2024, the SAT became fully digital, and many AP tests are opting for digital versions of their exams. The rise of Artificial Intelligence agents like Chat-GPT also have facilitated a new aspect of the possibilities in academia.

“We wanted to establish the increasingly frightening capabilities and implications of technology,” Thakali continues, “yet we acknowledge that technology is cool, and we should definitely keep innovating, but we should do so with more caution than we’re currently using.”

The creators of the story hope that the message of the film resonates with a student audience, touching on many of the modern strains that plague today’s students.

De Guzman says, “I'm very passionate about the current story we're trying to tell because it's describing, at least thematically, if not literally, a struggle that all students have to go through.”

Overcoming Obstacles

The crew has had their fair share of struggles while trying to coordinate their production schedule. From the end of the school day at 2:20 p.m., a day of shooting requires the team to reserve shooting locations, obtain and ensure equipment is charged, set the scene, light the scene, manage continuity, and capture thirty shots before wrapping up at 5:00 p.m.

student operating film camera while another student looks over their shoulder

Assistant Director Thomas Warshaw operates the camera while Director/Producer Koseli Thakali looks on.


“I don't think anyone realizes really how much actually goes into making a movie,” Assistant Director Thomas Warshaw says, “I mean, even the fact that we have to work within our school schedules is a major limitation.”

In spite of any difficulties, the Film Production team has not given up, and that is thanks to an extremely dedicated group of students.

Warshaw adds, “Not only is the club bigger, it is much more motivated. Almost every aspect has scaled itself up. I think that is going to be very clear once you see the final result.” 

Conclusion

Overall, Thakali maintains an optimistic tone about the potential of film creation at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, and the expansion of the media arts as a whole.

“I believe that most people have the skills to create a production. When we first started, only a few of us had basic camera skills, and I don’t think any of us had actually written a full movie script,” Thakali continues, “So it came down to how much we actually wanted it.” 


Come support the Film Production Club at their premiere on June 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Montco Cultural Center at Montgomery County Community College. Hitting Zero: A PW Cheer Documentary and The Roomlink Initiative will be premiered in a double feature.

Click here to purchase tickets online. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

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