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KAHS Students Screen Short Films at Alamo Drafthouse

Miranda Gershoni, Copy Editor

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As the KAHS kids wrapped up the documentaries they were working on the first six weeks, they began brainstorming for their next project: narratives. What began as just ideas have now become short films that will be submitted to SXSW and other film festivals across the country. For this project, students had to pitch their script to the class if they wanted to produce it. Then, each student chose which group they wanted to be a part of, and which role they wanted to take on: producer, director, director of photography (DP), or editor. Since the initial assembly of each group, the narratives have kept the KAHS students busy, all the way from pre-production to post.

“I think the best thing is envisioning it in your head and being able to make that come together,” senior Cole Ratliff said. “You’re the one who’s thinking about it and saying ‘this is how I want to make it and this is how it looks in my head’, and then you get to create that.”


Many KAHS students agree that the most important component of filmmaking is planning: all of the work put in before actually shooting. This is what makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful film.


“We’re on top of things and that feels good. I credit most of that to the planning in pre-production,” Senior Nicholas Aragon-Maresca said. “I’m proud of what we’re doing.”


Junior Avni Singh gained valuable technical and organizational experience from her project.


“Producing has been a great experience,” Singh said.  My main responsibilities have been to schedule and arrange shoots, facilitate communication, and fill in any other odd jobs while still keeping everyone excited to be a part of this project.”


Senior Alejandro Lopez has developed critical leadership skills and learned about the dual nature of leading a group of people.


“In my opinion the most important aspect of being a producer is patience,” Lopez said. “As the leader of the production you have the director, DP, and editor looking to you to know what do next and that undertaking is both terrifying and exhilarating.”


Senior Seth Parsons found the most enjoyable part about directing was interacting with the crew and actors.

“Interacting with all the actors, watching the director give instruction, and seeing everyone work together and grow was a joy and definitely my favorite part of the process,” Parsons said.


Most students were confronted with new challenges each step of the way.


“The worst thing is definitely scheduling,” Ratliff said. “It is incredibly difficult to get a group of people to one location and be completely free for an extended period of time.”


Working with several other students who maintain busy schedules was a major obstacle the students had to work with.


“Even if we had everything planned out well beforehand, people love to cancel or just give complete radio silence as if the production doesn’t matter or have a deadline,” Parsons said. “It was definitely stressful to get everyone actually on set.”


For senior Sam Tagle, being a director means constantly trying to maximize efficiency.


“We struggled with that a little bit to start off, but throughout the project, we’ve gotten better at managing our time and not wasting it on set,” Tagle said.


Senior Caedmon Arguello believes that Murphy’s Law, the idea that if something can go wrong it will, certainly applies to filmmaking, and so being prepared is crucial.


“I have learned that you need to always plan for a disaster because making a movie is a lot like a wedding: everything that can go wrong will go wrong,” Arguello said.


Through this project, Alejandro Lopez has come to better understand how to agree without being disagreeable.


“Disagreements and detours are just part of the job description, but this project has helped me learn how to take those better in stride and not only learn from them but to turn them into something better and truly unique,” Lopez said.



Producer: Alejandro Lopez

Director: Cole Ratliff

Writer: Alejandro Lopez


“Our movie is about a 24-year-old college student who takes interest in a 16-year-old girl. He tries to win her over and it turns out to not be a very good outcome,” senior Cole Ratliff said.



Producer: Miranda Gershoni

Director: Sam Tagle

Writer: Miranda Gershoni


HACKED is about a high school student named Levi who recently got the new smartphone that just came out. Through the facial recognition, the phone hacks into his brain. Throughout the film he starts to lose control over his actions,” senior Sam Tagle said.


Anthony Está Jodido

Producer: Nicholas Aragon-Maresca

Director: Tommy Wangemann

Writers: Tommy Wangemann and Nicholas Aragon-Maresca


“Our film is about a kid who cheats on his Spanish final and asks for any way to make it up to his teacher, he’s begging because otherwise he won’t graduate. And then the teacher knocks him out and he wakes up in Mexico,” senior Nicholas Aragon-Maresca said.


The Delivery Guy

Producer: Avni Singh

Director: Anne Marie Marler

Writer: Avni Singh


The Delivery Guy is a story about a recent high school graduate, kicked out of Harvard for underage drinking, who must deliver pizza to his old high school (Austin High!) without being seen by anyone. This experience may just push the embarrassed teen over the edge,” junior Avni Singh said.


A Means To An End

Producer: Seth Parsons

Director: Caedmon Arguello

Writer:  Caedmon Arguello


A Means to An End is about Michael, a depressed, college-aged artist who is contemplating suicide on a bridge,” senior Seth Parsons said.


Cupid’s Arrow

Producer: Caedmon Arguello

Director: Ritivik Parkash

Writer: Ritivik Parkash


“Our film is about a kid who gets Saturday school and gets punched by a peer who he spills his juice on. As result he is rescued by our love interest character and they go to his house and essentially become an item,” senior Caedmon Arguello said.

Senior Sam Tagle and juniors Ben Fremin and St. John Requejo set up for their next shot at a coffee shop for “HACKED.” Photo by Miranda Gershoni.

Senior Nicholas Aragon-Maresca and junior Dante Caputo set up for their next shot for “Anthony Está Jodido.” Photo by Lili Smith.

Senior Sam Tagle crouches in his car for the perfect shot of sophomore Troy Abbott. Photo by Miranda Gershoni.


Students in the crew of “HACKED” pose for a photo with cast members at their screening at the Alamo Drafthouse. Photo courtesy of Miranda Gershoni.

Sophomore Troy Abbott poses for the first shoot for “HACKED.” Photo by Miranda Gershoni.

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KAHS Students Screen Short Films at Alamo Drafthouse