Student Movie Night invites imagination and creativity


Riley Wheaton

Students sit in the Huss Center auditorium to watch short films. “Even if [Superzeroes] is kind of a mediocre movie, I like being on the radar,” senior Calla Saunders said.

Boraan Abdulkarim, Editor-in-Chief

The programs have been passed out. The stars have debuted ensembles that epitomize style on the red […and black] carpet of the Huss Center entrance. The directors and their respective casts sit grouped together, trying to purvey simultaneous vibes of confidence and a laid-back attitude.

Parents, teachers, and students get comfortable and wait for the opening remarks from the presidents of Film Club.

Tonight, these individuals are gathered for St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s annual Student Movie Competition, hosted by the Film Club. The prize to be won is the coveted SPASMA student film award, which was first awarded in 2008.

The schedule for the night was eclectic and multifaceted; first was a showcase of short and whimsical films from the Semester in Visual Narrative class. Next was a series of film interpretations of Shakespearean sonnets from the Classics in Society class.

Then came the main event.

First up was SuperZeroes, directed by senior Calla Saunders.

“The movie revolved around the idea of everyday people with semi-useless superpowers: as Saunders put it, they were “mediocre superheroes. We wanted to make a movie about mediocre superheroes to use our mediocre special effects abilities. We thought that if the special effects are really bad, then that would add comedic effect because they’re supposed to be really bad superheroes. It kind of works out,” she said.

In the movie, a girl [senior Meghan Joyce] uses levitation to lift objects in the air and learns to evolve her abilities in time to save her sister from a superhero serial killer [senior Riley Wheaton].

“We actually started last weekend, so it was a pretty hectic process,” Saunders said.

“That ended up taking way more time than we thought. If you can believe it, we had no plot [planned yet while filming]. We actually filmed the group scene first, so we set up the characters’ personalities and then Meghan and I filmed the rest of it that Saturday.” Afterwards, extra scenes were shot to fill in the plot gaps that were left.

For Saunders, the contribution of the movie to the competition and to her Film Club career is more valuable than the nitty gritty of the film itself.

“Even if this is kind of a mediocre movie, I like being on the radar,” Saunders said.

SuperZeroes and Blooper Reel were the two student films submitted by seniors Calla Saunders and Karsten Runquist.
Stephanie Li
SuperZeroes and Blooper Reel were the two student films submitted by seniors Calla Saunders and Karsten Runquist.

Immediately following SuperZeroes was the competition’s only other entry, senior Karsten Runquist’s Blooper Reel.

The film starts with multiple frames made to appear like bloopers. In it, a character [sophomore Breandan Gibbons] attacks and accidentally kills one of his friends while roughhousing.

“I was getting ready in the morning and I already had an original film, but my dad made a joke about one of us accidentally severely injuring one of our friends. I took that and turned it into a more serious thing,” Runquist said.

With a track record of films that tended towards the humorous and nonsensical, Runquist hoped to depart from his usual style with Blooper Reel. “I thought it would be interesting to just switch it up like that on people and have a mixture of both funny and serious.”

Runquist describes entering the competition as an experience of branching out; “It gives you a chance to step out of the ordinary and get entertained by your fellow classmates rather than go to the theater. It’s also fun watching your friends on the big screen.”