A group of high school and college students, a $700 budget and a director with a dream — those seemed to have been the only elements necessary in order to generate and construct a feature film this summer. This film — written, produced and directed by 16-year-old Matt Thompson — utilized the passions and skills of each cast and crew member who voluntarily took on the hard work of making a movie. “The Medallion of Man” is a story that combines the humor of a teenage boy who lucked out in finding a powerful, lust-filled medallion with the classic message of simply being one’s self in order to find true love.
The cast and crew of Medallion had the chance to see the fruits of their labor on the big screen at La Paloma Theater in Encinitas for a private showing in August. Now they have the opportunity to show it to the public in a first theatrical release coming on Monday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ultra Star movie theater in the Del Mar Highlands. As Thompson finishes up editing the last few minutes of the film he says, “My goal was to not only utilize my own talents, but the talents of so many other artists and passionate people to put out a great product and I believe we have done that and hopefully all of our efforts will be reflected on the screen.”
Every individual of the film used their talents and fields of study to build the success of the movie and allow Thompson’s vision to come into fruition. Those that went off to college after the film completion were able to gain a little insight for their selected career through their participation in the project. Those already in college are now able to expand their portfolio.
Marly Hall, a college freshman who attends San Francisco State University majoring in costume design, had the opportunity to form and direct the costume department for the movie. She stated that, “Knowledge was one of the most important things that colleges looked at; however, knowledge is nothing without application and experience.” Hall is not only the woman behind the wardrobe, but the lead actress in the film, as well.
“Working on the set of The Medallion of Man, gave everyone a chance to gain experience in all aspects of film,” Hall says.
A few of the students who took part in the movie had already obtained experience in their chosen careers and were able to contribute to this film. A junior at Gonzaga University, Nick Smoldon composed original scores for the movie using his knowledge and experience studying music composition. He says that, “Writing a score has been a big job for me and has given me excellent insight into the requirements of a first-year music composition major; I am thankful for the opportunity.”
Graphics were created by Christopher Rosa who is pursuing a career in graphic design for his future.
A star actor in the theatre department, Michael Mahady, a senior at Cathedral Catholic High School, showcased his acting skills for the first time in front of the camera. As the lead in the movie, Mahady noticed the considerable difference between acting on a set and on a stage. “I thought screen acting would be easier, but I was proved wrong,” Mahady says, “The camera picks up every single thing you do and everything has to be consistent or it messes up the entire scene.” Although his passion remains with the theatre he was extremely grateful to have experienced a different form of acting.