Ryan Sieng, EHHS junior and member of the EHHS Media Club produced the short comedic film called, Everyone’s Invited. The film has recently been showcased at Skills21 Expo Fest, “a festival for students of Connecticut,” on May 24, which can be seen on YouTube here.
Like many other things on planet Earth, the film’s production was somewhat affected by COVID-19. Not too many actors were able to film in-person at the school, and the ones who could had to wear masks, even during filming. Despite this, director Ryan Sieng, was able to come up with creative ways to explain away the pandemic. The costume design purposefully includes scarves to hide the masks used by some of the actors. The plot of the film is focused on a blizzard, which provided another creative device to explain why the film included a virtual meeting.
In fact, the pandemic is purposefully never mentioned in film and one of the motivations for making Everyone’s Invited came from “a desire to spite COVID restrictions”, as stated by Ryan Sieng. A small inspiration for the film taking place primarily through a virtual call meeting came from a horror film called Unfriended. Of course, instead of a horror atmosphere Ryan Sieng decided to go for a more comedic one. Having a surprise visitor invade the virtual meet was also inspired by that film, as Ryan explained that, “...the idea of a surprise visitor to a video call was something I subconsciously wanted to replicate.”
Principal Photography, or the days of filming, took about a month to complete, with scenes being shot in the EHHS’s Technology Room and Fitness Room, as well as the actors' houses. During the pre-production process, Ryan would meet up with fellow Media Club members, Amber Martin and Christy Phimmavong, every Wednesday to write the script. Ryan used video cameras, tripods, and microphone equipment provided by the Media Club advisor, Ms. Jessica Spinelli, to record the in-person scenes. For the virtual in-call scenes, the online student actors were asked to use their computer webcams or their phone cameras to capture the feel of being in a Zoom call or Google Meet.
Everyone’s Invited is a short film worthy of EHHS attention. A lot of hard work was put into it by the creator, Ryan Sieng, and the actors involved. With funny moments throughout and a surprising, hilarious guest appearance at the end, Everyone’s Invited is not a film to be missed. The film can be seen on YouTube by searching up Skills21 Expo Fest.