‘Unlucky’ is the lucky winner

Jenna Kuczkowski

Kent State University Independent Films produces a full feature length film every other year. Last year we saw the group produce the horror film, “Hell at Heathridge,” and now we see them head down a different path, concerning production. As of this past fall, KSUIF began the process of taking submissions for scripts to turn into their next feature film, with theme guidelines focusing on a romantic comedy and environmental issues.

The deadline to submit a script was early October, after which a script selection class began reading through the submissions. Hannah Raulston, the executive director of marketing for KSUIF and a member of the class that had the task of selecting this years script, said there were 15, 80- to 100-page long scripts to read through. The class is used to decide the winning script to avoid bias and include more people in the reviewing and voting processes. 

“Mostly we were looking at the humanity of characters and how their dialogue showed that. The characters had to seem like real people, how they integrated the theme into the story and the believability of it,” Raulston said.

After more than 2 months of reading over each script and debating its qualities good and bad, a decision was made for KSUIF’s next feature film. Titled “Unlucky,” the winning script was written by electronic media and film senior, Nathan Mitchell.

“Honestly, I didn’t think there was any chance it would win,” Mitchell said. “I thought up about a hundred reasons it would be rejected right off the bat when I submitted it.”

“Unlucky” is about two college students, Liz and Sam, the latter of whom has a horrible history of bad luck within his family. These two cross paths and quite literally run into each other, causing Sam to end up with Liz’s term paper and begin a long journey full of shenanigans while trying to return it to her.

“It is a hilarious script that is well structured, has entertaining characters and a lot of potential,” said senior electronic media production major Caleb Ference, who was also a part of the script selection process and is vice president of KSUIF.

Mitchell describes his creative process as coming up with a few ideas and working through them all to see which pans out and works the best. He also spent time last year helping out with KSUIF’s last film, “Hell at Heathridge” and cites it as insight of how KSUIF functions and a little of what they were looking for.

“Working on ‘Hell at Heathridge’ let me see how much KSUIF could do. It’s helped me to see both how much an independent film company could achieve and yet how limited they were,” Micthell said. 

Right now, the script is currently in pre-production and Mitchell is working closely with KSUIF to fine tune the script to perfection.

“We’re working with him to … get his perspective on things because, ultimately, he’s still the writer and any decisions still go through him, he’s still the one making those calls,” Ference said. “So it’s not like he is giving us the script and we are changing it for him, this is ‘we’ve talked for several weeks about things with the script that we liked, didn’t like, what was good, and what we could improve’.”

Production of the film will take place during the summer, followed by post-production this upcoming fall and the release of the film billed for April 2016. 

“I think its extremely relatable script and combines a bunch of different types of comedy. And if you have a team dedicated to showing the humanity of the characters and a team that understands why this is a great script, than its going to make an amazing movie,” Raulston said.

Contact Jenna at [email protected].