Lights! Camera! Action! Meet Canfield’s student directors


As the day begins, it’s common for students to hear announcements like, “Congratulations to the girls soccer team this weekend!” or “The wrestling team went to state!” 

But what about “A new student film debuted over the weekend”? 

Last year around Halloween, the short film titled It’s Just Candy was uploaded to the The Cardinal‘s YouTube channel. The video instantly made a splash, and now has over 1,000 views.

To get a better idea of what these student creators are currently working on and their thoughts on Canfield’s art programs, we spoke to seniors Marina Campos, writer and director, and Kaleigh Ceci, writer, director, and editor about their upcoming short film, Camp Roanoke. 

Campos and Ceci have previously worked on a short film together, titled It’s Just Candy. The idea came from their 48 Hour Theatre production of the same name. They explained the process of writing and filming in two days, Campos said, “It’s Just Candy was the brainchild of 4 hours of sleep and a lot of caffeine.”

Ceci added, “So what 48 Hour Theatre is, is you don’t know what show you’re writing until 48 hours prior to the actual show. We could have made it a lighthearted Halloween story but we weren’t really going for that.”

The show went well for the pair and the cast, Campos noted, “It ended up working out well for us.” Ceci agreed, saying, “We got the responses we wanted, all the gasps came when they were supposed to,” and Campos concluded, “Yeah, we have over 1,000 views on YouTube, so that’s pretty cool.”

The cast and crew is made up of a group of kids who do Speech together, along with kids from the Brockway Bizon Traveling Theatre Company, a group of young actors who write shows and perform them at libraries in the area. Many of the stars were brought back for round two, including junior Hayden Nottingham, now graduated Kat Roman, and now graduated Alex Sanders.

The three part short has been in production since June, but the idea has been floating around for some time now. Campos explained, “That’s a long story. Right after the first 48 Hour Theatre, me and Kaleigh we wanted to make another short film and I wanted to do something at a summer camp and then we put it off for a year-,” Ceci jumped in with, “-it was literally a year and then I was like ‘Hey Marina, summer’s coming up, we should actually go through with it.’”

Campos agreed, and explained that some content was added or tweaked. Olivia Love, a star of the new production added, “I remember them talking about it, I’d be like ‘What’s the next short film?’ and you’d be like ‘It’s Camp!’ and I was like ‘Oh?’” Campos put forth that the summer camp idea came from her childhood, in which she wanted to attend but never could.

When the subject of funding came up, and the crew explained their issues with the school’s art programs, Love said,“There’s no funding.”

Campos elaborated, saying, “Funding more, advertising more, more opportunities for fundraising? Even if you don’t want to fund it, give us more opportunities to raise money. I’m in band, choir, and I dabble in the drama club. They’re so underfunded, they have inconsistent staff, like Dr. H left, Mrs. Scurich isn’t doing it anymore so now we’re just kind of in between who’s going to run it. Mrs. Renyold’s still does it but she’s the nurse. The school needs to find consistency, maybe even offer drama classes. I know a lot of schools in the area have them, even the middle school doesn’t have it anymore.”

Ceci and Love explained their process of asking the middle school’s administration about possibly running the drama club due to the absence caused by the retirement of Ms. Clealand, who had been in charge for the past several years. The administration said they were looking into hiring somebody, but they heard nothing back. There is still no drama teacher at the middle school.

Go check out part one of Camp Roanoke on the Show from Canfield High YouTube channel! Part two is set for release on Tuesday, September 24th. Part two will also announce the release date for part three. To stay up to date with the productions coming out from Ceci and Campos, follow @chechfilms_ on Instagram!