‘Ashes of Man’ hits the big screen

Bella Podgorski, Editor-in-Chief

As the final product for her Custom Capstone project, senior Arianna Canny premiered her film “Ashes of Man,” among other short films, in the auditorium on January 18 and 19. The opening night also included a question and answer session following the film.

Inspired by directors Steven Spielberg and Darren Aronofsky, Canny plans to pursue a career in the film industry, hoping to be a director herself. In order to prepare herself for such a career, she has spent years creating films, editing films, and gaining experience. A custom capstone was another opportunity for her to expand on her skills. According to Canny, this project helped her expand her knowledge of film-making and important editing techniques that will help with her career choice.

“As soon as I finished writing this film, I thought I could just go ahead and film the next day. I didn’t think that months ahead we would need to get props, a cast together…The most experience I gained was in editing because it took about two and a half months to finish editing this whole project,” Canny said.

Aside from meeting all the necessary components of the Capstone program, Custom Capstone students are required to meet with an additional advisor. As such, Canny chose Audiovisual (AV) Director Evan Foreman to be her advisor, as they have worked together over the past four years in AV and on the 9:05 News.

“I chose Mr. Foreman as my advisor because he has a lot of knowledge of film production. As a film enthusiast himself, he was there as a good ‘practice audience,’” Canny said.

Canny not only helps with lighting and staging for school events, but also is primarily in charge of the weekly broadcast, signaling the anchor, and moving the clips as the program moves. “It’s been outstanding working with Arianna. AV is a symbiotic environment, and it is at its best when the learning process is fluid going between myself and students,” Foreman said.

Canny’s inspiration for the film came from a visit she and her brother, freshman Jameson Canny, took to Massachusetts. During their travels, they thought of the proximity of their grandmother’s home to an abandoned military base, her brother believing that it would be a perfect location for a dystopian war movie. Aside from his creative inspiration as well as lending his acting talents and moral support, her brother helped in offering Canny important feedback.

Future Steven Spielberg– Senior Arianna Canny addresses the crowd at one of the screenings of her film “Ashes of Man”. Canny completed the short film as the final product of her Custom Capstone project.

“It was really fun working with my brother. We are best friends, so doing anything with him is a good time. However, there were points that were difficult because he is someone who is very critical of my work and will offer harsh feedback. I know it is in my best interest, but sometimes it is hard to take it,” Canny said.

Aside from her brother, senior Julia Furmanek and junior Tim Scalzo made appearances in the film. Furmanek, working on her own Custom Capstone focused in writing, helped in supervising the script, while fellow AV and 9:05 News member Scalzo helped with editing.

At the premiere, students helped serve snacks and pass out programs. Friend and fellow 9:05 News member junior Olivia Urban went to the Friday night showing of the film. According to Urban, it was obvious how much effort Canny had put into the creation of the film.

“I thought ‘Ashes of Man’ was amazing. The special effects were so impressive and the plot was very easy to understand. My favorite parts were the flashback scenes…I know how hard Arianna worked on the movie and it definitely paid off,” Urban