SARANAC LAKE — “HIT,” a short film written and directed by Saranac Lake resident Kirk Sullivan began filming last week.
The purpose of the musical short, which is funded by Sullivan’s production company Bing Bang Boom and the Adirondack Foundation, is to help students navigate life after high school, according to Sullivan.
“The project includes a lively mix of music, theatre, dance and animation”, he said, calling him a “educational video off the beaten track.”
Sullivan interviewed various people in the field of education for advice to better understand how to go about the project. He hopes the film will resonate widely with 9th and 10th graders, allowing them to consider a wider variety of options and interests at an earlier age.
“There are many paths to success, many of which don’t necessarily include a four-year college education. You know; trade school, technical school, community college. There are internships, mentorships, scholarships for kids who might think they can’t afford college,” he said.
Filming took place at Saranac Lake High School from July 19-21 and the film is aimed at schools in the Adirondacks. Sullivan has created an educational video about sportsmanship in Saranac Lake High Schools in the past, which was released in 2019.
Sullivan has been working to get this new movie to as high a production level as possible. He has experience writing screenplays for Warner Brothers, Sony and Lionsgate, and has worked with Disney and political parties to create commercials and commercials. He enlisted friends from all over the country to create this production. His team includes cinematographers and a producer from Los Angeles, a film crew from New York, and a lighting crew from Syracuse. Locally, he has done commercials for the Adirondack Foundation, Nature Conservancy and more.
The actors and dancers are all local, hailing from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Keene and Plattsburgh. Alongside the professional team, a few local students help out behind the scenes. The dancers were from the Saranac Lake Dance Sanctuary, and the company worked closely with Sullivan during filming.
Sullivan’s main goal was to narrate the film to the students in an enjoyable and memorable way.
“We will also be making many individualized versions for different school municipalities. … We have singing and dancing teachers in the videos, and in these individualized versions, we put faces of real teachers on the bodies of our professional dancers,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan considered this a “community driven project” with local talent and local audiences, but hoped for a positive impact in the Adirondacks and beyond.
“Really, hopefully using it as a conversation starter…my hope is to show that we can create problem-based content, but in a creative, compelling and memorable way,” said Sullivan.
“HIT!” will be distributed digitally through Kirk Sullivan, the Adirondack Foundation, and various social media platforms in the coming months. Sullivan credited the project with support from the Adirondack Foundation, high school principal Josh Dann and Superintendent Diane Fox of the Saranac Lake Central School District, the Rotary Foundation of Saranac Lake, Dance Sanctuary, and local actors and dancers involved. .
“I’m super excited for everyone to see it. What I’m most proud of is how many people came together to make this happen, from all sorts of different places and walks of life,” said Sullivan.