The filming of “Subsequent To” — a local film project inspired by the rise of school shootings in this nation — has begun with the production crew showing up at the Merced College campus to complete some scenes.
Cast and crew members told the Times they were “incredibly excited” to get to work after a long-but-successful crowdfunding campaign online to obtain funding to get the project off the ground.
Inspired by the tragic rise of school shootings across America, and the ongoing debate about gun control, a passionate group of prominent local actors and artists united to create “Subsequent To.” The short film was written and spearheaded by Madison Mitchell, a local actor who also serves as the director of the Children’s Theater Education Program at the Multicultural Arts Center in Merced.
The plot centers around two sisters who have survived a high school mass shooting, and follows them as they battle the following grief, loss, and guilt surrounding surviving such a harrowing experience.
Mitchell, who is now directing the film, spent most of last year refining the script, acquiring funding, recruiting crew members, casting the film and planning scenes. The local team she helped create includes friends and family members.
“To make the jump into actual production has been so surreal,” she told the Times. “I could not be happier with our team, and I feel so blessed to be on this journey with them. I look forward to every day on set. … The support from this community has been incredible. The Merced County Arts Council is our amazing fiscal sponsor, and we are so lucky to have their support. Nearly 70 generous community members donated to our fundraising campaign and without them, none of this would be happening.
“We are now in production and the generosity of the Merced community continues to astound us. Locations such as Merced College have been so accommodating in letting us film on campus. Restaurants such as Pretty Good Burger, 510 Bistro, and Taste of Little India have donated full meals to feed our cast and crew. The local shop Zane-It surprised our entire crew with customized coffee mugs displaying our movie’s poster. To make this film in Merced was very important to me, and we are so lucky that Merced has and continues to be so supportive.”
Key members of the project also include Abby Samuelson (actor and producer), Jenni Samuelson (producer and co-director), and Bridget Mitchell (producer and co-director).
“It feels surreal to finally have begun filming,” said Abby Samuelson. “This process started so long ago and seeing the vision start coming to life is amazing. This production is so important and seeing the constant support from community members and businesses has been so encouraging. We are so blessed to have an amazing cast and crew, and I am so grateful to be a part of it, and so grateful for the vision and leadership of our director and writer Madison Mitchell.”
Samuelson added, “We had a conversation about a year ago discussing how creating a short film together would be such a special project, and here we are a year later. Learning the behind the scenes of film and what is needed to make things happen, has been an incredible opportunity. I cannot wait for our community to see this important film.”