Carmen Mirachian, majoring in media arts and studies, is the director, writer and executive producer of her short film entitled “SNATCHED”.
That production is slated to begin in early summer, and Mirachian said she wants to create that film before she graduates in May.
“I had never had the opportunity to direct my own film,” Mirachian said. “So I said, ‘You know what, I’m not going to let that stop me, I’ve got a great team of people behind me, a great group of friends who know what they’re doing and I think we can do something cool,” and I really wanted to have some directing experience before I got into the real world.
Mirachian said this film was inspired by personal experiences and aimed to shed light on dark situations.
“It’s based on a time when I was in high school – I was cheated on…it took a toll on my confidence and I had to go through that to finally gain self-confidence and become self-aware and become independent,” says Mirachien. “And I think that’s something that a lot of young girls and young boys and just young people in general, it’s a common situation that people face.”
Several other students are involved in this production, such as BFA and senior theater student Nick Easterling, who plays Gio, and senior media arts and studies Gwen Davis, who is the production designer.
Mirachian said she thought Easterling was the most suitable for the role while arranging auditions for the cast.
“I chose my actors based on the personality they brought to the characters. And (Easterling) really stood out because he really portrayed this fucking boyish, but confident, but geeky kind of character” Mirachian said, “And he just brought that personality to the character that I haven’t seen in any of the other contestants.”
Davis said that this movie put more emphasis on design than movies usually do.
“I would say the biggest difference is…the focus on production design, because a lot of people in the filmmaking group (at WSU) don’t think about it or it’s like an afterthought, and I think the teachers don’t value it as much,” Davis said. “So I feel like the focus on that and being very specific about the production design is really exciting because it’s going to turn out to be something super unique and specific and cool. “
Mirachian said the production team collaborated with several Detroit artists to help add to the film, including singers, songwriters and designers.
“I wanted to find a budding Detroit-based designer who would be willing to do this with us, which is a little different because it’s for fictional characters.” said Mirachien. “…So we found a designer, Jada Tipton, and we worked with her, which is so exciting because we can bring that different aspect and support people in our community, different artists who aren’t just essentially filmmakers.”
Mirachian said the production team also collaborated with various local women-led businesses in hopes of securing necessary funds for the film. This includes the jewelry brand “by talarmal”, the chocolate company “Bon Bon Bon” and the skincare company “Rated XSkin.
Another can drive took place April 4-29 in Old Main, and a GoFundMe has been created.
The film has a tentative release date this fall, Mirachian said.
Mirachian said she is looking forward to putting her work into the film world and her interests lie in producing and hosting entertainment.
“Once the film is finished, I really hope it helps establish who I am as a filmmaker and really gets my aesthetic and my work out there and people in the industry take me seriously. ” said Mirachien. “…After hosting Metro Arts, I really realized that I was very interested in the entertainment industry. I’m very interested in collaborating with artists in my community, so I would be very interested in making music videos, documentaries about artists.
Mirachian was the host of this year’s MetroArts Detroit, a student-produced television show at WSU featuring Metro Detroit artists for broadcast on Detroit Public Television.
During its Season 11, Mirachian said she may have been influenced by the various talents on the show.
“I’ve met so many artists in Detroit…I’m so inspired by their art and I’m so motivated by the artistic community in Detroit and how all of us, like, if you scratch my back, I scratch yours and I just make those connections and support each other,” says Mirachien.
Easterling said he hopes this film will be a message of creativity for viewers.
“I hope they enjoy it and enjoy the shorts – usually they don’t get that much attention, but the world desperately needs creatives and it needs people with things to say and stories to tell.” said Easterling. “And I hope they can at least appreciate that. Even if they’re like, ‘Oh, this is just a cheesy teen rom-com’…the world needs more or less than what it needs, more people are willing to create.
Mirachian said this film would be the pinnacle of his education and experience at WSU.
“So this project is basically like the culmination of everything I’ve learned over the last four years of film school and working freelance with my friends on movies and music videos — taking all of that and by improving and making my own big vision and having confidence in myself as a director.
Additional information about “SNATCHED” can be found on the official website Instagram page.