Masking for a Friend

Student film at Hoover in editing stage.


By Linus Hartigan and Madison Luka

The Hoover High school film, Masking for a Friend is finished filming as of this month and is now in the editing stage.

Mr. Dave Huber is overseeing a project to make a film at Hoover. The film has a mostly student crew, with Leona Kiderian as director, Madaleyne Sallakian as cinematographer, Lilian Petrosyan as assistant cinematographer, and Huber as producer.

“Students were mainly taught how to do stuff so they could run it,” says Huber.

His daughter, who works with sound equipment professionally, taught students how to run the sound equipment and then the students did the sound themselves.

Students clapped the slate, ran the boom mic, operated the camera, and are now doing the editing.

“My job was being assistant cinematographer, assisting with sound, and kind of everything. If anyone wasn’t there, I’d help out,” says Petrosyan. “It’s been a fun experience. I’ve learned that film is definitely more tiring than plays, or live theater.”

With that being said, production hasn’t exactly gone perfectly. Sometimes when they were shooting in a classroom after school, the band would start practicing loudly.

Another time, they needed an empty playground for a scene. Huber found a playground that was empty every time he drove past it, so he decided the scene would be shot there. When they all got set up to start filming, a family showed up with “the most annoying little girl ever,” She was screaming and yelling and laughing for so long that they just decided to film the scene with her in the background.

The movie itself is a play-off of Cyrano de Bergerac, the 1897 French play originally written by Edmond Rostand.

Cyrano de Bergerac is about a man named Cyrano who is unattractive and insecure. He falls in love with a woman named Roxanne who he assumes doesn’t love him back, and when a handsome man named Christian comes to town, he asks Cyrano to help make Roxanne fall in love with him.

“We did a movie based on that, but our ending has a twist compared to the ending of the original,” Huber says. “It’s a class who’s reading Cyrano, and slowly some kids are inspired by the story of Cyrano and end up playing it out in real life.”

Masking for a friend won’t just be a modernization of an old play, though. Many creative decisions have been made in order to give the film a more broadly appealing tone.

“It’s pretty much a coming of age film, just about young people growing up, discovering things, and making new relationships with people,” Petrosyan explains.

Another inspiration for the film is The Breakfast Club.

“Breakfast Club is kind of a hip comedy thing, but it also has a lot of drama in it” Huber states, “You get to know the characters.

“There are lots of different characters that you get to know, and there are lives underneath and behind what’s happening. There are some dramatic moments as well as funny goofy stuff.”

By now, you might be wondering how you’ll be able to watch Masking for a Friend. For now, the movie is still in development, but there are a couple of planned ways that the movie will be available.

When editing is finished, assumed to be sometime in May, there will be a premiere here at Hoover.

The second option, however, is a little more exciting.

“Next year, it will be sent to film festivals,” Huber declares, “and hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to watch it in a real film festival in a real theater with a real red carpet, It should be kind of fun.”