HOPE—The Hope General Store serves as a catalyst in 19-year-old Emma Jordan’s short film The Musicbox, which won an Honorary Mention award at the 43rd Maine Student Film an Video Festival this year, run by the Maine International Film Festival.
“I had to come up with a Halloween-themed short film for a school project,” said Jordan, who studied filmmaking at the Mid-coast School of Technology through its Design/Technology program.
With an eye on submitting a short film to the Strand Youth Film Festival, Jordan assembled the film’s premise around a music box that has been part of Hope General Store’s decor for years.
Jordan, who also works at Hope General Store, describes the film in a logline: “At the Hope General Store, a creepy music box has unintended consequences.”
The music box is a mini replica of Hope General Store that functions both as a suggestion box and a music box.
“When you twist the handle, the music is creepy enough, but there are weird pauses in the track and it plays for a really long time without stopping,” she said. “It always freaks the employees out, which gave me the idea for a movie.”
Along with a trap door on the floor of the store, Jordan began conceiving the story for a psychological horror genre.
The 2-½ minute film, written, directed, and filmed by Jordan, features two friends who provide the dramatic tension, along with co-worker Billie Steere.
Jordan wrote the screenplay, organized the shot list, and did all the filming and editing.
“We closed at 7 p.m. that night and immediately began filming—I think it took us until midnight to get the shots done,” she said.
MCST’s film program enables students to earn college credits through concurrent enrollment and Jordan has been able to utilize their training and equipment as a third-year film student while studying at Southern Maine Community College.
Her film has won multiple awards this year, the first with The Strand Youth Film Festival’s “Senior Best In Show” category and at MIFF’s Maine Student Film and Video Festival. She also won the National Skills USA Television Video Production competition last month, which was an eight-hour competition requiring contestants to create a minute-long commercial to a client’s specifications.
Jordan, who got her start in high school with the Camden International Film Festival by submitting a student film that was screened at CIFF Selects, has been entranced with the filmmaking business ever since.
“I got a pass and met all of these directors who were passionate about film and storytelling and I knew right then, that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.
After a few short films and reels under her belt, she has gravitated toward narrative filmmaking as a creative outlet. “I just got into 3-D animation this past year and I am really interested in going that direction,” she said. “I’m also working on a mini-series this summer, and although I may not get it all done, I’m also working on a pilot for it.”
Her mini-series, as she describes it is “about a boy who has a falling out with one of his closest friends and he ends up dying.”
“I’m really fascinated with how to shoot ghosts,” said Jordan. “He doesn’t remember how he died and the only person he can communicate with is his former friend and he needs to get that information before he can go into the afterlife.”
Her professional goals include doing commercial work for other companies once she graduates from college.
“That’s going to be really exciting because I’ve never had the chance to work with a big crew before,” she said.
For more information visit: Emma Jordan
Hail To The Rad Kids is an ongoing feature highlighting teens in the Midcoast with special talent.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org