Lights, camera, action: MHS senior’s new movie features teens, local landmarks

UPDATE: “Curently a Paperboy,” will debut at the Warwick Theater on Dec. 4, 5 and 6. There will be a red carpet event on the first evening and a wrap party on the last night. For more information, click HERE.

*****The following story first appeared in September.

Marblehead High School senior Wyatt Foley is making final edits on his debut movie, which he co-wrote, directed and filmed. The Warwick Cinema plans to screen it this winter.

“It’s a dream come true. We worked so hard on it,” Foley told the Current.

The 40-minute movie is called “Currently a Paperboy” and features Marblehead teens and locations. 

“It’s a coming-of-age movie,” Foley said. “It is an expression of me growing up in Marblehead and my observations about growing up.”

The movie focuses on two brothers.

“The older brother, Jackson, is going into his senior year. He plays football, he’s a jock,” Foley explained. “His younger brother, Willard, is just coming into high school, and they don’t get along.”

In an effort to salvage their relationship, their mom forces Jackson to bring Willard out on a Friday night.

“You know, anything can happen,” he added with a smile.

MHS senior Brady Weed stars as Willard. Weed has performed in many plays and musicals, but this experience stands out.

“This movie’s all us, every last bit of it,” Weed said. “We all came together and decided that yeah, we were gonna make a movie, and it was gonna be hard, and we would be pretty stressed about it sometimes, but we’d come out of it with a movie that we could watch and laugh at and talk about. And that’s what we did. We worked on, bonded over, fought for this thing, and now we’re getting close to the finish line.”

‘Art in its purest form’

Foley, who is president of the MHS Film Club, co-wrote the movie with MHS seniors Gwyn Anderson and Alex Hersey last year. They held auditions in June and filmed for more than 60 hours over the summer. 

“We shot all around old town, Abbot Hall and down to The Landing, Stramski’s, Seaside Park, the lighthouse. We shot the majority of it at the Hersey’s house and outside the Scoglands’ house.”

Jake Scogland has a role and is composing the soundtrack.

Foley shot on a digital single-lens reflex camera and borrowed other equipment from MHS TV production teacher Henry Christensen.

“It’s a budget-free film,” Foley said. “That’s why it’s so special. It’s art in its purest form.”

‘Always thinking about film’

Foley has written a 60-page TV pilot called “Nor’easter” and many screenplays. In fact, he won an international screenwriting award for his script “Too Late,” a climate thriller.

You might say Foley came by his directing skills naturally. His dad, Tom, is a director — mostly of commercials — and Wyatt spent time on several sets growing up.

“Watching my dad really helped me,” he said. “Also, as a kid I watched a lot of cartoons. And I made stories with my Legos. I had crazy set-ups and stuff, with different characters.”

Foley’s role models are Wes Anderson and Francis Ford Coppola. His favorite movie is “Apocalypse Now,” which he watched during the pandemic.

“It was the first movie I understood from a filmmaker’s perspective,” he said.

It’s not an exaggeration to say Foley thinks about film most of the time. He plans to go to film school next fall.

“I really always try to practice my passion for film and learn how to express myself,” he said. “I’m always thinking about film and different concepts I have.”

‘We made a damn movie!’

Asked about the highlights from the experience making “Currently a Paperboy,” Foley paused for a moment and answered, “There are so many. One of them is spending time with the cast and crew. We bonded over our shared passions. There was never a dull moment.”

He continued, “A big part of me doing this was to inspire others coming to the high school that this is possible, that we can make movies. Art should be a bigger part of the Marblehead culture.”
Weed had another final thought: “What can I say? We made a damn movie! How many high schoolers can say that?”

“Currently a Paperboy” stars Brady Weed, Matias Watts Cruz, Sienna Velandry, Izzy Scogland, Will Corsini, Lani Gilmore, Alex Hersey, Dante Genovesi, Gretchen Smith, Sabrina Valendry, Keith Hersey and Nathaniel Weiss.

Crew members include Alex Hersey, Gwyn Anderson, Piper Morgan, Quinn Schieb, Rachel Albert, Aidan McKiernan, Livia Weiss, Jacke Scogland, Gretchen Smith, Ava Genovesi, Evie Riegle, Micky McCormick, Gabby Hendry and Adelyn Cruikshank.

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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