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Waldorf’s Keeran Savors Seeing First Movie on Screen

“Jane” Movie poster account ring upcoming film festival debut. Photo provided by Mitchell Keeran

By: Diana Stetson

It’s a special feeling when others get to enjoy your work, especially for the very first time.

For senior Communication major Mitchell Keeran, that special occasion came on September 20 when his short film “Jane” debuted on the Waldorf campus.

“It was pretty awesome to see some of my classmates put together the public viewing last month,” Keeran said, as Jane was shown along with Waldorf professor Carlos Ruiz’s “The Hatman” here on campus. “I still absolutely love how the film turned out and how well the process went during production.”

The process began in late May when Keeran was reading stories and watching clips on, and he thought: “if I’m going to make this scary, then I have to do something that’s going to freak me out.”

Keeran recalled how the story of Bloody Mary scared him as a child and merged that folktale with life on a college campus, and the effects of peer pressure to come up with a great thriller in “Jane.”

From there things moved quickly as the Waldorf Theatre department and WalTV managers Bela Ruiz and Morgan Roberts all helped put Keeran’s ideas on film.

For Waldorf professor Mark Newcom, who first met Mitchell more than three years ago as a freshman in Digital Core and Radio Practicum classes, the experience of watching “Jane” was equally special.

“Films have always been magical for me. To sit in a packed theatre and watch an audience respond to Mitch’s film is a dream come true,” Newcom said, adding that when he first met Mitchell he knew Keeran would become a talented film-maker. “The hours of preproduction, triage of production and difficult decision of post all melt away at first flicker on the large screen.”

Keeran played baseball for three years at Waldorf, is a WalTV station manager, and broadcasts Warrior athletic games on KZOW and high school sports for KIOW. However, he assures us his first movie will not be his last. His future aspirations include making more movies, and possibly broadcasting sports.

Maybe both.

“Mitch is certainly one of a kind,” Newcom said. “It’s not very often you come across a student that is so talented in so many ways.”

With this first film, Keeran has already achieved a major goal beyond just debuting his work, as his movie was accepted to the Muscatine Independent Film Festival, which will be Nov. 9-11. “Jane” also has been submitted to several other film festivals for consideration, including one in Vienna, Austria.

“When I found out that it got into the Muscatine Independent Film Festival, I felt this immediate sense of joy and fulfilment just wash over me,” Keeran said.

“I didn’t expect my first film to get accepted on the first try, but I’m very glad it did,” he added. “And after looking at the festival Muscatine has put on in the past, I’ve been getting more excited as the date approaches.”