Student-run dark comedy, ’10 Cent Hit,’ premieres Thursday night

 Two masked characters prepare for a murder mission in the opening sequence of

Courtesy of Demetrios Cokinos

Two masked characters prepare for a murder mission in the opening sequence of "10 Cent Hit," a student-run short film.

Junnie Kwon, Assistant Campus Editor

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A 63-hour shift was typical for the all-student cast and crew of “10 Cent Hit,” a short film directed by Northwestern students Demetrios Cokinos and Mike Schultz and produced by Emma Glass. The 10-minute film premiered Thursday night in Annie May Swift Hall.

The film, funded partially by a $1,000 grant from the School of Communication, is a dark comedy about covering the tracks of a murder witness. Cokinos said student-run films like this created “from scratch” without assistance from a class or prominent student group come few and far between at NU.

In addition to receiving funding from the School of Communication, the trio’s finances came from their own pocket and family and friends.

Some peers interested in creating independent films have contacted the trio for advice, Glass said. She had to create a student organization in order to have a Student Organization Finance Office account. Glass said their film has set a precedent that other students can follow.

“You could say that we’ve set a pattern for other students — by accident,” Schultz said.

Co-directors Cokinos and Schultz, both Communication juniors who have been friends since meeting in their peer advisory group, started brainstorming ideas for the plot during summer 2011. Because they were apart for most of the summer, their collaboration required many hours of phone calls, Cokinos said. They finished the script during the following winter, and brought on Glass, a Weinberg junior, to work on logistics.

Glass, who is a political science major, said she had no previous producing experience and underestimated the amount of work the position required. She was responsible for everything from securing a parking spot to getting permits from Evanston. Cokinos called her “a rockstar producer.”

“At the end of the day the film was a monster to execute,” Glass said. “I had no idea what I was getting into.”

The film begins with the character Kevin, played by Ross Baurele, witnessing the murder of character Max, played by Cokinos. The two have a mutual friend, Leo, played by Dylan Kelleher, whom the perpetrators force to go on a mission to murder Kevin in order to cover the tracks of their murder. The film then follows Leo as he fights an internal battle to kill Kevin.

The perpetrators force to go on a mission to murder Kevin in order to cover the tracks of their murder. The film then follows Leo as he fights an internal battle to kill Kevin.

With the exception of the three lead actors, who were local professionals, Schultz said the film was largely a conglomeration of favors from supportive peers.

“It was really just a large group of friends,” he said.

Looking ahead, the trio plans to submit “10 Cent Hit” to film festivals.

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