Emerson College Students Shoot Movie in Swampscott

In the film Paralarva a 17-year-old navigates relationships in the wake of her first love's suicide. Movie scenes were shot at Swampscott High School this past weekend and, earlier, on Outlook Road..


Action from filming outside Swampscott High was so convincing it made the Swampscott Police logs.

Saturday after 10 p.m. crew and actors from the Emerson College movie Paralarva were shooting by the school entrance on Essex Street.

The action related to a homecoming dance where a confrontation unfolds between main character Laura, 17, and a boy who is obsessed with her.

A passerby took the chasing and screaming and bloody nose for reality and reported it to police.

Lines between realism and fantasy blur in the movie, too. They shift between drama and dreamlike sequences as Laura tries to make her way through high school after her first love kills himself.

Emerson's Christina Roulette is making the film for her senior project. She is working with fellow Emerson student Michael Fink, the director. He wrote the script last summer, consulting with Christina.

Filming started on Columbus Day and much of it has been in Swampscott.

Scenes were shot on Outlook Road, at Red Rock Park in Lynn and at Swampscott High School.

On Sunday afternoon, filming took place in a second-floor classroom at the high school. The teacher behind the desk was a Mr. Fleming, one of Laura's teachers.

The Essex Street school's place in the film was happenstance. The producer was searching online for a suburban high school that was modern in its design and came across Swampscott High.

Emerson then got permission to film at the high school.

Emerson students and professional actors fill the film's nine roles; and the crew is all Emerson students.

One of them is Swampscott High Class of 2011 graduate Dimitri Christoforidis, the film's key grip.

In addition, one current Swampscott Hight student was an extra in the film and more of them may take on extra positions if Paralarva shoots a pick-up scene with more students, the producer said. 

In addition to the school entrance and the classroom, scenes were shot in the school auditorium, as well.

Swampscott continues to attract the attention of movie makers, whether established professionals Seth MacFarlane and Adam Sandler or budding film-maker Christina Roulette.

By the way, Saturday wasn't the first time a passerby mistook a film scene for reality in Swampscott.

Back around 1917 when silent screen star Mary Pickford was filming a drowning scene from the movie Pride of the Clan, a Swampscott fisherman witnessed the action and took it for the real thing.

He went into the surf to pluck the starlet from the water, said local historian Lou Gallo.

The scene needed reshooting, he said.

Roulette hopes to shoot many more scenes in the future as she makes her way in the film industry. She also hopes to enter Paralarva in film festivals.

To learn more about the movie visit the Paralarva Facebook page.

Citizen Swamp October 24, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Did the SPS district grant permission for this project? If so, is communication so poor that they didn't notify other Municipal departments. CS
Whisky October 24, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The article states "Emerson then got permission to film at the high school." Who else should have been notified? Water and sewer? Historical commission? The new beach committee? Put it up for a special town meeting vote? Reverse 911 call?
Citizen Swamp October 25, 2012 at 11:02 AM
W, You'd think it would be routine to notify SPD, so they wouldn't have to waste their time. CS


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