Student explores film artistry

duplicity

By Deb Greengold, Contributing Writer
Featured image by Deb Greengold

Staring straight into the face of the fast-paced and brutal world of filmmaking is Ben Mehr, a sophomore at Towson University, and producer of the student film “Duplicity.” With the help of his cast, crew, family and girlfriend, this rising producer is beginning to make a name for himself. Mehr also has his partner in crime, Garrett Adams, who is the writer/director of “Duplicity.”

“Duplicity” is a psychological mystery feature that zooms in on a college student named Jem Ward, “who has left his old life behind him.”

Jem leaves behind a world of drugs and gang violence and buries his guilt “deep inside of himself,” but is later forced to return to his hometown when an unspeakable incident occurs. Jem must confront the things he tried to forget, and in doing so, must investigate not only what happened and track someone down, but also figure himself out.

The project took about two to three years to make and was debuted at the Senator Theatre off of York Road. The film won the Kudos Endeavor Award at the 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Student Film at the 2017 World Music and Independent Film Festival. The movie can be viewed on IMDb for anyone who missed it.

“The film is for anyone and everyone,” Mehr said. “It is on the darker side and it [does] a great job of [showing] how a split decision can change a life and that can happen to anybody. It is also good to show parents to communicate with their kids, and there is a lesson for everybody.”

Mehr found his love for film and media back in middle school, and it developed as time went on. He started out with 20-30 second videos and dabbled with Windows Live, and everything took off from there. He wants to do what he loves and “make a difference both inside and outside the film world.”

For Mehr, filmmaking is enjoyable because of the wide range of possibilities it holds.

“You can show all different types of art,” he said. “You can make your own music, lighting, photography, it can hold anything you want.”

Mehr believes that learning doesn’t stop with film classes.

“You still have to go out into the field to learn things,” said Mehr. “It is a very hands-on experience.”

Instead of aspiring to be like any specific filmmaker, Mehr likes to use his own style, and has big plans to introduce more of the world to his artistry. He’s already working on his next film, “Forever Red,” which is about two American ex-spies from the Cold War.

“The fragile normality in life that they manage to establish is broken when one of the ex-spies seeks out the other more than 40 years later,” Mehr said. “Upon reuniting, old feelings resurface and a dark secret from their past is brought to light.”

To Mehr, “Forever Red” is about “lost love and how the demons of our past always catch up with us in the end.”

The film is crowdfunding right now at www.seedandspark.com/fund/forever-red#story.

Production will be set in motion in January, and you can expect to see “Forever Red” in June 2018.

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