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Wadsworth Alum Micah Beck Directs Film Featured in Cleveland Film Festival

Micah Beck, a Wadsworth alumnus and former Bruin member, has written and directed a film that will be featured in the Cleveland Film Festival on April 11. 

The film is titled, “How to Be a Productive Member of Society” and is a 12-minute short film that was created for a production class at Kent State University.

“The film that I made is a short film that I directed for a college class that I’m taking where the entire class’ concept or purpose is to make a film from start to finish,” Beck said. “So you have about a semester to create a film and

produce it, write it, and then, of course, shoot it and direct it and edit it and everything.” 

“How to Be a Productive Member of Society” explores the impacts of hustle culture and overworking.

“The film takes you kind of through the eyes of someone whose daily routine is kind of the same all of the time and it just gets really bland and mundane and eventually just becomes too much,” Beck said. “It’s a little bit of a social statement on hustle culture and overwork and things like that, so I tried to fit all of that into like 12 minutes, which is how long it is.”

The scenes in the film are very short and they take the viewer through an average person’s life. 

“It’s basically just taking you through every aspect of this guy’s day, from the moment that he wakes up and brushes his teeth and gets ready for the day to the moment he is going back to bed and eating and dinner and stuff like that,” Beck said. “You get to see this guy’s average day and how it’s kind of unchanging and becomes really boring and kind of depressing.”

The idea for the film came about during the lockdown in 2020 that caused a lot of people to feel isolated. 

“You never really knew what was going to happen next and it just kind of felt like bad news just kept happening and there were just like new things every day to be worried about, so that’s where some of this stems from,” Beck said. “I took all of that, took all of my experiences with that, and put it into this film.”

The process of making the film took place from January to May of 2023, although the original idea of it did stem from the experiences people went through during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Once I hit that production class in college, I knew it was time to bring this idea to fruition,” Beck said. 

Several students worked on the film, including producers Janelle Ingraham-Dwyer and Heidi Troutman.

“I was the director of the film and I also wrote the film and edited the film, and then I had a couple of people work as producers for the film,” Beck said. “Basically, they were the ones making all the phone calls, sending the emails, trying to plan out the shooting days, schedule us, and get us locations to shoot stuff.”

This is the poster for the film. The film can be watched on April 11 at Playhouse Square in the Upper Allen Theatre at 7:30 in the evening. Photo courtesy of Micah Beck.

Additionally, another Wadsworth alumnus, Hawk Benson, who was in the media communications career tech program and graduated in 2021 with Beck, worked on the film as a post-production sound mixer and lighting best boy. 

Beck is incredibly grateful for the people who worked on the film with him and who supported him through the process.

“The people who worked on my film were very great to work with and they helped me out a lot and made it so I didn’t have to kind of focus on everything, so then I could only focus on actually directing and some of the other stuff,” Beck said. “I would definitely work with them again in a heartbeat, they were very great to work with.”


In the future, Beck would like to continue working on films and pursue them as a career. 

“I definitely would like to stick with film in the future,” Beck said. “It would definitely be my dream if I could work on film sets as my actual career. I’m starting to try and find more things that I can do on set because you can still do things on set even if you’re not directing or anything, there’s, of course, a million little different things you can do.”

Next year, Beck will take an upper-level version of the production class in which he made this short film for the program that he is in.

“That one’s kind of your capstone, the final thing you do before you graduate, class. I will be making another film about a year from now, that I know for sure,” Beck said. 

In addition, he has been working on several other projects to further his experience with film. 

“I have kept busy with some other student film projects for some of my friends and other people at the university,” Beck said. “I’m doing some film projects this summer and I’m also working on this documentary right now for a group called Partners in Kind which is producing a documentary directed by Mario Van Peebles who is a documentary director and it’s being produced by the son of Martin Luther King, which is really cool.”

The film will be screening on April 11 at 7:30 p.m. and it can be viewed in Playhouse Square in the Upper Allen Theatre. It will be screening alongside many other student films, including some others from Kent State University. 

Tickets for the film can be purchased here:


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Alex Banks
Alex Banks, News Editor
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