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'Mack' tells the story of a painter with an ambition tragically larger than his talent. Inspired by Macbeth, the film's 15-year-old writer/director worked with a cast of fellow high-schoolers to capture the suspense, violence, comic relief, and drama of a Shakespearean tale.

Ben Kadie conceived this reinterpretation in early summer 2010 and then refined the story at the TheFilmSchool's Prodigy Film Camp. In late summer, twelve young actors, cast from throughout the Seattle area, came together for four days and two nights of shooting. Shooting locations ranged from a dock at midnight to an apartment interior created by adding a new wall and door to Ben's living room. Using a DSLR camera gave Ben new control and low-light abilities. Six months of editing and subtle 2-D and 3-D special effects work completed the film.

Running time:  22 minutes 22 seconds



Full Film






Canute Haroldson as Mack



Mack calls his new landscape "Nevermore."



Dylan Forbes as Duncan King



Mack and Bane encounter three hobos.



Bane (Derik Radcliffe), Mack (Canute Haroldson), and Lidia (Camilla Franklin)



Mr. Duff (James Webster), Mack (Canute Haroldson), and Lidia (Camilla Franklin) in the Fife Gallery.



Duncan King calls his new abstract "Nevermore."



Derik Radcliffe as Bane


Production Photos

Also see Full Production Photos. High-res versions available. Send email to


The door, two flats, and a bookshelf create a wall of Mack and Lidia's apartment. The 7'x3' flats first appeared in Murder at the Pharaoh's Grave as tomb walls. Last summer, with the fewer hieroglyphs and more wallpaper, they appeared in Molly and Masked Storm. With the addition of yellow paint, they now make their third film appearance.



Ben wrote the screenplay in the Spring. In early Summer, with feedback from TheFilmSchool's Prodigy Camp (especially Rick Stevenson), Ben revised it. Starting a couple weeks before shooting, Ben storyboards the film with software from FrameForge 3D.



Camilla Franklin plays Lidia. Canute Haroldson play Mack, a struggling artist. Ben shoots with a Canon T2i/550D, his first time with full manual controls and interchangeable lenses.



Dylan leans out over the railing on the balcony set.



James Webster plays Mr. Duff, the owner of the prestigious Fife Gallery.



Carl hopes that this film will get his car into the Internet Movie Car Database (IMCDB).



The Canon T2i/550D camera (with a 50mm f/1.8 lens) allows shooting under streetlights, flashlights, and compact portable LED light.



The camera dollies up to James. Ben's parents gave him this homemade dolly for his twelfth birthday. (Other birthday presents used in this film include an eBay light kits and nine homemade sandbags.)



We expect the "Got Milk" people will soon call Derik with a job offer.



On the fifth and last day of shooting, the production moves to a borrowed room in Crossroads Shopping Center, Bellevue.



The cast walks over to Crossroads Park for the the film's "martini" (last scheduled) shot.


Also see Full Production Photos


Reviews and Screenings

Mack played at the Interrobang Film Festival on June 22, 2012 (Des Moines, IA)
Mack is part of the West Chester (PA) Film Festival. It will screen on April 28th at 1pm.
March Forth! to see MACK on March fourth at the Albany FilmFest in California.
November 19, 2011: SECRET CLUB, MACK, and MOLLY AND THE MASKED STORM have won awards from The Young People's Film Festival in Portland. It is the largest and oldest regional youth festival for our area. SECRET CLUB will screen today at the Portland Art Museum as part of the Winner's program. The previous three years that I've had film in the Winner's program, I've very much enjoyed attending, but today we have two performances of the Laramie Project at school.
Mack screened at the Flint (MI) Film Festival on October 15, 2011 (program).
Mack screened twice at the Silk City Film Festival (Hartford, CT) Flint (MI) Film Festival on October 15, 2011.
Aug 20: The SoCal Film Fest (Huntington Beach, CA) awards a (non-screening) Honorable Mention to MACK.
Mack will screen at the Route 66 International Film Festival in Springfield, IL, on September 17, 2011. Last year, Sparks in the Night screened. Ben's family in Peoria will attend.
Mack visiting the Jersey Shore. The film, the story of a painter with an ambition tragically larger than his talent, will screen at the Jersey Shore Film Festival on August 3rd and 7th.
Mack and Secret Club are official selections of the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival and will screen August 10-14. The festival combines public screenings in with small forums to share in a dialogue and exchange through the powerful language of film and the arts.
August 11-14: Mack is an official selection of the Ruby Mountain Film Festival in Elko, Nevada, “the last real cow town in the American West.”
July 16-17, 2011: MACK screened twice at da Vinci Days in Corvallis, OR (Pictures).  The audience was great for all the films. Last year the festival showed Murder at the Pharaoh's Grave.
June 2011 School Video News:

"Meet Ben Kadie-Filmmaker

15-year-old student Ben Kadie is not your average highschooler.

His films have won recognition at the Seattle International Film Festival, The Rainier Independent Film Festival, and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth." More >

MACK screening at the San Antonio Film Festival on Saturday, June 25 in the Instituto Cultural de Mexico Auditorium
Mack selected for Vegas Cine Fest 2011, August 2011.

Mack Named "Best Student Film" by Rainier Independent Film Festival

June 7, 2011: “Mack” screened at the Rainier Independent Film Festival last weekend. Competing with college films, “Mack” was named “Best Student Film”. Ben, the festival's youngest filmmaker, had a great time with the other filmmakers, filmgoers, and local press.  [Pictures]
Ben's English class at Interlake High School in Bellevue, WA, will be studying "Macbeth" soon and his teacher plans to screen "Mack" for the class.
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Mack wins Scholastic National Silver Medal

March 11, 2011: The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers today awarded a National Scholastic Silver Medal to "Mack". The award is the Alliance's second highest national award. The Alliance has given awards since 1923 to teens such as Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, and Robert Redford. Last year, Sparks in the Night won a national Scholastic Gold Medal and Murder at the Pharaoh's Grave won a national Silver Medal. Two years ago, A Friendly Game was the only middle school film to win a national Gold Medal. Last year student artist submitted over 165,000 works with approximately 1000 earning national recognition. The NY Observer wrote "Invasion of the Teenage Geniuses" last year about the national award ceremony in NYC. On May 31, 2011, the New York Times ran a full-page ad listing all the national medal winners.

Mack World Premiere at NFFTY

March 10, 2011: "Mack" will premiere at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).
  • Time: Sat, April 30 · 11am
  • Location: EMP Museum's JBL Theater · 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle
  • Tickets: $10 [Buy]
  • [Facebook Invite]

This is 15-year-old Ben's fifth year and sixth film in NFFTY. He's looking forward to this year's opening night party on the Space Needle. Last year Sparks in the Night was selected for the "Best of NFFTY" screening & DVD. In 2009, Murder at the Pharaoh's Grave, made when Ben was 12, won NFFTY's HBO-sponsored trip to-Hollywood.

High School Uses "Mack" to Teach "Macbeth"

March 7, 2011: Last week, students at Quilcene High School used Slugco's "Mack" to learn about Shakespeare's "Macbeth." English teacher Jeff Youde had students demonstrate a deeper understanding of the characters, images, and themes of "Macbeth" by comparing and contrasting "Macbeth" and "Mack." The students picked one scene, for example, the death of Duncan, and made a visual representation of the two versions. "It was pretty amazing," reports Mr. Youde. "It was also great to know that the filmmaker was a student, about their age, who lives in our area."

Interested in a free DVD of "Mack" for classroom use? Send email to

Ben Talks at High School

Feb 26, 2011: Over his winter break, Ben talked to the students of the Jefferson Community School (Port Townsend) about making movies. The presentation included private screenings of Perilous Skies, Sparks in the Night, and Mack. [photos]

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Mack and Molly and the Masked Storm win Scholastic Regional Gold Keys

Feb 3, 2011: The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers today awarded Gold Keys to two Slugco films. The award is the Alliance's highest regional honor. Students artists submitted a record-breaking 12,000 works to the region this year. Approximately 2500 works from the region earned Gold Keys.



  • Canute Haroldson - Mack
  •  Camilla Franklin - Lydia
  •  Derik Radcliffe - Bane
  •  Dylan Forbes - Duncan King
  •  James Webster - Mr. Duff
  •  Mira Spurgeon - Hobo
  •  Kayla Hammond - Reporter / Hobo
  •  Jessie George - Hobo
  •  T.J. Orgovan - Professor
  •  Hope Webster - Art Enthusiast
  •  Erin Salle - Art Enthusiast
  •  Ben Kadie - Photographer



  •  Written Directed and Edited by Ben Kadie
  •  Costume Consultant: Nanci Vaeth
  •  Technical Assistant: Carl Kadie
  •  Music: Kevin MacLeod
  •  Music: Ben Kadie

Virtual Sets Created With Cinema 4D. Thanks To Crossroads Shopping Center (Bellevue), Bob Davidson, Red Giant Software and Magic Bullet, Innoventive Software and FrameForge Previz Studio, Singular Software and DualEyes, Biomekk and ZBlur 2, F-Stop Academy, Cineform and Neoscene, Hoodman.



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