By Steve Svetovich
Thomas and Patrick Kennedy not only have bright imaginations, but they act on their ideas. Sons of Thomas and Kelly Kennedy and grandsons of the late Green Ridge District Magistrate James (Ace) Kennedy, Thomas, 18, a senior, and Patrick, 17, a junior, are students at Scranton Prep. Both had an idea and acted on it.
The brothers had an idea to produce a pair of independent feature films. And with their bright imaginations, they did. Working with students and parents from both Scranton Prep and Scranton High Schools, they created two films which were sellouts at the old Ritz Theatre on Wyoming Avenue, Scranton.
The boys’ mom, the former Kelly McHale, is a Dunmore teacher, and along with her husband Thomas, fully supported the idea to write and produce the films in which Patrick starred in.
Thomas, is president of his senior class, officer of numerous clubs and captain of the Mock Trial team at Scranton Prep.
Patrick, normally the more reserved of the two brothers, is a member of the wrestling, cross country and baseball teams at Scranton Prep.
Through the production company, KBE Films, the Kennedy brothers released the two featured length independent films in 2019 and last month,
The first movie is entitled “Unlawful Justice – A Roll of the Dice.” The sequel is entitled is “Unlawful Justice 2 – Jericho vs. Greene.”
The brothers served as directors, writers, producers, stunt coordinators, editors and actors for the films.
“The first film was so successful, ” said Thomas Kennedy, the brothers’ dad, “that they wrote a second script and released the film this past Feb. 8. Both films sold out at the Ritz.
“The money raised went for service trips at Scranton Prep. And donations were taken for the cost of the second movie.
“The students at Scranton Prep plus students at Scranton High School were in both films. And parents of the students were used. Noah Leety, the student council president at Scranton High School, appeared in it.
“My son Tom directed and edited both films. Patrick wrote and starred in both. He played the star role in. ‘Jericho.’
“It was quite the task to get these kids from two different high schools together to rehearse for the films. These kids have so many other high school commitments with their studies, sports and clubs.
“Both films were based on 1980’s action style movies. My boys are movie enthusiasts like me. The two films are very good and the boys learned so much from writing and producing them. They used much better equipment with the second movie. Both were entirely shot on an I-phone. The second movie had more equipment.”
Over 300 people attended each movie. WBRE-TV headlined the movies on its news.
Thomas Kennedy, with a 3.8 GPA, who has thus far been accepted to eight schools, wants to study pre law, but minor in film and theatre in college.
Among his other activities at Prep he is president of the Prep Players and Protect Club, member of National Honor Society, Scranton Prep Dean’s Team, Junior Statesmen of American, football and baseball teams; manager of the basketball team; competed at the national level in speech and debate in Milwaukee, Wis., serves as secretary of the Book Club, Physics Club, Sustainability Club and Movie Club, and food drive coordinator.
Thomas was cowriter/actor in a dramatic play, Malum In Se, performed in 2019 at Scranton Cultural Center, and is a member of the Joseph of Arimathea Ministry, a unique groups that comes together anytime a dead body is unclaimed or a family has no one to mourn with them.
Patrick Kennedy, with a 3.7 GPA, wants to become a dentist. At Prep he is a member of the Movie Club and stage crew, in addition to his athletic endeavors.
“Tom is more charismatic,” said their dad. “Patrick is quiet and reserved, but he was much more open when acting in the films.”
Thomas is very much into theatre and plays the leading role in many of the plays at Scranton Prep. Patrick is more of an athlete.
Both are members of the National Honor Society at Scranton Prep.