Editor's Note: Friday night, "Lemonade Mouth," a movie based on the book by Wayland author Mark Peter Hughes, premiered on the Disney Channel. Hundreds of excited fans flocked to Wayland Middle School for the red-carpet event. Eighth grader Rachel Hawley was there and submitted the story below. Even more photos of "celebrities" available here.
“It was an amazing moment, to see people pretending to be characters that I made up, mostly in Starbucks, in a movie being made from my book,” said author Mark Peter Hughes.
Hughes, from Wayland, was speaking of watching a scene as it was filmed for the new Disney Channel movie, “Lemonade Mouth,” based on his widely popular book.
This sentiment concluded his author talk, a witty, anecdotal retelling of visiting the set of the movie. The talk was part of the Wayland "Lemonade Mouth" movie premiere on April 15. After a reception with bake sale goods, Del’s Lemonade (“It’s the good stuff,” according to Hughes), glam photos and live music by the WMS Jazz Band and a string quartet of WMS students, well over 700 people gathered in the Wayland Middle School gym for Hughes' presentation.
Before the movie began, Hughes told his inspiring story through a picture slideshow. In 2007, Hughes got a call saying that while there was no set deal yet, Disney was interested in making his book into a movie. On Friday, April 15, four years later, Wayland came together to celebrate this great accomplishment.
Organized by the Wayland PTO; WMS music teacher, Diane Muffitt; and Wayland residents Pam Bonaguide, Ramah Hawley, Lisa Seferian and Julie Torres, the basic idea for the event was to stream the movie into the WMS auditorium as it premiered on the Disney Channel. WayCam filmed a live pre-show for those watching the Disney Channel movie at home.
In the early planning stages of this event, an audience of about 300-400 people was expected. However, as reservations opened up, Hawley saw the emails pour into her inbox, hundreds upon hundreds, all requests for tickets to the movie premiere. Well over 700 people attended the event at Wayland Middle School, filling both the auditorium and the cafeteria. The event was a true premiere, with a red carpet and appearance from Kiss 108.
“I’ve been to a couple different screenings of this movie,” says Mark Peter Hughes’ 13-year-old son Evan, “but this one was definitely the most fun, with so many people here and all.” As 7:50 rolled around, the author concluded his presentation, and the audience migrated towards the auditorium and cafeteria. The lights dimmed, the live stream began to play, and Hughes’s story unfolded through film for the first time.
"Lemonade Mouth" tells the story of five teenage musicians who struggle with different family problems — an evil soon-to-be stepmother, a family of geniuses preoccupied with work, a father in prison — who attend a school where all potential fine arts and music funding is instead spent on the sports program. Different, but with underlying similarities, these five teens fight to get their voices heard by entering a music competition with a prize of a record deal and awareness for the importance of a music program in schools.
The movie was not as cookiecutter or formulaic as those before it, according to a review by Sarah Coon at CurrentMovieReviews.com.
“Frankly this is the best musical Disney has put on, eclipsing 'High School Musical' and 'Camp Rock,'” Coon wrote.
The pre-show, including interviews with spectators, red carpet reporters and much more, will be available on the Wayland Channel soon. It features eighth-graders Melissa Smith, Tommy Lewis and Isabel Pongratz, and was produced by eighth-grade technical extraordinaire Jonah Camiel, who was the chief producer for the entire WayCam event.
“This has been an amazing experience,” said Hughes. “Out of all of the books they could’ve chosen, they chose mine. It’s sort of like winning the lottery. I’m extremely grateful.”
"Lemonade Mouth" focuses in on the importance of a music program in schools. All proceeds from this event go towards the Fine Arts Program at Wayland Middle School. Thank you to all who contributed to making this a great event.