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Davis, California

Monday, October 25, 2021

Studio 301 Productions begins making independent film

Surrealism, dreams and infinite streams of unconscious thought are all intangible ideas waiting to be made tangible, or better yet, made into film.

For the first time, undergraduate, student-run Studio 301 Productions will be exploring the medium of film. The film is currently in the final stages of casting and will start filming this fall. Entitled Everyone’s Wrong, it will be screened at the Varsity Theatre this spring.

The seed began with James Marchbanks, a dramatic arts major, who proposed the idea of constructing a film around the Davis community.

“As a student group comprised of student actors, directors and writers, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to expand our horizons to other mediums,” said Michael Lutheran, publicity coordinator of Studio 301 Production and a junior dramatic arts major. “I’m really glad our members have an opportunity to act in shows, but film is a new territory for us and we are excited to see what happens with it.”

Marchbanks collaborated with undergraduate students Daniel Olivas, John Malin and Ashley Bargenquast to create the foundations for Everyone’s Wrong.

“As soon as James proposed the idea I knew that I wanted to be a part of it,” said Bargenquast, who is currently studying abroad in Scotland. “After several meetings we had worked out some themes and interested parties came in and dropped out for various reasons, leaving Jim, Daniel, John and I meeting semi-weekly during the summer.”

The goal of this project was to also allow students the opportunity to audition and be a part of the 90-minute, feature-length film.

“The audition process was a completely different world from what I’ve been used to,” Olivas said. “However, it was incredible to hear our words from actors for the first time. This was one of the most thrilling experiences of all. As a songwriter myself, I always envision how others would sing my words, and this process was just that.”

Everyone’s Wrong aims to capture the social constructions of our daily lives that we create consciously and subconsciously. Through the script and acting, the film hopes to portray the complexities of the human identity.

“I feel that students will definitely be able to connect to the characters,” Lutheran said. “This film is about the several individuals’ search for what their ‘identity’ is and I feel that that is a common struggle that all of us college students deal with. Whether it is finding the right group of friends, sexual orientation or political ideology, it’s about the search for what makes you unique from everyone else. So it will be interesting seeing what these students will do.”

Playing with abstract ideas such as dreams and subconscious thoughts, Olivas wants to explore the implications of various perceptions on the individual identity.

“This is where the idea of incorporating multiple realms of perception came in,” Olivas said. “There are at least, but indeed nowhere near limited to, three ways to perceive the world around us: How we face reality behind our own eyes, how we face the infinite subconscious of dreams (in multiple forms such as day-dream, flashback, etc.) and how our perception is represented to us through our own eyes.

“There is an amount of power in film media; and the power to engage and propose perspectives is an art of communication that film has so much possibility.”

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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