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Ouachita Stories


Ouachita to host premiere of student-produced “A Movie Musical”

September 12, 2008 - Rebecca Rambin

Ouachita Baptist University’s Campus Activities Board will sponsor the premiere showing of “A Movie Musical” in Jones Performing Arts Center on OBU’s campus at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 19.

Rance Collins, a junior mass communications major from Hillsboro, Texas, is the movie’s director, co-writer, co-producer and editor. Collins also acts in the movie as a part of the ensemble cast. Collins plays a film director who is forced to make a cheesy musical with an Elvis-like matinee idol, Guy Johnson (Matthew Landers).

Rachel Street, a junior musical theatre major from Mahomet, Ill., plays Val, a girl who is emotionally conflicted about pursuing Guy. Street said, “It’s one of those movies that really brightens your day—and not just because you get to see all your friends make fools of themselves.”

Collins wrote the movie over the course of a year with long-time friend Grace Whitaker, a junior at Baylor University majoring in medical humanities, after being inspired by movie musical “Hairspray.” “A Movie Musical” is the sixth movie Collins has made. He said, “I started toying around with movies when I was about 13.” His first movie was an adaptation of the novel “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier as part of an eighth grade assignment, which Collins described as “pretty rickety.”

The cast and crew began filming for “A Movie Musical” on July 9, at various locations on OBU’s campus, using Verser Theater as their primary stage. They then moved to Collins’ hometown to complete filming by July 21. “It was the most fun two weeks of my year,” Collins said.

Landers, a senior music theory and composition major from Dallas, Texas, said, “It was so neat to see everybody put their personality into their characters, and I can’t even begin to tell you how fun the fellowship with each other was.”

Collins and his team noted that they are thankful for all the support they received throughout production. “We couldn’t do anything without the people behind the camera,” Street said. “I mean not just the director and cameraman but the parents who gave us food and a place to sleep. They were amazing.”

Collins said that OBU administrators were especially helpful. Dr. Rex M. Horne, Jr., Ouachita’s president, connected Collins with Brett Powell, vice president for administrative services, who arranged for a rent house to be made available for the cast and crew’s lodging while they were filming on campus.

Starring in “A Movie Musical” are: Matthew Landers; Rachel Street; Hannah Beth Midkiff, a high school student from Cleburne, Texas; Heather Baker, a junior musical theatre major from Cleburne, Texas; Abby Adams, a senior musical theatre major from Houston, Texas; Adam Wheat, a junior mass communications major from Ruston, La.; Lynley Vire, a sophomore musical theatre major from Searcy, Ark.; Jeffrey Stokes, a senior theatre arts major from Gilmer, Texas; Trey Baldwin, a junior political science major from Forrest City, Ark.; Lindsey Wright-Forga, a senior mass communications and musical theatre and speech communications double-major from Glenwood, Ark.; Grace Whitaker; and Rance Collins.

Also appearing in the movie are: Lauren Casteel, a sophomore musical theatre major from Garland, Texas; Bryce Hagan, a freshman at Baylor University from Cleburne, Texas; Dr. Jeff Root, dean of OBU’s school of humanities; Satara Whitney, from Hillsboro, Texas; Leah Nixon, a senior theater arts major from Celeste, Texas; Gregory Caplan, a former OBU student from Texarkana, Texas; Lauren Godfrey, a senior musical theatre major from Rockwall, Texas; Mike Herron, an OBU alumnus from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Sarah Beth Herron, an OBU alumna from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Abby Root, a Goza Middle School student from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Kelly Strickland, an Arkadelphia High School student from Arkadelphia, Ark.; and Amy York, a senior musical theatre major from Dallas, Texas.

In addition to directing the movie, Collins wrote and produced the project with Grace Whitaker, who also directed the choreography. The director of photography was J.L. West, a junior mass communications major from Bolivar, Mo. Assistant in charge of production was Gayla Whitaker, from Victoria, Texas.

Admission to the movie is free. The trailer for “A Movie Musical” can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLWQowgtvzg, listed as “A Movie Musical—Final Trailer.”

by Rebecca Rambin



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