Nearly 90 people piled into the basement space of Center Ithaca one day this fall, anticipating the premiere of the first ever film production from The Studio at Ithaca College. Friends and family of the cast and crew, community members and IC alumni from New York and Los Angeles gathered for a Hollywood-style event, complete with a Q&A session with the filmmakers.
The film unfolds on a bus late at night. Larry, the odd and lonely bus driver, is in charge of a familiar route and an eclectic group of regulars. Things change when Jennie, one of the regulars, goes beyond routine chitchat to touch Larry on the shoulder. Startled by his violent reaction, she stops riding the bus. Larry must then decide whether or not to follow her off the bus and into unknown territory.
Masciari pitched the idea in April 2014 as part of a contest titled “Pitch It to Produce It.” Over the next three months, with the help of fellow students, the studio’s advisor Carol Jennings, and local actors, the team produced a 14-minute film that will be submitted to film festivals, screened for alumni, and used to pilot future productions.
“We worked on the budget, crew, and everything that is put into a film up until one week in July,” producer Elena DeLuccia ’16, a television-radio major, said. “We shot for five days from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.”
Masciari used his connections within the Park School and in the Ithaca community to build his team. As an actor completing his training at The Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca, he enlisted the help of his friends there. The actors ranged from age 41 to 85.
“It was a real pleasure to join both of these,” he said. “Now all the people that I introduced are all making films together. I think it’s important that we bridge this gap.”
Masciari said he gained valuable skills to put together a film of this nature, including managing a team.
“There are a lot of little things that you need to collect in order for a film to come together,” he said.
Jennings said The Studio provides a unique opportunity for Ithaca College students, giving students a look at the intersection between business and entertainment. The Studio also provides money for food and pay for cast and crew. Students in the Roy H. Park School of Communications can borrow equipment from the Park Portable Equipment Center to produce their films.
“The idea is to get alumni involved as mentors, helping students figure out how to get a project they’ve produced distributed and figure out an income stream,” she said.
For more information on The Studio, students can visit icthestudio.com.