The Daily Gamecock

Student film explores anti-superhero theme

Mainstream superhero movies highlight the powerful abilities of the superheroes and their ultimate triumph in saving the world. But what happens when their superpowers are stripped away? A student film called “January” follows a former superhero as he tries to navigate the world instead of saving it.

Wyatt Lasche, third-year media arts student, began exploring the idea of an “anti-superhero film” a year and a half ago, and this Wednesday the film will be screened at 8 p.m. in Currell College.

“I started coming up with the idea of somebody at our age having this huge status thrust upon them and it being taken away,” Lasche said. “How do you pick back up from what you thought was going to be your life?”

The freedom of creating a character that is not established or part of a brand resulted in Luke Taylor, a self-loathing and sarcastic character that indulges in his loneliness and depression.

“We could literally do whatever we wanted to him, so we pretty much beat him up as much as humanly possible, but it allowed us to explore that kind of dynamic a little more thoroughly,” Lasche said.

Alice, who is portrayed by third-year theatre student Erica Shields, plays a pivotal role in walking with Luke Taylor through this transition. 

While Lasche wrote, directed and produced the film, he also played the lead role — partly out of necessity. When creating the character, Lasche gained most of his inspiration from the personality of Ethan Hawke.

Lasche intentionally included themes that college students can relate to as they navigate life on their own for the first time, oftentimes including seasons of loneliness.

The topics explored in "January" are deep, but at the end of the day, Lasche said his goal is for people to enjoy the film.

“It’s not exactly a light-hearted film, but you walk away feeling like 'I enjoyed spending my time with these characters,'” Lasche said.

Creating a storyline that is relatable was only half the battle. Producing a feature-length film was logistically difficult as well. 

Lasche applied for and received a Magellan Apprentice grant for the project and the team spent Due to the huge time commitment, there was a shifting production crew, which was not ideal, but also created a sense of camaraderie. 

Lasche said it warmed his heart to see the unity among the production crew as they worked toward a common goal.

“It was a struggle at times because you know you have varying levels of experience going into it, but at the same time it was really cool at the end of the day to see all of these people coming together for a single project,” Lasche said.

The screening of "January" in Currell College is free and open to staff, faculty and students.


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