With the struggles of today's society, sometimes an escape is needed. That’s what third-year media arts student Zajwain Eugene said he hopes he can offer the public with his film, "Liquidity."
"Liquidity" is made in conjunction with 1080C Productions, which is part of SGTV. It is about three roommates who are late on their rent. One roommate comes up with a plan to write an original story about fraudulent business and stock trading going on in their local community and hopes to get commissioned in order to pay rent.
The film is “kind of like an act of rebellion to what's going on,” Eugene said.
“I hope that everybody can simply just escape a little bit from everything going on for just a quick half-hour or a little bit more, and just smile for a little bit," he said.
Eugene, writer and director of the film, said in all of his favorite movies, there is always at least one point that makes him feel like he is a part of the story, and if anyone were to cut off the TV, he would be upset because of how connected he felt to the characters. He said if he can make the viewers feel connected to "Liquidity" in this same way, then his job would be accomplished.
Fourth-year media arts student and producer of "Liquidity" Rachel Smith said there is no mention of COVID in the film, and she hopes Liquidity will be able to take viewers' minds off the subject for a little while.
“I think film is a great form of escapism," Smith said. "That's what I've always used it as."
With COVID-19 forcing the public to stay home instead of going out for entertainment, there seems to be plenty of time for consuming the art of film.
“All anyone's consuming right now is art, at this point,” said Hannah Perala, third-year media arts student and director of photography for "Liquidity."
Perala is the executive producer of 1080C Productions and is in charge of the cinematography for "Liquidity." Her job is to make sure Eugene’s vision for how the film should look creatively is fulfilled. She said Eugene’s vision is “less mainstream,” and he is going for a less-looked-at angle.
“It'll be something you've never seen before, especially from a student filmmaking standpoint,” Perala said.
Smith said the crew of "Liquidity" is trying to show how far students can push a film while working on a limited budget.
“No matter your background, or how broke you are as a college student, if you find the right passion, you can really do anything you set your mind to,” Smith said.
"Liquidity" has raised over $800 so far on Indiegogo. This money will help pay the cast and crew, take care of production costs and pay fees for entering film festivals.
Eugene said he tries not to worry about funding too much because even the big Hollywood directors of photography who handle $40,000 cameras will regularly say they never have enough money for production.
“The one thing I’ve learned from being a young college filmmaker is the support that we get from the community is the one thing that keeps us going,” Eugene said.
"Liquidity" is currently in the pre-production phase but is set to begin filming in mid-February. Film updates and more information can be found on Instagram.
Editor's note: 1080C Productions is part of Garnet Media Group, The Daily Gamecock’s parent organization.
Clarification (Feb. 10, 2021, at 8:57 p.m.): A previous version of this article was unclear about 1080C Productions' role within SGTV.
Correction (Feb. 12, 2021, at 6:49 p.m.): A previous version of this article said Hannah Perala is president of 1080C Productions. She is executive producer.