From "Casablanca" in 1942 to "Avengers: Endgame" in 2019, movies continue to provide relatable stories and characters that people can return to again and again. Filmmaker Wyatt Lasche aims to give audiences just that.
Lasche graduated with a degree in media arts from the University of South Carolina in May 2020, but his love of film began long before then. Lasche found a second home in cinema and movie theaters while he was in high school, he said. Older films, such as "Reservoir Dogs" and "Goodfellas," showed Lasche what film can be, he said.
“Whatever I was going through, whether it was pressures from school, or, you know, feeling overwhelmed with sports, or whatever I was doing, I could go to the movie theater and be entirely consumed by whatever world that was,” Lasche said.
Lasche said he realized he related to characters in film and decided he wanted to recreate that feeling for other people. It didn’t feel like much of a choice, Lasche said.
“I have to do it, and I want to do my best to attempt to create that feeling for other people who view my stuff," Lasche said.
Drawing on inspiration from directors such as David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook"), the Duplass Brothers ("Blue Jay") and writers such as Greta Gerwig ("Little Women," 2019), Lasche puts an emphasis on human interaction in his work. Combining casual banter with heartfelt moments is what Lasche said he considers closest to reality.
“When somebody can handle that, where it feels real and you’re engaged in that, but they still get to the core of what people are feeling," Lasche said. "I think that’s something I aspire to match.”
Lasche said delving into a character's mind, wants and needs are a big part of his films. Focusing less on plot orientation, Lasche's themes aim to dive into the psychology of his characters.
Dustin Whitehead, an assistant professor of film and media performance at USC, met Lasche in an acting class he was teaching. Whitehead also acted in Lasche’s award-winning film "Soft Echoes" with Lasche.
According to Whitehead, Lasche is "fascinated by the art form" of filmmaking, and he loves making movies.
“His voice is really going inside the character and sort of swimming around in there to see, you know, their thoughts or their journey," Whitehead said. "Which is much easier said than done, and, you know, I think he is really good at it.”
Sydni Brown, fourth-year media arts student, said Lasche is imaginative. Brown and Lasche met at the campus organized event Campus Movie Fest.
Lasche has real skills when it comes to editing and cutting things together for a project, Brown said. She said even though Lasche writes the scripts and edits the films, he isn’t afraid to step in front of the camera and act if he needs to.
Lasche is the type to internalize his art before he brings it to anyone, Brown said.
“In that way, his art is very personable, and it makes it very human,” she said. “His style is something that you see and you can connect to, because he did — he spends a lot of time just thinking about the little things.”
Lasche funds, writes, directs, edits and produces all of his films. Although Lasche wears all these different hats while working on a project, he said he wants the viewers to see the whole team’s work on the film.
“More than anything, I want people to see everybody else’s work that they did," Lasche said. "I am so thrilled that people get to see these people perform or this person’s cinematography, like — I'm like, 'This is so cool,' you know, and like, I want to share that with people."