High School Senior's Film To Premiere July 15-16 At Baylor

July 13, 2005
News Photo 3029

by Lori Fogleman (254) 710-6275 or cell (254) 709-5959

Bynum High School senior Rance Collins will premiere his original comedy film, "The 'If' Girl," with two screenings for the public at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 15-16, in Jones Theater in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center on the Baylor University campus.

Admission is $2. The film's running time is 96 minutes.

A participant in Baylor's University for Young People summer enrichment program, Collins wrote, produced, directed and edited "The 'If' Girl," a screwball comedy inspired by 1933 film, "Bombshell," which starred Jean Harlow.

Collins, a classic film buff who can reel off every Oscar-winning Best Picture in order, said he derived additional inspiration by watching other favorites from that era, such as "It Happened One Night" (1934, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert), "My Man Godfrey" (1936, William Powell and Carole Lombard), "Libeled Lady" (1936, William Powell and Jean Harlow), "The Lady Eve" (1941, Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck) and "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" (1947, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy).

With his own comedic style reminiscent of directors Frank Capra and Preston Sturges, Collins's latest screenplay focuses on Lola Smythe, a famous 1930s Hollywood actress who "struggles to achieve motherhood while handling her psychotic family." Collins and his cast began shooting "The 'If' Girl" on June 6 at locations in Waco, Hillsboro and on the Baylor campus. They wrapped the film on July 3. Collins completed editing his production on July 7.

The movie, like each of his previous films, is the culmination of Collins's participation in Baylor's University for Young People (UYP), a summer enrichment program of interdisciplinary courses and camps for elementary through high school students. For the past two years, Collins has been polishing his directing skills with the assistance of Daniel Inouye, a Baylor student pursuing his master's degree in the department of theater arts.

Collins's aspirations as a filmmaker began when he took an "i-Movies" course through UYP, which eventually led to his first summer internship in 2002 with KWBU Public Television. So far Collins's résumé includes his debut film project, an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's classic tale and the Alfred Hitchcock film, "Rebecca;" a sequel called "Mrs. de Winter;" and the mystery/comedy, "Murder at the Riverside Hotel."

Last summer, Collins and his cast of 15 actors spent the month of June on the Baylor campus, shooting Collins's 150-page screenplay called "Murder at the Riverside Hotel," a mystery/comedy set in the 1930s.

Collins also continues to write, shoot, edit and co-star in "The Five of Us," a "Friends"-like situation comedy taped at his family's home in Hillsboro. The program grew out of one of his internship projects with KWBU-TV and now airs six to eight times per month on Dallas Community Television (DCTV).

Collins is the son of Ace and Kathy Collins of Hillsboro. He is an honor student at Bynum High School, where he participates in basketball and is a two-time All-Star Cast member in One Act Play. He hopes to attend Baylor, TCU or Arkansas to study film.

For more information, contact Collins at home (254) 582-9931 or mobile (254) 644-1786.

Interesting Facts about "The 'If' Girl":

• The inspiration for the story came from the 1933 Jean Harlow comedy "Bombshell." Collins liked the basic plot, but wanted to do a different take on the story, and so "The 'If' Girl" was born.

• Collins paid homage to his favorite stars when carefully naming his characters, combining the names of some of his favorite movie actors from the 30s and 40s. For example, the leading man is 'John Tracy,' which is a combination of John Barrymore and Spencer Tracy. The reporter in the film is named Torchy Gumm. "Torchy" came "Torchy Blane," the name of the reporter in the old movie series, and "Gumm" came from Ethel Gumm, who was better known as Judy Garland.

• The film was shot over a period of four weeks. The final shooting schedule contained 18 days of filming total. Leading the pack of actors with the most work days was Audra Osborne (Lola Smythe) with 11, Brittany Faulknor (Jean Grant) with 9, and Blake Ledsome (John Tracy) with 7.

• The film contains 96 total scenes, averaging under a minute long. Collins wanted the film to have quick scene-cutting in order to maintain a breakneck base.

• The final shooting script was 195 pages long and the film is 96 minutes in length, the same running time as his last film, "Murder at the Riverside Hotel."

• Leading lady Audra Osborne (Lola Smythe) had more than 500 lines and is on screen at least two-thirds of the time.

• There are 12 slaps and six kisses in the film.

• In preparation for the film, Collins watched many screwball and romantic comedies from the 30s and 40s. Among the films he watched were "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" (1947, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy), "The Lady Eve" (1941, Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck), "Libeled Lady" (1936, William Powell and Jean Harlow), "It Happened One Night" (1934, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert) and "My Man Godfrey" (1936, William Powell and Carole Lombard).

• Actors Blake Ledsome and Satara Whitney have appeared in every Rance Collins production, including "The Five of Us" sitcom and his four films. Zachary Hanna has appeared in all of the films, and Grace Whitaker has appeared in all episodes of "The Five of Us" and in three films.

• The first film Collins made was "Rebecca," an adaption of the Alfred Hitchcock film and Daphne du Maurier novel. In the summer of 2003, he made its sequel "Mrs. de Winter" and "Murder at the Riverside Hotel" in summer 2004.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?