Ouachita Baptist University is premiering AMM2: Another Movie Musical Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s campus.
Ouachita student Rance Collins co-wrote, co-produced, edited, directed and acted in the movie, which is a sequel to his previous student-produced project, A Movie Musical. Grace Whitaker worked with Collins to co-write and co-produce the movie; she also served as the film’s choreographer.
“The movie is a continuation of the first film,” Collins said. “Movie star Guy Johnson’s box office numbers are falling, and studio head Mr. Parker chooses an unlikely candidate as his replacement. Guy also has problems with girlfriend, Val, whose sister, Sally, is at her side. Meanwhile, choreographer Grace is romanced by an incorrigible backup dancer, Deena gets a new voice, Frank Foxhugh opens a refreshing new store and Trash Girl gets too big for her head. Also, new characters like Regina and Drew pop up along the way.”
The movie, like the original, involved many students, alumni and Ouachita faculty.
“A lot of really talented people put in a ton of hard work to make this movie happen. For a month, this was our life.” Collins said, “I think it is about as close to a ‘real’ movie as student films get and not because of what I’ve done, but because of the work that my incredible cast and crew have put into it. See it for them. See it because of the work they’ve done.”
Collins, a senior mass communications major from Hillsboro, Texas, plays the Director in the film, and Whitaker, a senior biology major from Victoria, Texas, plays Grace. Other actors with leading roles in the ensemble cast include: Matthew Landers, an OBU alumnus from Dallas, as Guy Johnson; Rachel Street, a senior musical theater major from Mahomet, Ill., as Val; Hannah Beth Midkiff, a freshman musical theater major from Grandview, Texas, as Sally; Adam Wheat, a senior mass communications major from Ruston, La., as Frank Foxhough; Samantha Parrish, a senior musical theater major from Forney, Texas, as Regina; Lynley Vire, a junior musical theater major from Searcy, Ark., as Deena; Trey Baldwin, a senior political science and speech communication double-major from Forrest City, Ark., as Mr. Parker; Lauren Casteel, a junior musical theater major from Garland, Texas, as Drew; Lindsey Forga, a senior mass communications and musical theatre double-major from Glenwood, Ark., as Trash Girl; and Greg Schwartz, a senior theater arts major from Texarkana, Texas, as Mike McCoy.
Also appearing in the film are: Cessany Ford, a junior musical theater major from Paragould, Ark.; Kelly Strickland, a junior at Arkadelphia High School; Abby Adams, a Ouachita alumna from Houston, Texas; Heather Baker, a senior musical theater major from Cleburne, Texas; Jeff Stokes, a senior theater arts major from Gilmer, Texas; Samantha Collins, a freshman mass communications major from Murfreesboro, Ark.; Chris Cook, a student at Arkadelphia High School; Greg Caplan, a sophomore musical theater major from Texarkana, Texas; Mary Handiboe, OBU associate professor of theatre arts; Abby Root, a freshman at Arkadelphia High School; Jeff Root, dean of OBU’s School of Humanities; Becca Watts, a junior mass communications major from Smackover, Ark.; Katie Willhite, a junior Christian studies major from Rowlett, Texas; C.E. Fifer, a former Ouachita student; and Amy York, a Ouachita alumna from Dallas.
J.L. West, a senior mass communications major from Bolivar, Mo., served as cinematographer for the project.
“It’s just a really happy movie that’s full of life and music,” Collins concluded, “and I guarantee it will leave you singing,”
By Meg Gosser