An electronic arts film project titled “Stages” is made up of five senior EA audio students. Together they are creating an audio album paired with a short film.
Usually, the program requires an EA film student to be involved in film-related projects, but all of the individuals in “Stages” are audio students, which has never been done before.
Hok Lam, a senior electronic arts major, is the assistant director of “Stages.” He said all of the members were friends prior to the formation of the group.
EA students are required to complete a senior project as part of their capstone experience. Before work on projects can begin, students have to propose their projects to the Missouri State Univeristy Department of Media, Journalism and Film.
“At first there was just a bunch of film projects,” Lam said. “A big portion of the audio people felt like we didn’t get to have much of a creative say.”
The members of “Stages” banned together and consulted faculty for permission to form a separate audio-based project.
The visual album features six songs of different genres, each composed by a different member of the group. Genres include rhythm and blues, folk, disco, hip-hop and alternative rock.
“Each style is very different,” Lam said, “but we’re trying to keep it coherent at the same time.”
Group members use a combination of electronic and live instruments including piano, guitar, bass and ukulele to compose their songs.
“We wanted to do something that reflected each of our individual styles,” Nikki Clark, senior electronic arts major and director of “Stages,” said.
The short film, which coincides with the album, is about a fictional young woman named Edith who reflects back on her life experiences.
The diverse song choices are used to represent the different times or “stages” in the main character's life.
“‘Stages’ is about self-actualization — it’s a journey,” said Tom Overmann, a senior electronic arts major who is a writer and composer for “Stages.”
While the core group of “Stages” consists of six members, over 40 individuals have helped out with the project in some way.
“We have actors, fashion designers, people from the electronic arts department,” Clark said. “We all try to help each other out as much as we can.”
Given that “Stages” only consists of audio students, Lam said the project helped all the members grow in their skill sets.
“We all had to do things we didn’t think we’d be able to do,” Lam said.
“Stages” will be shown at the Electronic Arts Senior Showcase happening on May 3 in the Plaster Student Union.
The group plans to send their film to festivals in hopes of more exposure.
To stay updated on the project, follow Stages Instagram account @Stagesfilm2020.