Screenwriter dives into truth-versus-fiction debate
Former student presents short film ‘Everything’s for Sale’
Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 00:02
Overcoming the effects of financial struggles drove former student Phillip Maxwell to create his short film “Everything’s For Sale,” which was screened on campus Monday.
The production of the film was more than an attempt at screenwriting — the member of the Class of 1986 used his own experience with financial debt as a storyline for the short in order to illustrate the negative impact money can have on a person’s life.
“Fiction definitely comes from a place of someone’s truth,” Maxwell said in his presentation.
Kelsey Gaines, sophomore communication major, said Maxwell’s explanation of his short film is what made the message so clear.
“I think that just with this situation, going to watch and then listen to him talk, you really see the full circle,” Kelsey Gaines said. “It’s a really cool experience because this is life. This is reality for some people. It was really interesting.”
In the film, the main character is eventually overwhelmed by his fear of bankruptcy and is manipulated into considering suicide as a way to escape it. Maxwell said portraying realities through screenplays is what makes a script so powerful.
“In short, the idea of filmmaking is a metaphor for your life,” Maxwell said.
Kelsey Gaines said she could appreciate Maxwell’s honesty in reflecting himself through the character he created.
“He was just super vulnerable, too,” Kelsey Gaines said. “I think part of that vulnerability is what produces the best work, whether we want to realize that or not. I think it’s cool that he’s willing to share that with us.”
Madeleine Gaines, freshman kinesiology major and younger sister to Kelsey Gaines, said she did not anticipate the level of openness that was involved in Maxwell’s lecture and enjoyed being able to talk with the person who wrote the film.
“I wasn’t expecting him to be so honest about his personal experience,” Madeleine Gaines said. “I kind of felt uncomfortable, like, ‘Oh wow, that was really honest.’”
Kelsey Gaines said she enjoyed attending the event and was pleasantly surprised with the way it turned out.
“I was really impressed with how much I actually liked it and just how original it was,” Kelsey Gaines said. “I wasn’t expecting what happened and I find that refreshing and just entertaining. I like surprises. I like new things. It’s cool to go into something and come out with it being completely different than what you anticipated.”