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Lake grad uses camera as tool for social change PDF Print E-mail
Written by RACHEL GAST Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 19 October 2013 07:56
Dominick Evans film.3
Dominick Evans (right) on the set directing his film ‘Trip.” (Photo provided by Electric Marshmallow Productions)
Social activist Dominick Evans uses his camera to bring equal rights to the fore. At age 32, he is entering his senior year at Wright State University in the highly competitive film program. He is the only person with a disability-Spinal Muscular Atrophy-to make it this far in the program.
Evans, former Walbridge resident, describes the motion pictures program as "insanely" competitive. "The first year I would say the class had over 100 people. At the end of the year you go through cuts," resulting in a class pared down from 100 to 14. "At the end of the second year we were cut down to 10, then two people dropped."
"A lot of people don't know, but I almost quit my sophomore year because it's a lot of pressure anyway," Evans says, "but some of the work is so physical. My girlfriend Ashtyn really helped me through the program. If I couldn't do something physically she was there to assist me. There was no way I would have made it without her."
Evans, a 1999 Lake High School graduate, first attended Wright State in 2000 to major in theater. "Right before I started my last year I fell out of my wheelchair and fractured my tibia pretty bad," Evans explains. "So I moved up to Michigan with Ashtyn for eight years, went through physical therapy. I was stuck in bed for five years on and off and I just got tired of letting my life pass me by. I was taking a lot of medication for the pain. But I said I have to move on with my life."
"When you lie in bed a lot you have a lot of time to think about what you want to do with your life," he continues. "So in 2010 I came back to Wright State and I'm in my senior year now."
Evans' film, "Trip," has been chosen as one of the three thesis projects for the motion pictures program after months of critiques.
"I've always been told my whole life I'd never account to anything-people in general discount you if you have a disability. I was told I would be a secretary when I grow up-so to get in this really competitive program then get chosen as one of the three people to make a film, it has validated everything I've worked to my whole life."
"It doesn't matter what your ability level is, if you're determined you can do whatever you want and that's always what I've lived my life by."
"Trip," written by Ashytn Law and Evans, follows Casey, a young mother who must choose "between what feels good and what is necessary for a better life" for her son.
His company Electric Marshmallow Productions recently completed a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project.
"My interest in film is representing marginalized populations-women in general, teen mothers, people with disabilities, LGBT individuals-then really tell their story because we don't see those kinds of stories told in film."
"We had over 20 people filming," Evans explains. "The majority were female, which is impressive because film is predominately a male-dominated, able-bodied dominated field. We had two people in wheelchairs as well-I wanted a more diverse crew."

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