Student Spotlight: Rachel Bass
Major: Motion Picture/TV Program
Rachel Bass graduated from Amherst College in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Black Studies.
She then applied to graduate film school but was turned down. Moving back home to Chicago, she had every intention of reapplying to graduate school but also decided to register for film classes at College of DuPage.
“The only expectation that I had coming in was that I was going to learn as much as I could about film and to gain experience during my year of preparing to apply to graduate school again,” she said. “My intention was to make myself more competitive the second time around.
“My time at COD has done much more than that, especially the classes I took with Heather Currie and John Rangel. Their classes have artistically and academically challenged me more as a storyteller and filmmaker than any other class in my history as student.”
Bass is working on her Film Production MFA at Chapman University in Orange County, Calif., with an emphasis on directing. She will direct her graduate thesis in October from a script she co-wrote with her siblings in a writers group they established years ago. Her thesis was nominated for a Princess Grace Award.
“‘The Old Coat Society’ is set in 1877 Illinois and is about a lonely white boy with polio who develops a friendship with an adventurous white-looking town newcomer, and his racist worldview is threatened when he discovers that the boy is really black,” he said.
Bass’ film “Black Magic” recently won the 2016 Director’s Guild of America Jury Prize. She also enrolled at the Baron Brown Acting Studio in Santa Monica to gain the actor’s perspective with regards to directing.
Her long-term goal is to professionally direct historical fantasy and drama films. While Bass is excited about earning her MFA, she is equally pleased about her decision to take film classes at College of DuPage.
“My experience at COD provided the foundation that is enabling me to pursue film to greater heights,” she said. “The faculty is the bomb. If you come to COD with a purpose, the resources can take you wherever you want to go. My one year at COD has been the most important year in shaping my identity as a storyteller and always will be.”
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