Chris Correa, class of 2010, is sitting across from me in an armchair—one of those big, fuzzy ones that dot the entrance to SciLi. It’s a Friday afternoon, and his face is wide-eyed with excitement; I notice this a lot when he’s discussing his ideas, and their seemingly limitless scope. He’s telling me a story.
“My uncle said this really interesting thing recently,” he starts. “He said, ‘Before you go to college, everyone’s telling you you can do anything you want. But once you’re in college, everyone’s asking you what you’re gonna do.’ And this—well, this is what I’m doing.”
By most accounts, the 21-year-old theater major is doing quite a bit lately. His main gig? Launching Take the Cake Productions, a film production company that, though unaffiliated with The University, primarily employs and involves Wesleyan students.
The company came together this summer. Living with his girlfriend and best friend in New York, Correa found himself job-hunting endlessly to no avail.
“After everything didn’t work out, I thought I had to take things into my own hands, give myself an opportunity to make my own break,” he explains. “So I started throwing around this idea for a production company and talking to people I was interested in having on board. And then I got here, prepped myself, emailed everyone I wanted to involve, spent probably way too much money on pizza and beer, got them together, and pitched it all.”
It’s no minor undertaking—not for Correa, nor for his crew. Commitment—and sacrifice—are their watchwords.
“I had to explain to them, this is a serious thing. I was previously in Desperate Measures Improv and Xtacy Dance Troupe; I had to drop both. I love both those groups, but I had to do it,” Correa said.
Correa’s main partner is Josh Margolin ’11, for whom he rattles off a dizzying laundry list of irreplaceable roles: director of photography, co-editor, actor, writer. Their first project is “Enrolled,” an online sitcom—“Wesleyan’s first web series,” they call it—for college students, co-written by Robby Hardesty ’11 and Caitlin Winiarski ’10.
“We watched a lot of pilots to see how they work,” Correa explains. “We spent two weeks writing and researching.”
The group works in six-week production cycles: two weeks of research and screenwriting, two weeks of filming, two weeks of editing. The resulting level of productivity is staggering. Laziness is anathema to the group’s vision: even as the first episode is being filmed, two members are writing the second installment, and Correa and Margolin are working on a horror movie. (“The best genre to see an audience watch,” Correa adds. “Hopefully we can get some cool gore.”)
On Monday, October 19th, Correa met with President Roth.
“We talked about how we can affiliate the sitcom with the University, and they want to see a finished product before allowing us to represent the University in any official way,” he reports.
The president declined to comment until a definitive consensus is reached. Meanwhile, the aim is to find an appropriate venue for Take the Cake’s films, whether that be the Old Cinema “or a Psychology classroom with a lot of seats, a projector, and a big screen.”
But the project is not merely an extracurricular pursuit, destined to be littler more than a shiny bullet on a resume. Correa graduates in May. Take the Cake, presumably, goes with him. And though his mindset revolves around six-week production cycles, his vision darts ahead, beyond Wesleyan screenings, beyond Commencement. “My are to get a job with either film or theater,” he concludes. “My concerns are now about after Wesleyan.”