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IMP student writes, acts in films


By Jordan Majewski




Ultra-potent marijuana, vampires, the Roman Catholic church and divine cheese: these are just a few of the central ideas that junior John Druska's screenplays revolve around. \nDruska, a film major in the Individualized Major Program (although he prefers to refer to his field as "Cinemocracy") has already written three screenplays, the first of which Druska describes as an "action-comedy." \n"My first screenplay involves this ultra-potent form of marijuana that could turn the tide of the War on Drugs if the public found out about it," Druska said. "It's kind of an intertwined plot, but the Catholic church revives the Inquisition, and some vampires who suck the blood of stoners get involved too. The plot probably makes me sound like an idiot, but I'm really proud of it." \nDruska's other screenplays are just as outrageous, with one involving a fictitious world of professional dishwashers and another involving divine goat cheese. \nAlthough Druska has already written these screenplays, he said his actual concentration is acting. \n"Acting is actually my main focus, but I wrote the screenplays to kind of get my foot in the door," Druska said. "The plan is to go out to Los Angeles and sell them."\nDruska, an Evans Scholar, originally enrolled at IU as a theater and drama major, but quickly realized that the required classes weren't really focusing on what he wanted to do. Druska said it was then that he heard about the IMP, and realized that he could create his own major to allow him to focus on acting and film production.\n"I was able to combine the acting and directing classes from theatre and drama with the production classes from telecommunications and create a major that really focused on what I wanted to do," Druska said.\nAssistant telecommunication professor Julia Fox, who prefers to call Druska's "Cinemocracy" major a film production major, said he exemplifies the type of student required to succeed in the IMP. \n"John is a very creative and unique person, and instead of doing a triple major to cover all the disciplines he was interested in, he was able to create something that satisfied his specific interests," Fox said. "John's interested in being behind and in front of the camera, and he's able to focus on both of those with the IMP."\nDruska's classes include T436 Advanced Production Workshop, alternately known as "Slow Children at Play," or SCAP. The class, taught by John Winninger of the telecommunications department, models itself after "Saturday Night Live," with the students acting as producers, writers and actors of a sketch comedy variety show. \n"It is my goal in T436 that the college SCAP experience offers the student a real-world experience into the television and film industry," Winninger said. "For actors like John, a pallet of scripted characters they can be comfortable and confident with after college is stressed. John has so far been a memorable delight to work with and see develop."\nBesides "SCAP," Druska is also gaining acting and writing experience as a member of the local comedy troupe "All Sorts of Trouble for the Boy in the Bubble." Druska just joined the ensemble this year, but said the dividends are already evident. \n"We write all of our own stuff, so I have the opportunity to act and write my own material," Druska said. "It really gives me some great practice in comedic acting and writing." \nThe walls of Druska's room are adorned with posters of the Ghostbusters and Blues Brothers, two movies that he said have influenced him as a writer and actor. \n"Harold Ramis, Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray: Those guys have really influenced my style as a writer and actor," Druska said. "They made great comedies that were well-received and original. That's something I'm really trying to do."\nWinninger said he believes that Druska is capable of fulfilling that dream.\n"I'd not be surprised to see John get cast into a position, or land on his feet in some comedic role somewhere in the next few years," Winninger said. "I'd proudly say he was at one time a SCAPPER in telecomm"

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