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Vassar Has Her BackThe Campus Provides Backdrop for Bobbie Lucas ’15’s Thesis Film

Three and a half years after she graduated from Vassar, Bobbie Lucas 15 was back on campus, shooting scenes for a movie not far from her old dorm room in Main.

Bobbie Lucas ’15 (left) and Mallory Tyler ’16 on location in Main to shoot a scene for a film Lucas is producing for her MFA degree at UCLA. Tyler is costume designer for the film.

Lucas, who is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in the Producers Program at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television, was working with a crew shooting a 20-minute film written and directed by fellow UCLA film student Lia Lenart.

The movie, a modern take on the life of the Greek mythological figure Cassandra, takes place on an East Coast college campus. So when she and Lenart were looking for locations, Lucas immediately hit on the idea of using her alma mater as the venue. “The logistics were challenging,” she says, “but everyone at Vassar—my former professors, the people in the administration—has been really helpful.”

Lucas secured permission in the fall to shoot indoor scenes in two dorm rooms in Main, in classrooms in Rockefeller Hall and at Kresge Pool, as well as outdoor scenes on the Residential Quad and at Sunset Lake. Lucas and her crew arrived on January 9 and spent five days on campus.

New York City actress Mathia Vargas (on diving board) in a scene shot at Kresge Pool.

Part of Lucas’ job as producer was to find a costume designer, and she used her Vassar connections to do so, hiring fellow alum Mallory Tyler ’16, who runs her own costume company in New York City. “We didn’t know each other when we were in college, but we had mutual friends, and they connected us,” Lucas explains.

Lucas on the Residential Quad

Tyler said she had been supplying costumes for various theater productions in New York City since she opened her business, but this was her first movie job. “I’m dressing the three main characters, six minor ones and a lot of extras,” she says. “It’s been great working with Bobbie and the rest of the crew.”

Lucas said her Vassar education—she was a double major in film and economics—had prepared her well for her post-Vassar life. She spent her first two years after graduation doing jobs and internships in the film business in Los Angeles, including stints with Lionsgate Entertainment and with Is and Isn’t Entertainment, a company founded by two other Vassar alums, Lisa Kudrow ’85 and Dan Bucatinsky ’87. She enrolled in UCLA’s Producers Program in 2017 and will receive her MFA degree in June. Producing the movie is a major requirement for her degree, Lucas explains. “The film will be shown at UCLA’s film festival, and we’ll submit it to other festivals as well,” she says.

Lucas says she’s enjoying her time back at Vassar, the long hours of shooting one scene and planning the next notwithstanding. “We shoot from 10 am to 10 pm and I’m usually up by 7 and still answering emails well after midnight,” she says. “But it’s been great re-connecting with my professors and others on campus while I’m here.”

She said some of her fellow students questioned her decision to make the movie thousands of miles from UCLA. “They asked me if I was worried about being so far from my home base,” she says, “but Vassar is my home base.”

Shooting a scene in Rockefeller Hall. Rear left: Director Lia Lenart, Lucas’ classmate at UCLA.