Semester’s work culminates with live-to-tape reproductions of The Twilight Zone episodes

Austin Faulds • Dec. 1, 2017
Juniors Sydney Winninger and Will Eggleston use power sanders to prepare part of the set for The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. (Marlie Bruns | The Media School)

It is a dimension as vast as a student’s work ethic and as timeless as her imagination. It is the middle ground between art and science, between old and new, and it lies between the pit of discrimination and the summit of individuality. This is the dimension of academic and creative accomplishment. It is a dimension, nearly six decades later, IU will still affectionately call “The Twilight Zone.”

Beginning Friday, IU film students will produce live-to-tape recreations of three episodes from the groundbreaking and iconic American anthology series The Twilight Zone. These filmings, which will be open to the public, will take place in Studio 5 of the Radio-Television Building and be streamed into the Franklin Hall commons. The productions are part of MSCH-M453, Topical Seminar in Industry and Management, taught by senior lecturer Steve Krahnke.

Students in that class and those participating as an independent study opportunity or as volunteers have spent the semester writing, casting, rehearsing, building sets, designing costumes, planning and promoting the events and more.

Josh Carter, Steve Scott, Bridget Murray, James Vavrek, Evan Meeks and Emma Hamilton run through a fight scene in The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. (Marlie Bruns | The Media School)

The event is at the tail-end of the College and Arts and Sciences Themester: Diversity, Difference, Otherness. This particular theme was why the show – which has been revered for its showcasing of the unnatural and opening the door for similar shows like Black Mirror and American Horror Story – was chosen.

The three episodes chosen, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, The Shelter and Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? best represent this semester’s theme, said senior Gabrielle Ziulkowski, advertising and marketing lead for the project.

A TV classic, The Twilight Zone is a show that viewers of different generations feel a nostalgic connection to, including today’s college students.

“It definitely brings back memories of growing up watching that, so I thought it would be a great project to get involved with,” Ziulkowski said.

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

At the height of the Red Scare in America, when war between the United States and the Soviet Union seemed just around the corner, this episode exploring paranoia and self-destruction aired. An unidentified aircraft swoops over Maple Street in a small American town, and almost immediately, chaos erupts. The episode dares to answer the question of how people respond to what they do not understand. The remake will be filmed at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 and will be streamed into the Franklin Hall commons.

The Shelter

Students working on The Twilight Zone remake project conduct a field shoot for Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? (Marlie Bruns | The Media School)

Airing only two weeks before the construction of the Berlin Wall, this episode presents a small group of people reacting to yet again more unidentified flying aircrafts, this time believed to be nuclear missiles. People flee to a shelter and, while trying to stay alive in a claustrophobic space, hostility, bitterness and racism boil among the cast. Its closing title reads, “For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized.” The remake will be filmed at 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and will be streamed into the Franklin Hall commons.

Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

Another episode dealing with the unknown and the otherworldly. In this case, a UFO crashes into a small town, and two state troopers are investigating the whereabouts of the believed alien resident. The remake will be filmed at 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and will be streamed into the Franklin Hall commons.

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