Photo courtesy: Amira Jiwani

RTA students zoom in on ecstasy in new documentary

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By: Monika Sidhu

A group of RTA students working on their fourth-year practicum project are the creative team behind Molly, a documentary about the drug MDMA.

“We feel that so many people take MDMA recklessly, without even thinking twice about what’s in it or could not care less about the long-term effects on the brain,” said Molly’s producer, Vanessa Maharaj. “We really took an investigative look into the culture behind it.”

Amira Jiwani, the group’s marketing director, said they’re not trying to shine a negative light on the drug, but more of an informative light.

“It’s scary because so many people our age are taking it and not knowing that it could be laced,” she said.

RTA practicum is a final project that tests the skills of graduating students, giving them the chance to produce a quality piece of work fit for the media industry.

There are many challenges that come with the expectation of industry-quality work, said Maharaj, as teams are in charge of all aspects of production including managing their budget, working out the story line, and post-production.

“The most stressful part of being a producer was coordinating interviews,” she said. “One interviewee canceled, which then ruined an entire production day, but we were able to work things out in the end.

RTA professor Rick Grunberg said that it is a good way for students to become well-rounded before going off into the real world. Students are marked on how creative their projects are, how viable it is for the real-world market, and how well they manage to market their final products, said Grunberg.

According to Jiwani, the benefit of their practicum projects will come when it’s time to find a job. Being able to add the final product to her demo reel, and showcase her real-world experience, will come in handy when she applies for jobs within the industry, she said.

“[It’s an] awesome opportunity to get some practical experience before you graduate,” Jiwani said.

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