Actress and producer Stephanie March (C96) screened her new mockumentary film about social media influencers, The Social Ones, at Annie Mae Swift Hall May 23.
March produced the film, which got big laughs from the audience as it followed a mockumentary film crew focused on a magazine cover shoot of the biggest influencers, rife with clashing egos, tantrums and breakdowns. The film pokes fun at our growing obsession with the influencers we celebrate.
“Whether or not you like [social media], we live in a world where it’s here to stay,” March told the audience during the question and answer session after the screening, moderated by Radio Television/Film Senior Lecturer Brett Neveu. “I’m sure many of you are like me, you don’t want to care about social media, but you do.”
March, who has played Alexandra Cabot, the prosecutor on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit since 2000, talked about the irony of making a mockumentary about social media, and yet, at the same time, promoting it on her own Twitter feed.
“I’m participating in social media promotion of this project, because I can’t not do it,” she said. In the film, March plays a psychiatrist who helps influencers as they struggle with calamities like a decline of followers. “I think we’re all trying to have a balance in our lives when it comes to social media, but we’re just not there yet.”
The Social Ones was written and directed by Laura Kosann, with other women heading up most major production and acting roles in the film.
“We didn’t set out to do a #MeToo project, but it happened,” March said. “But what we weren’t asking ourselves was the question: Are women funny? Which is a question that would’ve been asked when I was starting out in my career.”
March said she loves producing and wants to do more of it.
“Being an executive producer is about two things: calling in favors and raising money,” she said. “But I’d love to do it again.”
The Social Ones, currently on the film festival circuit, also stars Richard Kind, another Northwestern alum who is known for his roles on Mad About You and Spin City. March said he agreed to do the project after they met during A Starry Night, an alumni celebration in April 2018, hosted by alum Stephen Colbert, and featuring dozens of celebrity graduates of the School of Communication.
March said that she loved her time as an undergraduate at Northwestern and added that she’s thrilled to see the curriculum evolve and grow. She is a member of the School of Communication’s National Advisory Council.
“There are a thousand more programs and buildings here now than when I went. They didn’t expand the campus either, they just put the new buildings in between the old buildings,” joked the former Theatre major. “But, seriously, the curriculum really has become more modular than when I was here and prepares you more for your career.”
Nolan Robinson, a sophomore Theatre major, said he loved the screening.
“I was expecting the movie to be good, but it really blew me away,” Robinson said. “I’m a big social media user and a lot of it hit home. It was very funny.”
By Cara Lockwood