Rickey Larke ’15 has never attended Ivies. But that hasn’t stopped him from creating a 45-minute documentary about the notorious spring music festival.

Captain of the track team, Larke has missed Ivies every year because of a NESCAC meet. Larke, an Africana studies and government and legal studies double major with a cinema studies minor, has had aspirations of creating a film since his sophomore year when he took a documentary course with Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies Sarah Childress.

“I wanted to make a film that would make people forget about their homework, all these lofty ideas and serious themes we always talk about at Bowdoin,” said Larke. “I wanted to make a fun film, and Ivies is the perfect subject.”

For an independent study, Larke created a documentary, “SurvIvies” (inspired by Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols’ iconic name for the event), that was about the creation of a film about Ivies (it’s “pretty meta,” he said). The film begins 50 days before Ivies and ends on the Sunday of Ivies.

“It’s kind of an exploration of me trying to make this film, getting all my equipment, getting everything together, getting people to agree to film their Ivies, that’s half of the film. And then the other half is just the weekend,” said Larke.

 Larke set his sights high: he wanted to explore Ivies not just from one perspective, but through several different lenses. And high-quality ones, too.

 Larke rented three GoPro cameras from Bowdoin and attached them to volunteers who would take them around for the entirety of their Ivies experiences: Alex Marecki ’14, Nick Benson ’17 and Regina Hernandez ’17. Larke filmed the creation process as well as the festivities with a DSLR camera until he left for his meet on Saturday, when Destiny Guerrero ’14 volunteered to film the concert.

“You see it from the perspective of the kid in the crowd, crazy, pushing everyone,” said Larke.

 “Then you see it from the perspective of the kid in the crowd getting pushed around for what appears to be no reason, so it’s really interesting in conversation with one another.”

One challenge Larke faced was financing. Larke bought his own DSLR camera, lenses, microphones, lighting equipment and personal GoPro camera for the process. To do so, he got multiple jobs on campus and saved up his earnings.

Larke also had to collect release forms for students who were filmed—he estimates probably about 70 in total. Although some students were understandably reluctant to have their weekends filmed, Larke explained that there are no illegal or immoral activities taking place on camera.

“All the drinking [other than myself] is from water bottles and solo cups, it’s not from cans or handles or things like that,” said Larke. “No one’s smoking in the film. No one’s doing all these crazy things that you would expect to be in the film—not explicitly.”

 The conception of Ivies as “some crazy bacchanal of debauchery” is something Larke wanted to examine in his film. In order to understand Bowdoin’s—and his own—identity, Larke had questions he wanted to explore in this film.

 “Is Ivies an outlier of our character as a community, or is this our true essence?” asked Larke. “Is this us really showing who we are, or is this us performing who we’d like to be?”

After creating “SurvIvies”—which he is still fine-tuning before its release on December 12—Larke is tired, but excited to create another film in the future, most likely after he graduates. He is fascinated by the idea of capturing the same event from multiple perspectives and comparing how people experience it.

Although Larke produced the entire film, he is extremely grateful for everyone involved and those who supported him throughout the process. He thanks Childress (his adviser for the independent study), the entire cinema studies department, Assistant Professor of Government and Legal Studies Ericka Albaugh, Associate Professor of English Guy Mark Foster, Associate Professor of Africana Studies Brian Purnell as well as everyone he interviewed and each student who agreed to be filmed.

“SurvIvies” explores an event experienced by most Bowdoin students and Larke is not going to show the film to the outside world.

“Bowdoin students should see it because it’s for them, it’s about them, it’s for their eyes only,” he said. “The purpose is holding a mirror up to Bowdoin.”

 “People have this idea of Ivies as being crazy, everyone’s just blackout drunk—but that’s not the case! There’s way more footage of people Snapchatting than drinking,” said Larke.

“I think people will be surprised,” he added.

The film will be shown Friday, December 12 in Smith Auditorium  in Sills Hall at 7 p.m.