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"The Losers," a New Movie by Sylvain White '98, Released Today

Sylvain White '98
The Losers movie poster

The latest film from director Sylvain White ’98, The Losers, launches into wide release today. The Losers is an action-oriented DC/Vertigo comic book adaptation that tells the story of a special ops team framed for a horrific crime who have to fight their way back to redemption (and out of the jungles of Bolivia). The film stars Jeffery Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Jason Patric and Zoe Saldana.

Best known for his hit dance film, Stomp the Yard, White cut his teeth on film at Pomona as a double major in media studies and film and video production. He founded Studio 47, the College’s video production club and completed internships at New Line Cinema and Propaganda Films. After college, he quickly made a name for himself in music videos and short films, earning recognition for his work at the 2001 MTV Music Video Awards and 2001 Music Video Production Association Awards. His 2002 short film Quiet was a finalist at the HBO Short Film Awards.

He directed I Still Know What You Did Last Summer in a scant two weeks for Sony’s Screen Gems, showing his talent for making movies on a low budget, which he continues to do in The Losers, subbing Puerto Rico locations for Miami, Dubai and Bolivia, and doing one-shot action takes (like a mid-air collision of a motorcycle and a plane).

He followed his first full-length film with the dance hit Stomp the Yard, a positive coming-of-age portrayal of fraternity step-dance competitions.

In 2007, he told Pomona College Magazine: "There hasn't been a positive movie about Black college life in I don't know how long, except for Drumline. I felt there was a strong demand for that. I'm really an advocate for the positive portrayal of African-American males, particularly when you're targeting a youthful audience. I wanted to be a part of that."

The $14 million film went on to earn $61 million at U.S. box offices. Still, after that success, White had to fight to get The Losers, which, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was a highly coveted film. “I went into the studio and pitched my vision for the movie. It was supposed to be R-rated. I thought it should be PG-13. All my ideas for characters, actors, my vision for use of color. I wanted them to understand how I was going to make this different than what was expected,” said White.

White mentions that he desires an eclectic career—rather than all the dance movies offered to him after the success of Stomp the Yard—and his next project fits the bill: He’s negotiating to direct Pendragon, a medieval times tales of Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere first meeting at Camelot.