Vanguard University’s communication department gave students the opportunity to take a television studio production course taught by Professor Weaver-Seitz this year. They learned about all aspects of television.
The semester began with a bang: filming segments, rundowns and learning the essential aspects of what makes great TV. As the semester progressed, the students were able to pitch ideas for a web-series that would be consuming a majority of the semester.
Each student involved in the class was required to be a part of each episode in some way, some students wrote the episodes, some directed, some produced, etc., proving that collaboration was the best way to execute each episode. The class produced three episodes for the web-series where each student switched their position for each episode. This provided a challenging opportunity for students with varying levels of experience to learn from other students who tackled the job before them.
The chosen idea, a comedy called “Campus Safety,” began production about halfway through the semester, requiring the services of actors within the course and outside of it. The cast consists of Vanguard students Edwin Chavez ( who plays Sam), Hannah Stout (Karmen), Timothy Smith (Russell), Claudia Live (Gwen), Prince Anderson (Tyler), and Tyler Thorosen (Julien). The campus safety officers, Sam, Karmen and Russell, are tasked with locating a bike thief, while also maintaining their feud with the mail room staff (their sworn enemies), as one of their employees, Gwen’s, bike has been stolen. Sam takes it upon himself, as the new member of Campus Safety, to press Russell and Karmen to solve this case to prove to Gwen that he is a viable boyfriend option.
The web-series is shot in a similar format to NBC’s “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” documentary-style filming, allowing the actors to break the 3rd-wall and communicate with the audience in a way that narratives don’t allow. The cast and crew experienced challenges and benefits by shooting the 3-episode series this way. Senior Shondra Hines (Production Design Ep. 1 & 2; Director of Photography Ep. 3) commented, “It was so different than any other film set I’ve been on before. We had to develop an intricate balance between script and improv. It had to feel real in the moment.”
The series will be premiering at the COMM Awards Showcase that is being held tonight in the Scott Courtyard. Here, you’ll be able to see all three episodes of the series, as well as other short films produced throughout the year.
All three episodes will be uploaded to Vimeo at the end of the semester, so you will be able to watch them over, and over, and over again! We hope you enjoy the web-series and share it with your friends/family as we’ve worked on it all semester and are incredibly proud of our work!