Teagan Perrin is a fifth-year senior at the University of Iowa. He is working toward a Photography BFA, and minors in Cinema and Computer Science. In Student Video Productions, or SVP, Perrin is currently the General Manager. This is his fourth year in a management position, his fifth year with the group. He first joined SVP in his freshman year after seeing the stand at the organizations fair. At the time, he was an open major but had an interest in filmmaking. From there, he took a photography class in his second year at Iowa and has loved it since.
What is Student Video Productions?
SVP is a student run organization, made up of students who all share an interest in filmmaking. The group strives to provide opportunities for students interested in trying new projects related to the film industry. Among these opportunities, they also have a wide range of tools available to students who may use them whenever they wish- whether it be for a personal project or something else.
SVP holds weekly meetings to discuss fun projects to give students experience with the equipment. They also compete in contests and have contract work in which they work alongside other groups on campus, namely Dance Marathon, filming and editing material for the groups to gain both hands-on experience and possibly even money. The office space is open to students who want to work on projects, or simply hang out. Perrin says, “Overall, it’s just trying to get as many opportunities to work on, with people who are interested in the same thing.”
Who should join, and how?
While a lot of members of SVP are majoring in Cinema, there are plenty who aren’t. Other common majors for students in the group are English and Journalism as they can tie into it. Perrin says, “We’ve even had a couple engineering students so anyone is welcome to join.” Overall, it’s about a student’s passion or interest in filmmaking that counts in SVP. “If you don’t have any experience whatsoever that is 100% fine,” Perrin explains. If a student would like to join the group, it wouldn’t be hard to do so. “All you have to do is show up. There’s no enrollment process, no membership fees. If you're showing up to the meetings, you’re a member,” Perrin says.
To get in touch with the group, write them at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by their office in room 260A of the IMU. Perrin shares, “We’re in there all the time, and we’re always happy to explain how stuff works. If you reach out to us, we’ll get back to you and explain how it works.”
"All you have to do is show up. There’s no enrollment process, no membership fees. If you're showing up to the meetings, you’re a member."
Benefits: how SVP is helping student to Excel
While SVP is an opportunity for a lot of fun, there’s a lot more to it. It’s a great learning experience in both filmmaking and giving members experience in the business aspect as well. This is especially true if someone chooses to be a part of the executive board, which will teach them leadership and management. Perrin says, “I hadn’t taken hardly any cinema classes prior to this last year really, but I already felt very comfortable with the whole process, primarily through SVP.”
In relation to cinema classes, SVP can give students the edge. “I have found that for the most part it starts off really slow with cinema classes, especially with the equipment you’re using. I find that a lot of people want to move beyond that faster, and really one of the greatest benefits is that all the equipment here is available from the get go - if you want to use our highest level of camera, we can show you how to use it and you can go and do that,” Perrin explains.
On top of it all, SVP is a community. The members are relaxed and the office is open to anyone who wants to hang out.
SVP has created numerous connections for its members. When asked, “Do you feel like you’ve had a lot of close friends come out of this?” Perrin says, “Oh 100%. Every year you get to meet some really great people. I really like the group of people I’m working with this year. I’ve already met some people who are brand new to SVP this year who seem like they’re going to be a ton of fun to work with because they already have the energy that I’m always looking for.”
Perrin has numerous connections with alum from SVP who are out in the workforce now. Knowing them, Perrin has a point of reference for himself when he leaves the University of Iowa. Furthermore, there are more connections to be made with people outside of SVP. With SVP, students are working with other students and their organizations on campus. SVP gives them a chance to meet these other people they may not have met otherwise, and a chance to learn about another organization available to them.
There are many notable alum from the University of Iowa who spent their college years in the SVP program.
One, Travis Schott, was the Operations Manger from 2003-2005. Schott now resides in Los Angeles, California where he works as a set lighting technician for both movies and shows. Some recognizable works include "Community," "NCIS: LA" and "Sneaky Pete."
Another alum, Matthew Birks, was the General Manager of SVP from 2015-2017. Now, Birks works in Atlanta, Georgia by running a wedding videography business.
More recently, Michael Wiggin, the Concept and Development Director of SVP for the 2018-2019 school year, was accepted into University of California, Los Angeles' Professional Program for Screenwriting.
SVP has done many different projects, both big and small. Some recent videos that they've produced include "Dance Marathon 25 Highlight Video," "Captain Marvel Sweded Trailer" and "Liminal Spaces." The first, "Dance Marathon 25 Highlight Video," was a compilation of all the Dance Marathon activities from the 2018-2019 school year. As they do one each year, SVP and Dance Marathon are closely linked in this way. Next, the "Captain Marvel Sweded Trailer" is a fun project SVP does each year with a different movie each time. Finally, "Liminal Spaces" is an example of the competitive work in SVP as it was the winner of a screenwriting contest in the school year of 2018-2019. The video was inspired by the winning script in that year's edition of Earthwords. This is a tradition SVP plans to carry into this year.
When asked what his hopes were for the future of SVP, Perrin says, “I would say becoming a more noticeable organization on campus. Our big focus this year is going to be on marketing and getting our name out there. We always want more people to join, but I think being more involved with other groups would be a great deal. Having a more direct connection with the cinema department and other groups on campus has been a long term goal I want to work with this year.”