VPS seeks to keep the cameras rolling

Poets expand their creativity with Video Production Studios

Juan Zuniga-Mejia


On Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m., Whittier College’s Video Production Studios (VPS) club kicked off their first meeting by discussing future events, current films their club members are working on, and reviewing past films they have done. Senior Executive Producer Kelly Santos encouraged club members to “get out of [their] comfort zones” as they worked on prompts and short exercises that practice film methods such as editing processes, cutouts, background sound, and various other techniques. 

One of the goals of VPS is to support Whittier College through promotional campus videos. Some of the work they have done in the past are the Wellness Center’s “Sexual Assault Awareness Video” (published April 21, 2017), and the “Wednesday Wellness Tips” series, a partnership with Wellness Coalition to discuss and advise on topics such as athletic and academic time management, stress–reducing techniques, healthy eating, self-love, and meditation. These promotional campus videos can be found on the YouTube channel Whittier QCTV and the Facebook page WCTheRock. These sort of videos give VPS members the opportunity to practice their own skills and challenge their creativity as the club, and its members, work on creating their own content. 

The club is able to provide workshops for screenwriting, editing, camera equipment usage, editing stations, and be given feedback for the work they share during these workshops and club meetings. “Students [in or outside of VPS] are always available to help film things for other [organizations] and groups on campus,” said Alumni Coordinator Maya Eylon. VPS makes themselves available to the Poet community as they support fellow peers through senior film projects and other cinematic inquiries. “Students who come in for a new project, or questions that they have; we help them,” said Santos.

Not all VPS members are film majors. Santos said, “We try to encourage [non-film major students] to explore and help them. They’re people here who [like] watching movies . . . and [we’ll] maybe have discussions about what we saw.” VPS hosts movie nights, their night being this Friday, as they prepare for upcoming ideas and brainstorm on movies they believe will be fun for the student body. “It’s not only just film production. It’s people who like watching cinema,” said Santos.

VPS meetings feature a collections of moods — from laid-back, to encouragement, support, and thought-processing. “[We’re] pushing [film makers] to create and explore different aspects of production with hands–on experience that they wouldn’t get inside a classroom,” said Santos. VPS stands to support and collaborate with their content creators as they circle around the screen and watch what their peers create. The KPOET back office, where meetings regularly occur, is an open space where all voices are heard, all students are welcomed, and all participants can work together to generate ideas of meeting topics. This past meeting, VPS discussed Halloween movie candidates to screen for the College and future workshops to host for their members.

The club hopes to expand their memberships and welcome new filmmakers, new cinema fans, and new students to help them “[take] over the world,” as fourth-year student and third-year member Delaney Buccellanto-Ritchie said. Santos hopes to showcase their own content more, outside of the promotional videos they support Whittier College with. “We want to create our own short films, maybe do a web series,” Santos said. The VPS looks forward to more screenwriting meetings, workshops, and helping their club members who are filmmakers develop their abilities and share a positive place to showcase their work. 

Most of the participating VPS members are currently seniors, and they look forward to meeting new members and expanding their horizons to pass the gauntlet and love of filmmaking and cinema. Poets who enjoy watching films, working with short film projects, or who have questions or need help in video editing, are always welcome to the VPS. As their portal on their official website, www.wcvps.com, says: “Learn. Record. Share.” VPS meets weekly, or as needed, on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. at the KPOET office.