A chemistry whiz and comic book fanatic named Theo teams up with his group of friends to take down a bully, Tobias, who has discovered dangerous super powers. This may sound like Netflix’s newest series.
In fact, it is The Suit, the brainchild of Vassar College Television (VCTV), Vassar’s student-led production group. Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:00 p.m., in Rockefeller Hall 200, VCTV is premiering their television series’ third and final episode, comprised of two parts, “Part I: Culprit” and “Part II: I’ll Be Ready,” in which Theo has been held hostage by Tobias at a secret location on campus, while the rest of the gang works to discover clues as to where Theo could be.
VCTV, despite being a relatively new presence on campus, has gained a loyal membership and following. It was started last year and now has fifty active members and a general body of approximately eighty-five students, many of whom participated in the production of The Suit’s first two episodes filmed last year.
Reflecting the large population it works with and serves, VCTV is run by an executive board. Three Executive Producers—Wendel Smith ’14, Charley Button ’15, and Nicole Glantz ’15—serve a role akin to most organizations’ Vice-President position. Specifically, the executive board runs the organization and steps in wherever necessary. The team works with a board of producers of the organization’s branches, who guides the future direction of VCTV. They also oversee a board of directors, who supervise VCTV projects currently in production.
About The Suit, Smith and Button wrote in an emailed statement, “This series was wrapped in May last year, thus, we closed production on the project. However, Post-Production continued into the summer for completing editing for Episode 2, and beginning editing for Episode 3. We are excited to have finally finished this series and premiere it for the Vassar community, and the cast and crew for The Suit.”
This lengthy editing process speaks to the series’ emphasis on post-production, particularly on special effects. “This series places visual effects and superhero fictional storytelling at the forefront. We wanted to scale our series to make it ambitious and technically challenging. We take advantage of industry standard tools such as After Effects to give our actors their super powers (e.g. Theo’s super-strength and Tobias’s lightning power),” wrote Smith and Button.
VCTV members Doug Greer ’14 and Ben Kaufman ’15 echoed the assertions of VCTV’s Executive Producers. “The Suit is supremely edited,” said Kaufman. Greer, who acts in the series in a supporting role, noted, “I loved doing VCTV! Everything is such high quality and everyone working on it is so committed.”
The Suit is the creative product of VCTV’s 2012-2013 “Series” branch. Smith and Button explained, “The Series is a unique collaboration of a large group of filmmakers with different specialties, joining together to create a large scale production. We aim to create professional quality, entertaining content for both the Vassar audience and the online community.”
This year, VCTV is currently involved in the production of a new series, The Witness, created by James Pederson ’17. The Witness explores the lives of a group of ambitious students on a college newspaper staff.
VCTV is also in the process of expanding VCTV 2U, their newest branch, for producing creative shorts and providing filming services to the Vassar community.
Smith and Button wrote, “VCTV 2U encourages any and all members of the Vassar Community to submit ideas they have for a film project. We get a team of experienced members around them to help make their project become a success. This has also led to quite successful collaborations with other orgs on campus such as Happily Ever Laughter and various student plays and dance groups.”
This expansion of VCTV is due in no small part to its influx of new members, particularly freshmen. Smith and Button wrote, “The freshmen have been an amazing addition to VCTV! They have brought so much energy to the group.” They continued, “We have new members of all experience levels, so we emphasize technical workshops to teach members about the filmmaking process so they can improve their skills. (This is especially relevant and in demand since production classes are not offered until junior year.) With our busy shooting schedule, the addition of many new members has enabled us [to] shoot more frequently without exhausting our crew. The more members that join, the bigger the production we can create!”
As VCTV grows, its members hope that the Vassar Student Association will certify it as an official campus organization. It is currently in its third semester status as a preliminary organization, the final stage before becoming eligible to apply for certification.
“We believe that certification of VCTV as an official org would benefit not only VCTV’s members but also the Vassar community, providing a unique opportunity to produce professional quality films,” Smith and Button emphasized.