Spotlight on Student Orgs: Student Video Productions

Student Video Productions is an Oakland University club designed to give students hands-on experience with professional equipment, ranging from $1,000 cameras to Avid editing software. 

SVP started in the 1999-2000 school year with the intent to provide students with opportunities to learn how to use professional quality equipment for television.

SVP advisor Heather Haughey explains the various learning elements involved in video productions.

“Educational doesn’t mean just spouting facts and figures on TV, but it’s also the process of learning television productions, how you write a script, how to operate the equipment, how to create graphics, how to design 3D elements,” Haughey said. “There is a lot of educational material from the backside of video productions, behind the camera, not just the content.”

Advisor Haughey and founding advisor Scott Burke are part-time instructors at Oakland University, but their full-time jobs are to run the Video Services Department.  

The department handles all of OU’s video needs, ranging from shooting a meeting to creating commercials for the university. 

 “Obviously two people can’t run video services. So we have a budget for five student employees: Those five students help us get stuff done for the channel, but that’s still not enough so what we did is, we encouraged the development of SVP,” Burke said. “You can use all of our equipment and resources as long as you are producing programming for OUTV.” 

SVP promotions director Aaron Segel hopes that SVP can work closely with the new cinema studies majors in the near future, suggesting, “It’s film experience even if it’s not film … Our main goal is to get people experience with filming in general.”

Some of the new things planned for SVP include trying to go HD, ordering a jib track and dolly system, updating its sound effects library to include more than 50,000 new sounds, creating a wider variety of shows, and better quality for all of the shows. SVP currently has seven shows, three which are inactive.

Last year SVP produced shows such as, “Afterhours,” “Live at Oak,” and “Visiting Professionals.” 

This year, some of those shows haven’t been produced in months. 

“They haven’t been produced since October. That’s three shows that this club used to do that they are not doing right now,” Burke said. “Before they start a ton of new initiatives, I would like them to either get those shows back up and running or replace them with new ones.”

With campus activity at a low, getting students involved is proving to be a challenge.

Haughey understands why it’s hard for students to get involved and takes time to look at things from their perspective.  

“Students tend to only come to campus on certain days because they commute,” she said. “Our goal here is instead of having students come back for an entire in studio shoot, get them involved in putting together certain pieces for various television shows.” 

Creating shows piece by piece is not that unusual. Most SVP shows are prerecorded, and put together in the editing room. However, getting students involved in putting together pieces is not that easy.

SVP is starting new incentives. One way of trying to get members more involved is the new Member Movie Challenge.  

The Member Movie Challenge was an SVP competition to see which of its members could make the best comedic film for Lunch Break. 

The three with the most votes won OU bookstore gift certificates.  

Next month, SVP plans to do a similar contest for their show Best Tech.

“We are trying just to get everybody motivated to start working on projects instead of just talking about them,” student Elizabeth Broderick said.”I have been involved with SVP since the beginning of this year.”

Students can get involved in SVP by simply showing up to any of its events, to see if it’s something they want to do.  

“We will put you to work,” said Segel. “After that, if you want to continue, you can become a dues paying member.”  

SVP dues are very affordable, initially $10, with returning members paying $5 each year. 

Students don’t have to be active members to get involved with SVP. Extras are always needed.  

For further information, visit the SVP’s website at or stop by its office located at 104 Varner Hall.