A semester long project for IWU’s 2015 Studio Production class paid off twice – once in a completed sitcom aired on WIWU-TV and then again several months later, winning Best Comedy at the College Broadcaster’s Inc. (CBI) National Student Production Awards.
The show, “Kashed In” was an original 30 minute program, developed, written, staged and produced by the class in front of a live, studio audience, and then edited for broadcast.
This marks the first time an IWUCom program has won at the national level of CBI. Finalists in the TV Comedy category included programs from Ithaca College, Loyola Marymount and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
“I knew this was a good production and a great script,” said Dr. Randall E. King, class instructor.
“But I think we were all a little surprised to win among such great competition, so much so that we didn’t have anyone at the ceremony in Minneapolis in October to pick it up,” King said.
No worries, since CBI put the award and certificates for each student in the mail. The studio production class is offered every other spring semester in the Division of Communication & Theatre and class members choose the production type.
Previous classes produced late night talk shows, a sketch comedy, and a sitcom the first time the course was offered in 2009. This class also had an option to travel to Los Angeles during spring break, attending studio tapings and meeting with entertainment industry professionals.
After choosing the show type, the class divided into 3 teams: Producers, Design and Production.
These teams went about creating the script, building sets, auditioning actors, shooting and editing pre-produced video roll-ins and then rehearsing and blocking cameras right up to the night the audience was invited in.
The laughs you can hear on the final show are real, and each scene was performed in sequence, just as it’s done in a Hollywood, multi-camera sitcom.
At the end of 14 weeks, the payoff was a complete, original television show and an experience unlike most in college since the instructor required the class to direct itself through every stage.
“It’s not every day you gather together and share ideas with other creative classmates you sit next to every week,” said producer Shaelie Clark.
“We all walked away with something we could be proud of,” Clark said.
Studio Production Class 2015: Zach Allen, Michael Arn, Shaelie Clark, Ryan Flaherty, Brianna Garr, Sean Huncherick, Nic Kursonis, Seth Lawrence, Peter Mercer, Brandon Rees, Tim Tedeschi, Kyle Uitermarkt, Jenn VanRavenswaay, Hannah Whelchel.
Watch behind the scenes of “Kashed In”:
Watch the finished production of “Kashed In”: