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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Tuning in to KVIK

Senior Peter Biethan directs a discussion at Show! The Show, Oct. 17. // Photo by Morgan Stilp-Allen.
Senior Peter Biethan directs a discussion at Show! The Show, Oct. 17. // Photo by Morgan Stilp-Allen.

KVIK is not a typical college film club. It doesn’t have its own TV station. It doesn’t have an improv troupe. Nor is it dedicated solely to music production, like a university version of MTV. Instead, elements of each can be found throughout the videos KVIK produces.

KVIK is an Associated Students organization for student filmmakers. Any student at Western can join and start writing, directing and editing their own video content. Working with KVIK allows students to get involved with two established programs: a sketch comedy show titled “SHOW! The Show” or a music channel called “The Mix,” specializing in taping live sets with local and touring bands.

Senior Peter Biethan joined KVIK his freshman year with “SHOW! The Show,” at the time it went by the title “You Would!”

He went on to become the head coordinator of KVIK.

“It’s been nice. It’s been very busy. A lot of planning and a lot of shooting, but that’s to be expected with video production,” Biethan said.

KVIK doesn’t have a television station on public access, but Biethan said this was no problem considering most students wouldn’t watch public access anyway. KVIK distributes its videos online via YouTube and Facebook.

WWU Upkeep, a weekly update AS video series produced by AS Vice President Alex LaVallee, doubles as an editing workshop.

“Anybody who has video projects that want to get help with can come,” Biethan said.
KVIK services the AS with their video needs, such as WWU Upkeep, as well as producing its own original content like “SHOW! The Show.”

Biethan said “SHOW! The Show” brings the largest draw of the active stations.
Sophomore Ellie Boroughs is the producer of “SHOW! The Show” and the first sketch she wrote was called #NotAllMen.

“We get to make whatever we want, and we get to make it with other people who want to spend their free time making them with us.”

Ellie Boroughs

“It was a satirical PSA. The quality wasn’t great because it was my first script,” Boroughs said. “From there it went on to a sketch about sex brownies, and then a sketch about some nuns.”

Boroughs described her sense of humor as filled with lots of puns and probably a few too many sexual innuendos.

Boroughs said each sketch needs to have a coherent “game,” an underlying theme that makes it funny. Then comes three, five or seven beats that build together to make the sketch. The sketches can build intensity, subvert audience expectations or just say something funny and important.

KVIK members practice writing comedy sketches at Show! The Show, Oct. 17. // Photo by Morgan Stilp-Allen.
KVIK members practice writing comedy sketches at Show! The Show, Oct. 17. // Photo by Morgan Stilp-Allen.

“Especially if Alex Furnas writes them. They’ll never make sense, but they’ll be your favorite sketches you’ll ever see,” Boroughs said.

Senior Alex Furnas joined KVIK his freshman year. He wrote one script for the now defunct “Void Walker,” left, and then came back sophomore year for “SHOW! The Show.” Furnas writes, directs and edits his sketches.

“The one I enjoy the most is the directing, which is kind of a vague term,” Furnas said. “But just coordinating everything. Writing something then bringing it to the screen; that’s pretty fun.”

Biethan, Boroughs and Furnas said KVIK is going through a transitional period. Many of the seniors who were heavily involved with KVIK graduated.

“This year I think there’s a lot more opportunity for growth. There’s more interest, it can be what the members make it,” Furnas said.

Boroughs said this is representative of what KVIK is now, a diverse group of students who come together to make cool things, she said.

“We get to make whatever we want, and we get to make it with other people who want to spend their free time making them with us,” Boroughs said.

Furnas said KVIK would be ideal for non-film majors interested in the art.

“I’m basically describing myself. It’s good for a person like me who’s a political science major and wants the opportunity to use the resources we have at this school to do film,” he said.

KVIK hosts an annual 48 Hour Film Festival in May where groups of students have 48 hours to write, film and edit their own short film. The film must adhere to certain guidelines: a specific prop, genre and line of dialogue.

“A 48 Hour Film Festival is a general staple of a lot of places,” Biethan said. “I’d imagine a lot of university campuses have a 48 Hour Film Festival, if they have film related things.”

Furnas said his film inspirations are David Lynch and Martin Scorsese, and tries to incorporate absurdist elements in his sketches.

The Emmys give out college television awards every year and Boroughs wants to see “SHOW! The Show take one home.

“That would be so dope to win one,” Boroughs said.

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