By Shawna Leader
Last spring a group of friends struggled with issues of life and death, heaven and hell: in the end, they had the entire audience laughing. The show was part of “You Would!,” a sketch comedy performance screened live every quarter by KVIK, Western’s television and video production program.
KVIK, an Associated Students program, has more sketch comedy, a musical and an entertainment show in the works for the upcoming school year. “You Would!” is returning for a third season, said KVIK Coordinator Jana Gueck.
“That’s pretty exciting that we have something that’s so ongoing, that’s been able to keep going year after year,” Gueck said. “The nice thing about ‘You Would!’ is since it’s a sketch comedy show, you can have so many writers and so many different teams going out and filming different things. We really like that project because so many people can get involved.”
Another project is the soon-to-be-released “WWUsical,” a spoof on the Disney hit “High School Musical.” Although some of the characters are the same, names are changed and there will be some additional characters, Gueck said.
“Death is also a character and he’s best friends with one of the characters,” Gueck said. “It’s definitely a lot darker than ‘High School Musical,’ but it’s funny.”
A movie musical is an entirely different project from television, Gueck said. In addition to the work of putting a television show together, a musical requires songs to be composed and recorded, as well as choreographed. But the hard work is not without rewards. The crew got some beautiful shots on Mt. Baker when it was snowing, Gueck said.
A group of students are also working on a “Twilight” spoof, Gueck said. “They’ve done a couple little segments of it and the editing is amazing.”
KVIK is also bringing back “VTV,” an entertainment show. The program will showcase on-campus events, which Gueck hopes to broadcast on the AS homepage. It’s a great opportunity for KVIK to connect with other organizations, she said.
“So far we’ve really operated in a sense separate from the AS, trying to abide by the guidelines but not really working with other AS organizations very often,” Gueck said. She hopes that this year KVIK can figure out how to work with the AS and form a more focused office.
Gueck also hopes to bring in more volunteers and viewers. KVIK would not be possible without its volunteers, but, “we need viewers just as much as we need volunteers,” she said.
One of Gueck’s plans for increasing outreach to volunteers and viewers is to utilize channel 16, which is a station that has been used by KVIK in the past. Channel 16 is a University-owned station that is monitored by the residence halls, according to Jamie Hoover, general manager of KUGS and KVIK. KVIK will broadcast ads for meetings and volunteer opportunities as well as KVIK programs. All students of any skill level are welcome to join KVIK, Gueck said.
KVIK began in 2002 as the Western Broadcasting Club, said Lisa Rosenberg, assistant director of Student Activities. The club filmed many of the sports events on campus and had a sports news and talk show, Hoover said. They also had a show called “Western Live,” with a host, guests and musical acts. The club was founded by Phil Schuyler, a Western student who was inspired by a media communications class.
But it did not remain a club for long. In 2003, it was recognized by the AS board of directors as an AS program, Hoover said.
“They wanted to become more than a club,” Rosenberg said. “They wanted to make sure it existed year to year and had a paid student coordinator. So they went through the process, which not too many groups do but every once in a while it happens, when a club starts and then they decide that they’re interested in proposing that it become kind of a formal part of the AS structure.”
The change from a club to a program has made much of what KVIK has done possible, Hoover said. Support and funding from the AS allows KVIK to purchase all the necessary equipment, she said.
“Television’s very, very expensive,” Hoover said. “We’re [the AS] at a different level of trying to support it in that way … as a club they probably wouldn’t have had access to those resources.”
KVIK’s shows may have changed, but for the program to continue it needs a solid group of volunteers, Rosenberg said.
“[KVIK is] really dependent on, and probably the continuation of the program is dependent on, other students getting involved and volunteering,” she said. “It’s a great outlet for students who have either just a recreational interest in filming video or potentially a professional interest in going into something related to video and broadcasting. It’s a great opportunity for them to get hands-on experience and connect with other people.”