Students make campus life comedy

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By Chieu Luu Luong

The transition from high school to university can be a very stressful experience. There’s more homework, the courts material is a lot more intense, and of course, there’s having to make tuition payments.

To take the pressure off first-year students coming to Ryerson in September, four radio and television arts (RTA) students have produced a video to familiarize students with university life… well, sort of.

It’s called HypeTV, a 17-minute television sketch sitcom that takes a satirical look at university life. It’s the brainchild of Dino Sossi, a second-year RYA student in the graduate program.

“Going to university for the first time can be very intimidating, especially if you’re from a small town and going to a big city like Toronto,” says Sossi, who wanted to make a video to poke fun at the many experiences that first-year students may have. With fellow RTA students Darren DeGrace, Adam Shalaby, and Josh Tizel, Sossi did just that.

“When Dino pitched the idea to us, we thought it was great,” says Tizel. The group decided to make the video for their television practicum course.

“Other groups are making documentaries, and corporate videos, but we wanted to do something that was comedic,” Tizel says.

The video consists of 18 segments including Who are your roommates? which tells the story of a first-year students whose roommate never returns the things he borrows. Other sketches include Students who smoke dope say the darndest things, a spin-off of the popular TV series Kids say say the darndest things, Life styles of the hopelessly in debt, which promotes living in Neill Wycik, and a sketch making fun of the cults on campus. “There are some serious issues,” says Sossi. “But we wanted to find a lighter side to them.”

Over fifty volunteers from various programs at Ryerson helped the group put the show together by acting and doing off-camera work.

The group spent about 80 hours writing the show, an additional 100 hours shooting, and more than 30 hours editing it.

“It takes about an hour to edit one minute of footage,” says Tizel. “Once were were editing from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.”

The students also spend about $1,000 of their own money to complete the project, which Tizel says is very cheap in the world of television.

DeGrace says it was worth every penny. “When we saw the final product, we were so happy with it,” he says.

The group hopes that RyeSAC will show the video to first-year students coming to Ryerson in September. “We had an oral agreement with RyeSAC,” says Sossi. “But we have to see if they like our final product.”

The group hopes that the video will act as a catalyst in getting RTA students’ work broadcast over Ryerson’s closed circuit television station. Currently, only journalism students have that privilege, but Sossi says RTA is only in the early stages of achieving that goal.

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