Student Production Agency Works With Nonprofits Like SPCA

One of the best ways for students interested in video production to get professional experience outside of their curriculum is to join SPARK, Full Sail’s student production agency.

SPARK student crew members have created promotional videos and graphics for the city of Winter Park, the Orlando Magic, the American Cancer Society, the SPCA of Central Florida and many other local organizations.

“We do a lot with nonprofits,” says Hunter Haines, a student in the Film Bachelor of Science degree program. “We are just about to finish up something with Sports 4 the Kids. It’s a nonprofit here in town that helps homeless children get into sports.”

For the SPCA of Central Florida, SPARK created this heartwarming video, “Olive’s Story,” encouraging people to adopt, volunteer or donate to the animal shelter:

The students also have the opportunity to shadow professionals and participate in projects on campus with the WWE and ESPN.

Locally, SPARK has a longstanding relationship with the City of Winter Park. SPARK students produce the city’s quarterly webisodes with Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley and shoot other promotional videos that appear on the city’s website.

Recently, students from SPARK worked on two more special projects for the city – a video promoting the Winter Park Country Club’s golf course and an archival video project called Through the Eyes of the Mayors, featuring Bradley and six of the city’s past mayors.

“I [was the director of photography] and co-produced it,” says Haines. “That was fun and a challenge at the same time. It was insightful to learn about the past and [hear] all the stories that the mayors shared with us – and then capture it to share later on their site.”

Because the projects are primarily video-based, SPARK typically draws from the Film, Digital Arts & Design, Recording Arts, Entertainment Business and Show Production degree programs.

Recording Arts students might work with field audio, Foley and sound effects, music production, and post production. Digital Arts & Design students naturally work on the graphic design elements within the videos.

And then, of course, there are the very necessary skills of cinematography, lighting, editing, direction, set design and writing that Film and some Show Production students contribute. Meanwhile, Entertainment Business students can gain experience in working directly with clients, negotiating for locations, or organizing shoots.

Haines says SPARK is beneficial for both students and clients. “As for the clients, they get a free project. So it doesn’t cost them anything, and they seem to be happy with everything that they get.”

For Haines, personally, he said he has benefitted from working with clients, and he now has much more work to show prospective employers.

“It puts me out there,” says Haines. “I deal with the clients, I take on the jobs, and I have a lot of responsibility for the product. It gives me an opportunity to meet people and network and do some awesome projects that otherwise I would not have the opportunity to do without SPARK.”