Club Spotlight: Film and Photography Society

Courtesy of FPS
Courtesy of FPS

“We’re pretty much the only campus organization that creates actual film and photographic content … giving our members the opportunity to create films or stage photoshoots and the like,” chimed Faraz Rizvi, a third-year political science major and also board member of the Film and Photography Society, or FPS.

This club combines the technical skills of movie-making and photography with a casual and inviting atmosphere that gives anyone an opportunity to stop by and develop their skills or to just hang out and discuss their favorite movies. The club is relatively small, with only eight members, however most of the members have a technical prowess about them in the fields of both industries of film and photography, making the club a very good resource for aspiring directors or photographers.

The club was founded in 2005 by a student from Singapore and was later brought to UC Riverside as well as UCLA in 2007. Since then, FPS has had many accomplishments, with a myriad of short films under their belt (some posted on their YouTube channel), and photographing for the Marriot Hotel in Riverside, as well as charitable work with Spotlight On Hope that gave pediatric cancer patients the opportunity to create films. Furthermore, the president of FPS, Josiah Yu, a fourth-year film major, has also entered in various film competitions, one in which he was nominated for best short.

With these achievements, you would think it would be very intimidating for someone with no prior experience to join the club. On the contrary, the club is designed in a way to cater to those with no experience. When I went to the meeting, half of the members there claimed to have no experience, yet they were all planning to be working on the current fall production that FPS set for this quarter.

Everyone seemed excited and restless, eager to learn the ins and outs of creating an actual film from scratch. That’s the beauty of the club, it’s a place where you can go to express your love and passion for film or photography, or take away something more, making it a gateway into the professional side of things like expanding your repertoire into the editing process, handling the equipment or just getting the experience of being the director of a film.

One of the board members, Keanu Valibia, a third-year business major, was explaining how they offer networking opportunities with professionals from the industry, workshops to increase knowledge on specific areas and collaborations with different clubs on campus to create “a place where anyone can come to develop (their) technical skills and have fun while connecting with other movie lovers.”

Currently, the club is in the editing phases of the script that they’ve selected for this quarter’s production. The most recent working title is “The Keepsake,” and it was interesting to see the insights every member had to offer to improve the film, or their ideas to completely change up the script. Everyone seemed to be bursting with ideas, going back and forth on what the setting should be, how they could film that scene or the scenario that the main character seemed to stumble into. Their goal is to get the film production finished and ultimately ready to be submitted into the Riverside Film Festival. It’ll be interesting to see how the film turns out with this being the first production for many of the members.

From political science to business to media studies, the members come from various disciplines yet their love of film has brought them together. All of the members are passionate about film and photography and many of them have said that it’s not even about making a great movie, it’s about the experience of making the movie. After all, the club’s mantra is: “You can’t make good art unless you’ve made a bunch of bad art.”

Disclosure: FPS board member, Faraz Rizvi, is also a staff writer for the Highlander newspaper.

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