Tufts University Television was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest clubs at Tufts. It is a student-run production studio that “strives to foster a supportive and collaborative community where anyone can learn about filmmaking and develop their own artistic voice.” Their content includes documentaries, scripted content, music videos and more.
As graduation brings new roles to fill, the graduating seniors of TUTV reminisce on their time with the club. Three talented and dedicated seniors have helped make TUTV a special place, and their time with the club has taught them many lessons to carry on in their prospective careers.
Kaycee Feldman, a station manager for TUTV, is a senior double majoring in film and media studies and physics. She is from Doylestown, Pa. and joined TUTV in her first year at Tufts. Feldman was head of the club’s scripted content section and treasurer in her first few years in the club.
“I started getting involved with TUTV back in my freshman fall. I was at the club fair before COVID,” Feldman said. “I was walking around the Academic Quad, and saw this neat-looking club called TUTV.”
Feldman also noted that Horror Fest, one of TUTV’s club-wide projects, was a major pull. Also drawn in by Horror Fest was Amelia May, a senior film and media studies and astrophysics double major who joined TUTV as a sophomore. She is the current leader of the club’s scripted content section.
“I got involved with TUTV in my sophomore year toward the end of the year,” May said. “I was in a physics class with Kaycee Feldman … and we were chatting about just cartoons. … It turned into her trying to get me to join TUTV. I was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even know we had a TV club!’ It was great. The first project I actually got involved in was the beginning of my junior year. It was Horror Fest.”
May got her start helping create a project for Horror Fest named “SQUAB,” which is about a man who is convinced that he is a pigeon.
“It was a really fun experience,” May said. “It was the first time I’d done any work in film. Since then, I’ve gone on to declare a film major, and I’m hoping to work in [film] after graduation.”
Another senior, Eliseo Vigil, is the programming manager for TUTV. He is majoring in film and media studies and hails from Denver, Colo. Vigil joined TUTV in his sophomore year and became the head of the scripted content section when he was a junior.
When asked about the most rewarding part of being in TUTV, Vigil referenced his effort with Feldman to bring back live broadcasting.
“[Feldman] had a lot of the ideas, and we had some of the equipment for it. I was the one who was qualified and pushed technically to make it work,” Vigil said. “I rebuilt the TUTV control studio, the control room, the studio. I reintegrated technology for live switching and for live broadcasting, as well as new lights for our live performances.”
As to what kept people coming back to TUTV, Feldman’s answer was clear: the community.
“I think that the community that we build is always just such a joy to be around,” Feldman said. “We have our very tight-knit core where you can just come in and hang out and sort of bond over a shared interest in film and television and … get into nerdy debates. … I love the people in my club, and I’m gonna miss them when I graduate.”
After graduation, May, Feldman and Vigil will be translating their many lessons and skills from their various positions into their lives after graduation.
“Being the station manager has helped me a lot in figuring out what are effective ways of communication and what are ways that I can work with people and get projects off the ground,” Feldman said. “A lot of what I have learned at TUTV is how to work with people, how to organize myself, how to keep projects going, and also figuring out what people need, opening that line of communication. … I think it’s applicable to any aspect of life, relationships, professional life, all of that.”
Vigil wants to work in broadcast, noting that TUTV has helped him push further into new roles and challenge what he believes he may be capable of.
“It’s really nice to have that vote of confidence in myself to be able to step forward in roles that I may be uncomfortable with or not feel like I’m entirely 100% qualified for, to see what I can do to make things happen,” Vigil said.
May said that her TUTV projects have helped her gain significant film experience before breaking into the industry.
“After graduation, I’m planning on moving to the Bay Area and working in film production, so hopefully I'll be getting jobs PA-ing or EC-ing,” May said. “I don’t think that would be nearly as possible without the knowledge and the experience I’ve gotten from TUTV.”
While these three seniors may have had different starts, roles and responsibilities in TUTV, their involvement has readied them for the future of media production and broadcasting. In an industry that is fast paced and uniquely skill based, May, Vigil and Feldman have been well equipped throughout their time at Tufts to thrive.