Ending its 41-year history as a club at Binghamton University, Binghamton Television 6 (BTV6) has merged with the Cinema Society of Binghamton (CSB).
For the past two months, BTV6, a student-produced television network on Channel 6 and Student Association (SA) chartered club, and CSB, a club for students interested in film and cinema, have been working on merging into the Film and Production Society of Binghamton (FPS). FPS will have a unified executive and creative board — with the goal of providing workshops, freelance events, master classes and resources pertaining to film, cinema and film production.
The idea of the merger can be credited to Samson Nesser — former BTV6 president and a senior majoring in cinema — who is now a co-president of FPS. BTV6 has been a club at BU since 1982, but Nesser says the organization has struggled to maintain members and viewers of their network due to years of mismanagement.
Since becoming president two years ago, Nesser said he has been working on completely rebranding the club, with the final step being the merge with CSB.
“They weren’t a chartered club, they were just a group of students who were interested in film, and they had a decent amount of people who were interested in cinema and stuff like that,” Nesser said. “So, I reached out to their president. Her name is Nan [Lin], and we for the past two months have been working on a merger of clubs.”
Lin, the former CSB president, is the current FPS co-president and a sophomore majoring in business administration. Lin said merging into FPS offered an easy solution to the weaknesses of both BTV6 and CSB. After Nesser graduates this May, Lin will become the club’s sole president.
According to Lin, FPS will have both an executive board and a creative board, or “C-Board.”
“The [E-Board] will plan events and workshops and negotiate freelance opportunities for members, while the creative board will be focused on helping members produce their films of interest and learn more about a specific role (cinematographer, editor, etc.),” Lin wrote in an email. “Essentially, in addition to cool events, we will have lots of resources to make your film idea a reality!”
A major goal in redesigning, according to Nesser, was to transition BTV6 from a television production club to a club that offers a host of resources for producing and filming. This includes helping other clubs on campus in creating commercials and advertisements, as well as offering master classes on multiple production skills, Nesser explained.
FPS will be taking over the former BTV6 office and studio located in the Union Undergrounds. Office and studio renovations will continue, Nesser explained, which will include getting new couches and equipment, and getting rid of technology that does not work.
FPS has also written a completely new constitution and is working on requesting an SA grant in hopes of updating the office for production events, as well as film events.
“People … just enjoy film in general, so we’ll have movie nights and movie screenings in our new studio space,” Nesser said. “We’ll have couches and beanbag chairs and a projector. So we’ll be able to do movie screenings and stuff like that. If you just want to come and hang out in our studio and watch a movie in the middle of the day, you can do that.”
FPS has multiple projects in preproduction, including a local food show where members will discuss the history of local Binghamton food shops, and an episodic drama comedy titled “The Johnny Charisma Show.”
Along with their preproduction projects, FPS has already begun hosting campus events. Lin shared a few of the upcoming events that members and non-members can look forward to participating in, including a student film festival on March 18.
With many of the current board members due to graduate this May, Zagham Shah, the FPS production manager and a senior double-majoring in physics and cinema, shared his optimism for the future success of FPS.
“It is my hope that the leadership of FPS can build on this year’s struggles so that the organization can continue to grow well past their departure,” Shah wrote in an email. “I know the club has a history of fizzling away every few years, but I think that this E-Board and the new C-Board can successfully revive the club once more!”