UVMtv hosts premiere despite rumors of cancelled funds

Students filled tables and couches to watch the premiere of the new show, conceived, written and created by UVMtv members Alex Smith, David Shames and Miles Benjamin. UVMtv club members declare their newest soap opera to be “a high-class twist on low brow humor.” UVMtv’s website claims the brand new soap opera to be “a sketch comedy show that will amuse, offend, and enlighten its audience with off-brand humor and inappropriate jokes.” With the Inter-Resident Association (IRA) considering taking away the funds allocated for UVMtv’s program, many student-produced pieces like “The Debonaires” could potentially cease. IRA provides the UVMtv students with funding for their Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. contract, IRA President Erik Graham said. It allocates funds specifically for UVMtv to register their copyrights and show their movies and television dramas to students all over campus. While IRA wouldn’t revoke the group’s status as a club, it would increase the financial burden for students participating in the club. “UVMtv went to IRA and got the organization to cover half of the remaining costs of the contract, a total of $33,635.34,” Graham said. “IRA does have a contract with UVMtv and is planning to make full on our half of the agreement to allocate UVMtv $17,927 this year. However, IRA has felt that UVMtv has not been upholding its half of the contract.” Senior Alex Smith, one of the creators and actors in “The Debonaires,” said there is passion present in everything produced by the club. “The thing I would like the UVM student body to take away from our premiere, and the content that will follow over the year, is the possibility and capability UVMtv offers to create truly engaging and quality television,” Smith said. “From the weekly live shows to the introduction of post-produced television seen in ‘Mountains of Desire’ and ‘The Debonaires,’ everyone involved in these shows pours their time, effort and love into every episode they make, and it can be seen in the finished product.” Smith credits the devoted club members with the success of the premiere. “Without their support and encouragement, ‘The Debonaires’ would most likely still be one of the many wild and zany ideas in our heads,” he said. The show featured several “Saturday Night Live”-type mini comedy sketches that left audience members laughing. “This was epic,” UVMtv Director of Operations Anja Sturies said. “There was a lot of hard work, especially for being student-run. It’s nice to see something student produced on such a low budget done so well. It was hilarious.” Junior Eric Ryden was also excited about the premiere of “The Debonaires.” “I thought it was very well-produced,” Ryden said. “It was very funny and I was very impressed with the talent I saw.” With many students expressing their support of the club by showing up at the premiere of “The Debonaires” and continuously tuning in to the network’s productions, there’s no doubt UVMtv has the capabilities to continuously impact the UVM community with their media influence, despite rumors of decreased funds.