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Filmaker and Teacher 3


On the Big Screen

P3 Perkins Student

Lighting the way: Filmmaker and professor Troy Perkins shows student Jon Trepanier how to light a night scene in Cinematography/Videography class.

These days, Perkins is gearing up for his biggest project yet -- a feature-length film.

"A feature film is an entirely different animal than a short film," says Perkins, who is finishing a script titled Bronco described as a modern-day Hunchback of Notre Dame that takes place in rural Wisconsin. "Making a feature film and collaborating with students is something that I feel that could put radio-TV-film and UW Oshkosh on the map nationally."

Perkins says such a project would be a major draw to prospective film students. "It is really big to say, ‘If you come into our program, not only are you going to be taking production classes, but you are going to be able to work with professionals on a feature film level.’"

He says past productions have demonstrated that the students are more than capable to handle such a project. "At this point, we have all the tools in place. Now we need funds," he says. "Now we're going into fundraising to find that money in order to make it happen. We know that it's going to be a quality production. We know that students will be able to get jobs from this and be able to put on their resume, 'Hey, I worked on a feature film, not just as a production assistant running around getting coffee and making copies, but I worked in a crew position that was needed that was required to make this film production successful.'"

In addition to honing his skills as a screenwriter and director, Perkins says the summer productions have helped him be a better teacher. "Every semester that I teach a class I change something about that class based on what happened in that summer production," he says. "The students are much more engaged, much more accepting when I tell them, 'This is what you need for your production to be of high quality, to be professional. This is what you need for your film to be competitive against students across the country.

"I feel every time I do a film production, I learn something new. That's a great thing about filmmaking is that I'm going to be learning for the rest of my life."

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The Film Production Fund has been set up through the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation. This fund encourages students to produce high quality, challenging and thought provoking film productions. Investors may donate to the summer faculty/student collaborative professional production. To help fund such projects, click here to give. Please indicate that you are specifically donating to the Film Production Fund. If you have additional questions please contact: Barbara Beuscher, Director of Development, at 920-424-2428 or

Web sites:

Troy Perkins Faculty Web page

Northtown Productions


Wisconsin Public Television Director's Cut


 (Photo composite and class photos courtesy of Shawn McAfee of UW Oshkosh Media Services; movie trailers and set photos courtesy of Troy Perkins.)