Recent Grad Succeeding Behind the Scenes
By Amanda Velez
#PlattsGrad Trevor Kent ’14 took the long road to Los Angeles. Literally.
Kent started his first TV/video production gig in Los Angeles just four days after he graduated. Now, having already freelanced for MTV, ReKon Productions and ABC, he’s living his dream — one that he didn’t always know was possible.
When looking at colleges, Kent thought he would major in environmental science because he did not know he could turn his passion for film into a career. When his father told him he could study film production in college, Kent didn’t believe him at first because it wasn’t English, math or science.
“I said, ‘You can’t study that because that’s not a real subject,’” Kent remembered telling his father. When he realized he was wrong, his whole game plan changed.
A Well-Rounded Education
At SUNY Plattsburgh, Kent immersed himself. Along with being a TV/video production major and an athlete, he was a member of the outing club and WQKE radio station and captain of the jiu-jitsu team. He also held various positions at Plattsburgh State Television (PSTV).
“Try as hard as you can, put your heart and soul into it, and things will happen.”
– Trevor Kent ’14
From these experiences, Kent said he learned how to work with all different sorts of people on a variety of tasks — a skill that has served him well in his young career. When some colleagues have been unsure about aspects of the production process, Kent has shared his knowledge.
“Plattsburgh encompassed not just the production aspect, but also the paperwork part,” Kent said. He said handling paperwork is just as important to learn as production skills. “It’s the side of TV production no one really thinks about.”
Kent appreciated the fact that Plattsburgh allows students to use equipment freshman year. He said when he looked into communications programs at other schools, he was surprised that many students in those programs can’t touch the equipment until their junior year.
By the time Kent was ready to graduate, he had enough clips to show employers that he knew what he was doing. When his aunt, a creator and executive producer for USA Network’s “Benched,” offered him a job in LA, he jumped at the opportunity.
“A lot of the TV industry is who you know,” Kent said.
However, a lot of it is also what you’re willing to do for it.
When they finished filming the show, Kent went back home to the Hudson Valley for a month, where he helped his little sister depart for college. Then Kent road-tripped for 41 days back to California with everything he needed. Except a plan.
Persistence and Patience
After missing a gig with Dr. Phil by two days because of his trip, he bided his time as a busboy and barista. Now, he’s a lead runner for A. Smith & Co. Productions, one of the biggest production companies in the country. His position requires him to be multifaceted — some days he runs errands and fills out paperwork, while on others he serves as the key production assistant on set.
Looking back on his experiences, Kent said that of all the people he met, the ones who succeeded were the most dedicated and hardworking. They were the kinds of students who constantly stayed up late to not only get things done but to get them done right.
“If you want to do something and you really like it, keep going for it,” Kent said. “Try as hard as you can, put your heart and soul into it, and things will happen.”
About the Author
Amanda Velez, a senior from Queens, N.Y., majors in magazine and multimedia journalism and minors in Spanish. In addition to interning for the Office of Marketing and Communications, she’s the online editor for Cardinal Points, the award-winning, student-run newspaper, as well as a mentor for Shine On!
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