Stephen Knight (VH1, Coca-Cola): Student Spotlight | Film & Video

Meet Stephen Knight, a current student in our Digital Film & Video Production course. Less than halfway into his studies at F.I.R.S.T., Stephen has already worked on major productions for national brands. Watch the video to see Stephen’s experience and how F.I.R.S.T. helped prepare him for the industry!

“Meat and Potatoes”

Stephen is in Week 14 of the program, or what he calls the “meat and potatoes”. Right now he’s invested in post-production, learning the ins and outs of Premiere, After Effects, sequence editing and color grading.

Stephen stresses the importance of school, especially a hands-on and interactive program. Learning through YouTube tutorials is helpful, but getting guided instruction under experienced teachers helps him learn both the technical and behavioral aspects of working on film sets.

Getting a Foot in the Door

Stephen credits his early success to dedication and staying humble. He recounts how he drove 4 hours to Miami and worked all day on a production, before driving back and sleeping in his car until class the next day. “That’s how I got my foot in the door at VH1.”

Since then, Stephen’s worked with ESPN, Coca-Cola, Spike TV, and numerous music videos for local artists. “It’s one thing to read about it,” he says, “but it’s another thing to go out and do it.”

Reaching Out to Others

Stephen found some of this work by simply messaging other creators in Instagram. One such creator was Actus Media – after saying he was a fan of their work, he was able to secure a spot on a spec shoot. It turns out, the owner of Actus was a fellow F.I.R.S.T. grad, and their shared history cemented their connection.

How F.I.R.S.T. Helped

Stephen says F.I.R.S.T. prepared him for these roles by providing him with structure and a template for success. The school taught him that in order to be the best, he must surround himself with the best – and the only way to improve is through hard work and repetition.

Words for New Students

“Your instructors are going to tell you: shoot every day. And they’re so right.” Stephen recounts how he and his fellow students meet outside of class to practice and shoot their own short films. “It starts now. What you put into this school, you’ll get out of it. Come hungry, come ready, they’re going to feed you.”