Like all good entrepreneurs, UC Irvine undergrads Logan Frick and Steve Scifo know an opportunity when they see it.
Noting the lack of any online video media covering the campus for students, they acted to fill the void. With a few friends, a $150 Flip camcorder and a MacBook computer, they created “Good Evening UCI,” an energetic version of a news-variety show.
“We thought we’d do something fun and interactive,” Frick says. “Something accessible and lighthearted,” Scifo adds. “Not just all news. Students want to have fun and laugh.”
Borrowing liberally from the “Saturday Night Live” opening sequence, “Good Evening UCI” features Frick hosting from an upscale seaside location and Scifo reporting. Fellow undergrads Daniel Miller, Tyler La Brie and Mike Wong are contributors.
The show covers such news stories as last fall’s fee hike, January’s “black death” mail scare on campus and employee furlough unrest; events like homecoming; and sports. It even has reviews of local restaurants, which quickly devolve into gorge-fests a la John Belushi.
With the eighth episode just posted, the “Good Evening UCI” crew’s Facebook page has drawn nearly 1,500 friends, and Frick says more than 5,000 people view each episode on YouTube, Facebook, Associated Students of UCI’s media page or www.goodeveninguci.com.
“We’re thrilled with the response,” Scifo says. “People have tried before, without success, to do a show like this. But we want to go bigger and better.”
He and Frick didn’t come to UCI to embark on TV careers. Frick, 20, is a political science major, and Scifo, 22, is majoring in international studies. They met last year through ASUCI — Frick is now vice president of administrative affairs and Scifo vice president of academic affairs — and hatched the “Good Evening UCI” idea last summer.
They released the first episode on Oct. 12, 2009. Since then, their Flip camcorder has been replaced by more professional recording and editing equipment. But the show’s distinct DIY style remains.
Scifo, for one, has caught the TV bug. He’s landed an internship this summer with Irvine’s public-access channel and hopes to use that experience to broaden the scope of “Good Evening UCI.”
“We want to show what a talented campus this is,” Scifo says. “We want to get more students involved with the show and have more dynamic segments. We know what students want, and we won’t put out a video unless we love it.”