COLLEGE IN THE COMMUNITY
A storyteller with a deft hand with cameras and an eye for visual poetry is a force to be reckoned with. Victor Cooper, Founder and Director of local company Eighty Twenty Studio, is one such storyteller who has scripted a tale of entrepreneurship and success with his genius behind the cameras.
He is a Loyalist College alumnus, having graduated from the Belleville campus’s Television and New Media Production program in 2009. After graduating from Loyalist College, he has kept busy.
Cooper’s career began with an internship during his Loyalist College days for Canadian reality television show Mantracker, where he dabbled in tasks like logging footage. In search of his true calling, he took up a second internship as a Camera Operator and Editor with Nick Pujic, who at the time owned FlyMax Films, a fly fishing TV show on the World Fishing Network.
“I was very fortunate to travel a great deal of the world to produce exciting content.”
After a web development stint with TSN and time as a producer at Crowe Productions, fate brought him back to working with Pujic. By then, Pujic’s company had expanded into Vantage Point Media House, now a well-known name in Canada’s outdoor sports television landscape. Cooper spent a decade at Vantage Point, creating hundreds of hours of broadcast content.
The experience he gained over all these years and the skills he honed took him down the path of entrepreneurship where Eighty Twenty studio was born. The studio, also based in downtown Belleville, is a full-service production company offering expertise in every stage from script to screen.
“I was very fortunate to travel a great deal of the world to produce exciting content,” Cooper recounts. “Two years ago I decided it was time to start my own company. With the help of my new business partner, Kelly McKinney, I opened Eighty Twenty Studio in downtown Belleville.”
A NEW CHAPTER
Eighty Twenty Studio gained immensely from Cooper and his team’s passion and skill. The team has produced content both nationally and internationally. Cooper speaks fondly of his team’s current endeavor, a big project for this thriving local company. “We recently signed a contract with Bell Media for a 10-episode short-format sketch comedy show called Stoney Lonesome,” he says.
While in pre-production planning for the show, Cooper realized how many crew roles were being filled by other Loyalist alumni, including the director of photography, camera operator, script supervisor and production manager. “And more than just being available, they were all exceptional at their jobs. Throughout production I often referred to all of them as the DREAM TEAM and I really meant it. It’s very satisfying to not have to look further than the city you live in to find a rock solid crew.”
Throughout his illustrious career, Cooper has called Bay of Quinte home. While some of his colleagues are based in cities across Canada, he is very grateful for the community that he lives and works in. “The team we were able to assemble for Stoney Lonesome was incredible and I didn’t have to sacrifice where I live for it,” Cooper says. “I love living so close to nature, and having that small town feel without being in the middle of nowhere.”
Victor Cooper is a homegrown success story that the Bay of Quinte community proudly continues to support. And he is here to stay. “If I need to go somewhere else to film that’s fine, but I still come back to Belleville to edit, write the next project and do all the pre-production for it.”