July 17, 2023

Film Technology alumni on the set of “THE MOVERS”

"It gave me the connections I needed to get started,” Denson said. “I’ve been working on movie sets for seven years, now.”
BY: Rhonda Dunaway

Above(Left to Right): Randy Kwan, Will Denson, (Audio Sound Mixer) Terrance Howard(Actor: Empire, Iron Man) Konnor Megginson(B-Camera Operator), Gage Parker (Audio Boom Pole Operator).
Photo by: Brad Smith

Hinds Film Technology alumni have been hard at work on the set of an upcoming thriller called “The Movers,” written and directed by Giorgio Serafini and starring some of Hollywood’s brightest stars like Jena Malone, Christopher Lloyd and Terrance Howard. 

Among the Hinds film school alumni working on the set were Will Denson and Konnor Megginson, who work together a great deal. They have their own film startup called Hidden Planet. Denson is a sound mixer on the set of “The Movers” while Megginson is a camera operator. They say Randy Kwan’s Film Technology program gave them the foundation they needed to start their own company. 

“It has had a massive impact on my career,” Megginson said. He is the president and founder of Hidden Planet. “The Hinds film program is probably the reason why I’m still working in film. I had worked on a couple of other sets as a production assistant prior to going to Hinds, and I kind of learned that a lot of film schools are theoretical, but the Hinds program is very practical. It’s like, ‘here’s what you need to know to do the job well and to stay employed.’” His friend, Denson, said the same is true for him.

“And it gave me the connections I needed to get started,” Denson said. “I’ve been working on movie sets for seven years, now.” Denson is vice president and co-founder of Hidden Planet.

Instructor for the program, Randy Kwan, said it’s always great to work with a group of his former students on the set of a movie. Megginson and Denson agreed that Kwan is a big part of the reason there is a film industry in Mississippi. 

“He takes a very practical approach to teaching and places a high value on the experience students get working on movie sets,” Megginson said.

Kwan said he started the program at Hinds in 2011, “And I’ve also been working on movie projects here [in Mississippi]. My program teaches everything about working behind the camera – I come from working on sets in Hollywood, so I kind of bring that reality to the classroom.” 

Film school at Hinds includes instruction in editing, camera and lighting, audio design, directing, set production, and for 2014 Hinds Film Technology alumna, Kellen Turner, wardrobe design.

“In the program with Randy, we didn’t go to class if we were working on a show,” Turner said. “In my final semester, I just stayed on a show and I forgot I was in college. I’ve been working on movie sets ever since.” Turner earned her associate degree and has worked behind the scenes on over 70 movie projects.

Kwan allows students like Turner, who are working on a set during the semester, to stay in the field during class times. The hands-on experience is invaluable when it comes to the film industry, “because that is where they are really learning,” Kwan said. He tries to work in the field as much as possible, too, and loves it when he can work alongside folks like Denson and Megginson.

“it’s great to actually be able to work with them,” Kwan said. He said the timing for this project was fortunate because it started just after the spring semester was over and he was able to accept the offer. He pointed out that he got the gig through the recommendation of another former student, Rex Roby, who is working as a grip and doing electrical work on “The Movers.” When asked what it’s like to work side-by-side with former students, Kwan said it is always an honor.

“And I kind of feel like a father-figure,” Kwan said. “I get to see them enjoying their careers. Also, you know, any kind of work in this business is a learning experience. And on this set, I am the one who is learning – I’m learning a lot of grip and electric stuff from students like Rex.”

For more information about Film and Video Technology, or the Radio and Television Production and Broadcasting Technology programs at Hinds CC, visit the college website and then choose Pathways and Arts and Humanities.