Everett Pervall has learned a lot in his lifetime, choosing life lessons from each endeavor. His best life advice? To try and not succeed doesn’t mean you’re failing.
And that mantra is the perfect kind of support and optimism the Motion Picture Production major needed when he began his journey at Scottsdale Community College (SCC). Pervall grew up in Arkansas, and both parents were in the Air Force. “We lived all across the US,” he said. “I attended high school in Memphis. After graduating from high school, I took one year off and attended a community college there. I didn’t feel like it was the right program for me. So, I joined the Navy and was in for ten years, working in the medical field.”
Pervall appreciated his time in the Navy because he learned a lot from other people’s experiences and gained empathy. He also discovered he liked creating and entertaining. So in August 2019, when he got out of the Navy, he began in-depth research across schools in the southwest offering film production.
Enter SCC’s elite Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre. “I chose SCC mainly for the class size and the excellent student-to-faculty ratio; the low cost was a secondary benefit, he said. “I had experienced in Memphis the classrooms of 30-40 kids where you can get lost amongst a sea of kids and fall through the cracks, and it happened to me.
“I looked at alumni of each college and what their specific film programs have produced. It was awesome that Bill Hader and David Spade, two comedians I like and are superstars, graduated from SCC. In learning this, I thought I could have the potential to be them as well.”
Pervall knows small class sizes force you to speak up because you can’t hide if there are only ten students. “The instructors at SCC have valued my input too,” he said. “You get to meet your classmates and use it for networking and gaining friends. The classes help uncover who I am and provided a better opportunity for me to feel comfortable giving my opinion.”
Now with 1.5 years under his belt at SCC, Pervall wants to pursue the ASU MAPP program and likely will pursue a master’s degree. Upon graduating from SCC, he hopes to land an entry-level job in a different career than medical.
“I really would like a career in film,” he said. “I initially looked at pursuing a career as a voice actor, and now I’m very interested in screenwriting. What I appreciate about the SCC Film+Theatre program is that it allows a student to touch everything – all aspects of the film industry, so you figure out what you want to do and where you excel.”
In the FMT100 Introduction to Motion Picture Production class, students participate in a small-scale film production. They are divided into teams, and each person takes on the role of director, lighting, actors, writing and more. “You go through the process of creating a film/production and with the follow-up 16mm Film Workshop course sequence (FMT134/5/6), so you get an understanding of where your strengths and interests lie. You literally touch all of the equipment in the process,” said Pervall.
In this current (Spring 2021) semester, he is taking Playwriting (THE118), taught by Bill True, Scottsdale School of Film+Theatre Department Chair. “True brought in a lot of guest speakers to share their knowledge,” Pervall said. “We had someone this past week who is working as a TV writer/producer sharing what it’s really like to work in the television business and writing for TV. I know I wouldn’t have had this opportunity at any other college.”
That’s how Pervall knows no fear of failure when you are pursuing your passion: Courage breeds opportunity. “I’ve discovered that it’s ok to try and not succeed,” he advised. “That doesn’t mean you’re failing. It will help you over the long term. I attended four different colleges and two online schools and just never felt like college was for me until I started attending SCC. At SCC, I’ve been able to gain confidence and feel like I’m genuinely part of a collegiate experience.”