Webster Students Feature Local Businesses in Video Project
January 04, 2021
The Production House course in the School of Communications (FTVP 3500 01) gives students real-world experience working with non-profits in the area to create videos to support their business needs. In the course, Elias Huch, the instructor, acts as an executive producer while the students work on crews to produce professional level products. Two groups in the Fall 2020 semester used their skills to help businesses in Webster Groves that have been affected by COVID-19.
Junior Kayla Oldow and senior Joseph Tronicek, both film, television and media production majors, have been working together the past several weeks to make two separate videos featuring small businesses of Webster Groves.
Restaurant video: The Block, Balkan Treat Box and Layla
Boutique video: Never Enough, Descendant, and Paisley
The students worked with the Webster Groves Business Development Commission on the videos. The purpose of the Business Development Commission (BDC) is to foster policies and programs that will create a welcoming, dynamic, and prosperous business community in Webster Groves. The Commission is made up of nine members from various city entities including the business districts and Chamber of Commerce.
These business owners have gone through this really hard time and they're still going and they're not going to give up and they love being a part of this community.
Oldow led her crew in filming three restaurants in the Webster Groves community: The Block, the Balkan Treat Box, and Layla. "I actually went and ate at each of these restaurants, because I wanted to see what it was like," saod Odlow. "And they were all really amazing."
The Webster Groves Business Development Commission picked the businesses that were featured and gave the student crews the vision and goals for the videos. “They gave us a lot of direction to go with in terms of focusing it on the bigger community around and then kind of featuring the business itself,” she said. “And we got to make the creative choices on how we wanted to film it and on the questions that we asked during interviews, but we definitely tried to keep the focus on being a part of this community.”
Oldow currently works in a production house, which is how she ended up doing this project. “I got cast as the role producer, and I saw the Webster Groves Business Development Commission as a really cool project because it can improve the relationship between Webster University and the Webster Groves community,” she said. “We're all interconnected and we're all here together, so I wanted to work on that project, especially for that reason.”
“There's definitely some heart and story there,” she said. “We've got some really strong personalities featured in the videos. These business owners have gone through this really hard time and they're still going and they're not going to give up and they love being a part of this community. You can just see it in the footage. They take the cake. They make it good.”
She continued, “I'm so happy that I chose that project because getting to know the business owners in Webster Groves has been an amazing experience. And honestly, they're really inspiring especially right now.”
It is important to build a connection between the community and the school. This project was a great way to accomplish this.
Tronicek was in charge of filming three local boutiques: Never Enough, Descendant, and Paisley. According to him, the goal of the project was to draw attention to some of the different stores that people might not know about and illustrate how Webster Groves is a great place to have a business.
“I think that the goal was accomplished,” Tronicek said. “I met a lot of wonderful people and discovered a lot of very cool stores around town. I think that we accomplished our goal in creating a video that would illustrate the different businesses around the community and how great Webster Groves is to explore.”
Tronicek went on to say, “I think that Webster University is in a great area and I think that it is important to build a connection between the community and the school. This project was a great way to accomplish this."