Have an idea? Purdue Video Production can bring it to life 

When Stephen McBride wanted to highlight the experience of graduate students in the College of Engineering Dean’s Teaching Fellowship, he could have grabbed an iPhone and created a serviceable video – but he wanted something better. He chose Purdue Video Production. 

The resulting two-and-half minute video, produced by Purdue’s only full-service video production studio, combines interviews with the students and classroom footage, along with background music and professional editing, to create a compelling story.  

“Our team has to edit a lot of videos for our own workshops or other small-scale projects, but we knew we wanted something more professional,” says McBride, the assistant director of Graduate Student Success for the College of Engineering. “They were able to create something that not only captured what the fellowship is all about but did so in a way that goes far beyond what we could describe on our website or in a brochure.” 

Staffed by a team of film makers and production professionals, Purdue Video Production is the on-campus resource for any team or department looking to create compelling content, including promotional videos, scripted dramas, animation and more. The full-service studio creates storyboards, production schedules and more to deliver a product on time and on budget, while utilizing the latest technology and the ability to shoot inside their studios, in classrooms or in the field.  

“They’re visual storytellers,” says Mago Monteith, distinguished professor in Department of Psychological Sciences and associate dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “They were able to take our ideas and make the content more compelling.” 

With Monteith, the video production team helped create a series of videos focusing on diversity and inclusion that were shown to students during first-year student orientation. The scripted videos, which featured student actors dealing with real-world situations, used techniques like flashbacks and multiple camera angles to create a gripping narrative that left an impression on the students.  

“When we showed the video in sessions, you could just see the response from students in a way that you’d never get if you were just giving a talk,” Monteith said. “In subsequent years, when I asked students to think back to orientation sessions and which ones had the greatest impact on them, they often talked about the diversity and inclusion session and the videos.” 

Although it may seem like video is ubiquitous in today’s world, Jason Doty, manager of Purdue Video Production, says the reality is that a well told story, shot and edited with care, can still stand out to the viewer – and be impactful in ways that other media cannot.  

“In some ways, video is everywhere now, so you need someone with the expertise to deliver something that’s going to stand out,” says Doty. As a department within Purdue Information Technology, the video production team has access to resources – like an on-campus production studio and video conferencing center – that even off-campus services cannot provide. But their real strength, their clients say, is their willingness to go beyond what they thought was possible.  

“One of the things that’s most impressive is how they’re willing to take on any challenge,” said Janet Beagle, the senior director of graduate programs for the College of Engineering, even when that challenge crosses language barriers.  

“Our area was looking for a way to reach prospective graduate students in Brazil to encourage them to look at Purdue for continuing their education,” said Beagle. Working together, they were able to create a promotional video for the program fully in Portuguese, featuring current students from Brazil that gave prospective students a true look at Boilermaker education.  

“The comprehensiveness of the video, the layers of work, the interviews with four different individuals, the b-roll footage of campus scenes, photographs and background music – all of it was beyond what we could do as a department,” Beagle said. “And they were all incredibly professional and easy to work with. They make the entire process go so smoothly.” 

Doty says anyone on the West Lafayette campus thinking about creating a video is welcome to contact him and his team, as they are always available to discuss options and ideas. His department recently created a new website, Purdue Video Production, to showcase their wide variety of work and information on available services. 

“Sometimes there’s this mindset here that you need to go to Indianapolis or Chicago to get the kind of creative talent necessary to pull off your vision,” Doty says. “But we have the resources and experience here to help you execute your vision and do so in a way that people will be compelled to watch.” 

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Last updated: April 18, 2023