This fall the communication department is launching FiveCore Media, the first video production unit at Goshen College to cater to both in-house and external clients.
Kyle Hufford, a media professional and producer, has been hired as general manager of the venture and will oversee all video production projects.
“The main goal of FiveCore Media is to provide students an environment where they can get professional video experience, working with real clients,” said Hufford.
Unlike previous video production units at Goshen College, FiveCore Media will intentionally serve off-campus business clients in addition to producing videos for departments at the college. Early video projects will likely be internal and promotional, but Hufford hopes to eventually expand clientele as the program gains momentum.
For now, Hufford and the student video team will focus on collaborating with individual departments at GC that are interested in advertising their programs to prospective students on the Web. A half dozen departments have already expressed interest in using the video production service, including the business department, the Latino Studies program, and the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning.
Hufford considers FiveCore Media, which was named after the college’s five core values, a perfect match for smaller clients who cannot afford to hire large video production companies. In fact, the original idea for FiveCore came after the communication department began to witness a demand for reasonably priced video production services, especially on campus.
“We’re going for a smaller niche market that isn’t being tapped right now,” explained Hufford.
Seth Conley, a communication professor and one of the developers of the production service, sees additional benefits of FiveCore Media. Conley believes the video production unit has great potential not only as a teaching tool, but also as a way to attract new students to the college.
“Under Kyle's direction, the students will get to use the skills they have developed in their video and broadcasting classes,” said Conley. “FiveCore will help grow enrollment by offering lower-cost video production projects to promote Goshen College and also by enticing more students to our program.”
According to Hufford, four communication majors have already been hired at FiveCore and more crew members may be hired as needed. For now, FiveCore will primarily employ upper-level students, as the job requires video experience, direct interaction with clients, and long-term commitment. Students must be willing and able to produce videos over the summer, as the unit will operate year-round.
Ben Sutter, a third-year communication major and one of the FiveCore student employees, is looking forward to improving his video production skills. “I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with clients from the beginning of a concept until we have a finished project,” Sutter said. “This company is an amazing opportunity for me to gain practical experience, while also producing videos that I can put my name to for a demo reel.”
As a business, FiveCore Media will charge for all videos produced, adding value and quality to the videos. However, Hufford was quick to point out that this production unit is first and foremost an academic program. The communication department is more interested in giving students real-life video production experience than in making a profit, he said.
“FiveCore is intentionally based in the Comm. Department,” explained Hufford. “It’s not a marketing program. We eventually plan to make a wide variety of videos, not just promotional ones.”
The communication department began development of FiveCore Media during the 2010-2011 academic year. A team of faculty and administrators shaped the proposal: Conley; Pat Lehman, who was chair of the department; Dean Anita Stalter; and Michael Scherer, director of Information Technology Services. The team loosely modeled the venture after a production service offered at Anderson University.
After the President’s Council approved the proposal for FiveCore, the next step was to find the right person to lead it.
Hufford, who was hired in June, had previously served as the promotions manager for the Indiana Wesleyan University television station, WIWU TV, where he produced videos, websites, and other media promotions. He brings with him 10 years of experience as a freelance video producer and has also taught media courses as an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.
When asked what he was most looking forward to about his new position as FiveCore general manager, Hufford explained that he was eager to get to work on original, meaningful projects.
“I’m excited to work creatively with staff and students on projects that are challenging and at the same time beneficial to the college,” said Hufford.