Wondering what Production House during the 2nd year looks like?

If you’re a Creative Business student like myself, that is really important to you, since your whole year will be centered around them.

However, even if you study something else, I always find it really fascinating to take a look into what other studies are doing!  It expands your horizons and keeps you updated on the rest of the beautiful BUas community.

Although an EXPO regarding Production House already exists within the first year for the Creative Business course (which you should obviously attend!), many students would like to have more information available at all times. Furthermore, using my own experience, nothing compared to hearing actual testimonials of students from each department, explaining everything in detail. 

So, to clear up the misconceptions about the departments and put all seven of them in the spotlight, I have interviewed one person from every department to tell you their stories, and how things really are!

1. AV department - A professional feel of the industry

With Mitchell Oduber

What are the activities you do in this department?

”In short: we create promotional clips for clients. But we also learn a lot in the process through workshops and practice.

Playing with the green screen, the dolly, a bit of editing…these are the things I didn’t have any previous experience with. The green screen and its editing help you improvise much more in your work! Then, with the dolly, although I’ve seen it on set before, I never had the chance to learn how the track system works up until now. Many new opportunities are open for you.”

Are you working with real clients?

“Right now, yes. We are working with a client from school, and other groups have clients like restaurants or small business owners. Although we are working for a teacher, it feels like a real client because we need to be very professional.

I like the fact that even though we are only in our 2nd year we can already work in the industry.”

What current project are you working on?

“Our goal is to create a promotional video for the VR department. We get criteria like: "the video needs to create empathy”, or “make it intriguing”. I like the challenge. And what is more, it’s not only aimed at the BUas community, it’s for a broader audience. That’s why it’s not the most accessible project, and the message we have to bring out is not simple, but I like it a lot.”

What projects will you be working on in the future?

“More client-focused promotional videos, but I am not sure yet.”

What do you like about your department?

“The fact that I can use my skills and the passion I have for AV at school. I think that’s amazing. I don’t have to sit behind a desk; I can go out there, have practical workshops, get to play with the equipment.”

So you already had a passion for this?

“Yes, for a long time. Around my teenage years, many of my friends got into photography, but I found aerial photography. It was game-changing to see how many new angles and perspectives you see. I fell in love with drone videography. I kept trying to get out there, and clients started coming. Now I can label myself as a professional because I have quite a few projects already.

So I already knew a lot before joining this department, but it helps substantially to be here! Being able to go to school, and learn something that helps me outside of school too is simply great.

Hopefully, I get to use it in the future for my projects.”

What skills are you learning or refining right now?

“In the workshops, we are doing quite broad stuff. But while working on the projects, we get to brush up on professional skills. We have to follow certain guidelines in this environment - that’s something I’m learning now. I already knew a lot about AV, but now we are being prepared for the industry.”

What skills do you think are needed for this?

“I don t think you need a lot, but it would be nice to know some basic photography skills. It’s expected of you to know some basics, especially because you work with that in your first year. Maybe buy a cheap camera and play around with it a bit if you want to get more into detail.”

You can find Mitchell’s drone page on Instagram at @oduberworks

2. TV department - The core of every production is a good story

With Oana Micu

What are the activities you do in this department?

“We are focusing more on the directing part. The TV and AV departments are quite similar: you get an “assignment” from a client and you need to direct and film. But in our department we are focusing more on the story - it needs to be perfect. We are focusing more on the concept, the format, and writing something that will engage the viewers. We create new ideas. For example, for one of our projects we need to come up with a new creative TV show concept.

In the AV department, you are trying to make perfect shots, clean audio, and these kinds of things. In TV we also need to film, of course, but it's not so strict.”

Are you working with real clients?

“This time we are working for the HUB - they are our client. However, for the next projects, we will have outside clients. Although that is never a sure thing, it all depends on your luck year to year.”

What current project are you working on?

“We are doing a spotlight interview about someone in the BUas community. We get to meet that person, find out their story and then put a specific aspect “into the spotlight”.

We also had to do a pitch to the HUB representative before getting approval, just like in the industry. You need to prove that not only is your story worth telling and interesting enough for the audience but that you chose the right person to tell that story.  As a director, you often find something interesting that your audience might not be so passionate about. The viewers are your critics.

Everyone has a story, but why do I need to see an interview about this one person?

For the interview, a group chose the nuns from the monastery, some preferred HUB members or students, and we picked Fraser - our content teacher from last year. The supervisors were a bit harsh on us on the pitch because they knew him. We talked about how we will film and what format we will follow. Let me explain it to you a bit.

Our final piece will be titled “Chasing happiness." We will start with some funny Vogue-style questions like “How are you doing your mustache?”. And then slowly transition to the deeper ones like “Why did you move to the Netherlands?”. He has a long story of moving around for love, career, and personal fulfillment while pursuing happiness.

Something we added to keep the viewers engaged is a little game. We initially wanted to put it in the end, but our supervisor suggested a new way to make it interactive for the audience as well: put the questions in the beginning and the answers in the end. That way viewers stay engaged and feel a sense of satisfaction when they finish watching. This is a neat trick we learned.”

What projects will you be working on in the future?

“The next project is going to be a TV show where we need to invent a new concept. Last year some students made a documentary about a neighborhood through the means of a game. They used the game where you start with a pen and try trading it into things that get better and better to tell a story and bring forward details about the neighborhood.

For this, we need to receive the requests of the client. Our first project was based on our imagination, but the next ones will be all about what the clients want. We will use our creativity to build up from thereon.”

What do you like about your department?

We get to extract the core of the story.

Also, everything is super real: we travel to film in different locations (like restaurants), need to plan the whole schedule, the shots, and talk to the companies to get approval. If they say “no," that’s it. You need to be very professional and keep in contact with a lot of outsiders.

These are projects you can add to your CV or portfolio. You actually create something.

Last but not least, our supervisors are industry professionals that are working on different projects.

They are examples for us.”

What skills are you learning or refining right now?

“How to make the difference between what is interesting to you and what is interesting for everyone. Also, which parts are good enough to be made into a production.

To be honest, I thought I was good at this, but the projects showed me that I have a lot to learn. Like in the spotlight interview, Fraser has so many fascinating stories and personality traits, but what do we actually focus on?

They teach you what is really worth it

And what is more, you learn how to tell a story in the most engaging and logical order.”

What skills do you think are needed for this?

“Flexibility, teamwork, and being a good storyteller. And I wouldn’t say the last one is about talent, it’s just about loving what you do: being creative, liking to make up stories, talking to people, enjoying the behind-the-scenes stories of the big productions, and so on.”

You will be able to watch some of Oana’s work as well as what the other talented students from the TV department are producing on the HUB Website in the near future!

3. Radio department - More than just playing music

with Sade Butijn

What are the activities you do in this department?

“More than you’d think, in fact!

First, we do the actual studio work. Every Tuesday we get into the studio for an hour and do back sell, front sell, practice the buttons, how to talk, and so on. What that means is you practice playing a song and learning how to sell the song by saying “Ok, that was “Happier than ever” by Billie Eilish, now you’re going to hear [another sound],”but also giving additional information on the song and artist.

Then we create our specialty shows. That means you have your own show for 1-2 hours. You can also do it with a few other people, so it’s more fun! Everyone needs to do one that will take place weekly. We had to pitch those before the autumn break.

And the surprising part is that within radio you have a lot of different departments that go beyond just what you do in the studio. There are music, production, programming (and marketing) There is also a director for every department to oversee them.”

Can you vaguely explain what every department does?

Music handles artist relations and looking into new music.

The production team creates jingles (the things you hear on a break like “You’re listening to Huuuuub radio”), the screens you see in the studio, and a lot of promotional material.

The crew responsible for news is also within this department.

Programming is the team responsible for the planning. There is also PR - connecting with people outside the community who want to collaborate. For example, last week Sound of Europe gave a live performance here.

Finally, there is my department, the marketing team. We come up with promotion ideas for HUB radio, and to market specialty shows.”

Are you working with real clients?

“Our client is the HUB.  I don’t work with outside people, but PR and AR are constantly doing collaborations with outsiders.”

What current project(s) are you working on?

“I’m in marketing, so we are brainstorming promotional events or other ideas to advertise our work. For the specialty show, I am discussing with my team what to include in the show. We’ll have a try-out for that soon.

Basically, we are 4 people, and we all got feedback that we have soft voices, so we will do a Friday afternoon show called TGIF/riday. It’s going to start with some hot topics, then we'll read some funny Reddit stories, give the listeners advice, we have a weekly artist we discuss, and finally, because we are 2 German and 2 Dutch people, we will discuss cultural differences in different aspects. We hope that in the future we can also invite people from other countries. We were also thinking about having a weekly theme for artists. That’s kind of the structure we wanted to go for, but we will see how that goes next week.”

What do you like about your department?

“It’s relaxed, and whatever idea you have, they will probably let you try it if it’s not too bad. You can get as much practice as you want; you only need to sign up to use the studio. And you can always ask supervisors for advice.

I like working with older students closely (3rd and 4th year) because I enjoy that kind of communication.

Also, I like the hosting part and becoming better at that.

And the specialty show! There's no guideline for that: Come up with something you can talk about for 1-2 hours, and that's it!

There’s no strict guideline: just come up with something from scratch.”

What skills are you learning or refining right now?

“Multitasking, teamwork, researching music and artists, learning to communicate better, and being more specific in my requests. Of course, you also learn how to present yourself better for hosting.

It’s really more than pushing a few buttons and playing some music.”

What skills do you think are needed for this?

“Honestly, if you’re like “Radio sounds interesting, but I’m not sure I’ll be good enough," just go for it! If you’re unsure about your voice or technical skills, just do it! You will learn everything you need here. That’s why you’re here. It would be weird if you already had all the skills because then, there would be nothing left to learn.”

You can listen to Sade’s Friday afternoon show “TGIF/riday” on HUB Radio!

To find out about Publishing, Interactive, Design Experiences, and Marketing stay tuned for the second part that will be published soon!