In the spring of 2019, Thomas Brecheisen, assistant professor of cinema, created the Griffon Production House, a group of budding cinematographers who just want to make films.

Brecheisen started the group when he realized that the theatre productions in the Department of Theatre, Cinema and Dance were not being recorded, and he thought that would be great experience for his cinema students. Students had to interview for their positions in the group, and students are in charge of selecting, staffing, setting up, recording, tearing down and completing (editing, motion graphics and rendering) the entire production.

“I’m training students to be producers in charge of other student camera operators, editors, and motion graphic artists doing their own professional productions,” Brecheisen said. “I’m okay with them not only achieving a highly produced professional package but also failing and learning from their mistakes. I want them to make those mistakes here.”

Sophomore Jozua Bennie joined the group soon after it was founded. He said for the first production, Brecheisen was the producer, but students have filled that role ever since. Bennie started as a camera operator and is now a producer.

“We are learning how to deliver a finalized product,” Bennie said. “We are there from start to finish. I learn something new every day.”

Along with filming the theatre productions, they are also filming the Department of Music’s concerts. This past fall, they also filmed the St. Joseph Youth Chorale’s semester concert and created a video of it, and they planned to continue with that project, as well.

Brecheisen said the majority of the group is comprised of younger students who want to gain a lot of experience early in their college careers, he noted.

“This is definitely something I will be putting on my resume,” Bennie said.