by Katie Kemp, Copy Editor
September 1, 2020
Ouachita students Zebadiah Barrett and Ashton Spence saw the need for professional quality audio and visual services increasing, so they decided to launch a business to meet those needs and specifically tailor it to college students. A2Z Productions launched in August and seeks to serve students with audio, video or photography needs.
The idea to join in a business endeavor came to senior communications and media majors Barrett and Spence when the pair realized how well they worked together on a university-sponsored trip to Israel. The production company came about as a result of the couple’s photography and videography background and Barrett’s experience with audio work starting back in 2011.
“I fell in love with it immediately,” Barrett said. “I was hired out for a couple of weddings at the age of 13 and I have been doing it ever since.”
Barrett also worked as one of the head audio-visual technicians at a camp this summer and had the opportunity to further his audio recording skills. According to Barrett, adding recording options to their dream of a photo and video studio seemed like the best way to use his knowledge to benefit others.
Thus, the idea was born.
Barrett and Spence are finishing their last semester at Ouachita, so they understand the needs and financial situations that many college students are facing. One of their business goals was to price their services in such a way that would be fair for a college population.
“If our set pricing is too expensive and a student comes to us and says, ‘Hey, I can’t afford that, but I want to do this. Here’s what I have,’ or ‘Here’s my budget,’ we can work around that budget,” Barrett said.
Ouachita students also receive a discount when they present their OBU ID, according to Spence.
The information age has increased the need for demo reels and digital portfolios in order to obtain professional work. A2Z Productions is a resource for students to create professional-quality work to show potential employers.
“Our goal is not to make ourselves known so much as to help students be known to companies—help them have demo reels and examples of their work to show to other people,” Barrett said.
Pricing and professionalism are not the only ways A2Z Productions is working to serve students.
“Our main focus and one of the main reasons we started this was because it’s kind of like our own little ministry in a way,” Spence said. “We want our company to be somewhere where students feel safe where they can come and be creative. In the end, we’re wanting to show the love of God and be flexible with students and payments.”
The unique position of college students serving college students means that there is a mutual understanding between this production company and their clients.
“It’s a safe space where you come to get everything you need,” Spence said. “Even if you’re shy and not sure of yourself, we’ll become your biggest supporters because we both get that. We’ve been there.”
A2Z Productions has a recording studio set up and is in the process of creating a multi-camera, two-backdrop photography and video studio. At this time, they are able to shoot photos and videos on site.
According to Spence, they are also capable of coming to Verser or other performance locations on campus in order to capture clips of a musical or theatrical performance for a client’s reel.