In recent years, there has been a push for applied learning at Missouri Western. The cinema department at Missouri Western took the applied learning mission and created a program that allows students to understand what it is like to work in production: the Griffon Production House (GPH).
GPH is a student-led professional production organization. GPH was established in 2019 by Professor Thomas Brecheisen.
Brecheisen has been a cinema professor at Missouri Western since 2018. Brecheisen created GPH to bring applied learning and a level of professionalism to cinema students at Missouri Western.
“GPH is about really building an industry," Brecheisen said. "… A real world environment where students can actually get that experience beyond the classroom, beyond the applied learning that we already do.”
Griffon Production House splits into two categories: "GPH Live!" and "Griffon University."
For "GPH Live!," students produce and record events throughout St. Joseph (for example, theatre productions at Central High School, Missouri Western events and local community events). The shoots involve multiple cameras as well as other filmmaking gear.
Rebecca Evans is a cinema student at Missouri Western. Evans also serves as admin of "GPH Live!" When asked what she gained from being a part of Griffon Production House, Evans shared how much she learned.
“With the hands-on experience, I’ve learned a lot about gear, the process of live production and how that kind of works," Evans said. "And just being a leader within the school community, being able to teach other film students how to do live production, I think that is the most fun part.”
For "Griffon University," students create videos to showcase research while adding graphics and editing the videos to publish. Brecheisen explained "Griffon University" on his website.
“It started in 2020 with the mission to advocate, celebrate, and educate our community on the amazing research conducted by MWSU faculty and students.”
Blake Elder is a cinema student at Missouri Western. Elder serves as the admin of "Griffon University." When asked why he enjoys being a part of GPH, Elder looked to the future.
“I really like being a part of GPH because when I graduate, I’ll be able to go to a company and show them the work that I’ve done, and that will benefit me in the future when I’m getting a job in the professional world,” Elder said.
The future of GPH looks bright due to the work from students already. As GPH continues to grow, opportunities for student involvement will grow. When asked what he hopes for the future of GPH, Brecheisen had a positive outlook.
“My hope is that GPH becomes one of the premier applied learning opportunities for students on campus," Brecheisen said. "… There’s opportunities in there for business and marketing students, for advertising students, for communication students. There’s so many opportunities for almost everybody on campus to be involved in.”
Griffon Production House is a prime example of applied learning at Missouri Western. Students get hands-on experience and become a part of a community of people with similar interests.