College of DuPage Motion Picture and Television (MPTV) program student David Roudebush recently wrote, produced and directed a five-minute public service announcement highlighting Spay Illinois, a non-profit organization providing low-cost care to pet owners facing financial hardship.
“It was my first time doing anything like this,” he said. “I learned on the spot and soaked in every last bit. That sometimes meant working 14-hour days, but it was worth it because it’s not really work when you love what you do.”
Roudebush was approached by COD MPTV Professor Tony Venezia earlier in the semester to see if he would be interested in spearheading the video project to help Spay Illinois raise funds for their annual giving campaign.
“I jumped at the opportunity because being able to use what I’m learning in the classroom for a professional client would be invaluable experience,” he said. “I also knew that I was passionate about Spay’s mission, and the more I talked to their staff, the more I felt a connection to the organization.”
Roudebush got a chance to experience firsthand what goes into making a professional production from start to finish. As the writer, producer, director and editor for the project, he spent weeks planning every meticulous detail, including the technical aspects like lighting and sound, as well as creating a story arch and an emotional hook.
“I had to think about what was going to land the ultimate goal of getting this organization the critical funds that they needed to help more pet owners in need,” he said. “I wanted to give the client something that was professional grade and reflected their mission statement.”
Once Roudebush found a willing client whose dog’s life was saved when Spay Illinois stepped in to help, his vision came to life. Through firsthand storytelling, Roudebush’s finished product was an emotional and raw video that helped the non-profit organization reach its year-end fundraising goal.
Venezia said he was impressed with the professionalism Roudebush displayed throughout the project.
“I am highly impressed with the artistry of the project and David’s drive and dedication to his work,” he said. “The camera work is extraordinary and fully supports the message of the video. I also am impressed with the professionalism, care and involvement from everyone involved, including the staff from Spay. Excellent, amazing, professional work from all sides.”
Roudebush credits his success on the project to his experience at COD.
“At the end of the day, having COD as a resource and a safe place gave me the confidence that I could be successful working on a professional grade project that involved wearing multiple hats,” he said. “COD has really prepared me for what’s to come. I had this level of confidence that’s been missing for a long time.”
Finding Purpose at COD
Roudebush enrolled in COD’s MTPV program at age 29 after spending nearly a decade working a variety of jobs.
“Before finding my way at COD, I never thought I could made money off of dream jobs,” he said. “But one night I was watching the credits of a movie and saw that there were hundreds of names scrolling down the screen from lighting designers to photographers to writers. With the rise in streaming platforms, the needs of a crew are only going to grow, so I figured why not try it. When I finally got to COD, the MPTV department was able to provide me resources, knowledge and a safe place to explore my craft. And I’m still learning. I signed up for another semester because I truly don’t want to leave.”
Eager to gain as much experience as possible, Roudebush began working as a student worker in the MPTV department helping students learn various multimedia equipment and assist students with studio rentals.
“Working in the department allows me to have a center seat at the table,” he said. “The students that are the most successful are the ones that, like myself, completely commit to what COD has to offer. It’s about showing engagement with what is possible here. At a commuter school it’s so easy to come and leave, but getting involved is so important.”