Free time for these Huntington University students results in videos for rest of the campus enjoyment

The current faces of W3 Productions, a video production group started by the students living on the third floor of Wright Hall at Huntington University, include (from left) TJ Clounie, Ethan Burch, Tyler Burson and Josiah Wood.
The current faces of W3 Productions, a video production group started by the students living on the third floor of Wright Hall at Huntington University, include (from left) TJ Clounie, Ethan Burch, Tyler Burson and Josiah Wood. Photo by Andre B. Laird.

What do you do with your free time as a college student?

Frisbee golf?

Late night video game tournaments?

"Big Bang Theory" season two marathon?

For the guys living on the third floor of Wright Hall at Huntington University, their outlet is W3 Productions.

Birthed more than three years ago, W3 Productions (W3 stands for Wright third) started making spoof and music videos for personal and campus enjoyment, posting a few of them on the group's YouTube page.

The faces of the group have changed over the year. The current crop of video aficionados includes sophomores Ethan Burch, Josiah Wood, Tyler Burson and freshmen TJ Clounie and Matt Shouse.

"We just started thinking about popular songs or funny bits that we thought would be funny to remake," explains Burch. "That's where it all started."

He adds that in putting together a video, the group spends time choosing a specific music video to spoof, usually choosing one that is popular and catchy, and builds a story around it before filming.

Although it depends on the type of project they are working on, the students say it takes an average of four to 10 hours of filming and an additional 15 to 20 hours of post-production editing, which is done by Wood.

In the past, they have created spoofs of "Christmas Baby Please Come Home" by Michael Buble, "One Thing" by BSB and "Buttons" and "Baby" by Justin Beiber.

W3 Productions' efforts have not gone unrecognized, Burch says.

"We did a remake of ‘Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen and I got a call from a friend about a link on a website that was accepting clips that would be played during her performance at the Teen Choice Awards," he says. "So we sent ours in and saw a clip of our video during her performance. That was cool."

The group's latest music remake is "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and the response that it has gotten is more than any of the guys expected.

To date, the video, a clean version of the song, has received more than 300,000 views. The video is posted on Wood's YouTube channel and not W3 Productions, as the original view has adult content and the group did not want to associate it with the university.

"Usually we shoot on campus, but this video was the first we shot off-site," Burch notes.

"Matt's mom owns a thrift store in Fairmount and she gave us permission to shoot on two weekends after store hours."

The guys say that they have received overwhelmingly positive support from the campus as well as people leaving comments on their YouTube Channel, including mothers who have thanked them for producing a clean version of "Thrift Shop."

"Ron Coffey (HU's vice president for student development) really likes our videos," Burch notes. "He even allows us to preview them on the big screen in the HUB."

The university's admission department has also capitalized on W3's success, using some of the group's footage in promotional videos aimed at incoming freshmen.
The guys say that they have received support from their professors as well. All except Burson and Schouse are film production majors.

"While they don't necessarily like the choice of material that we use, they like what we do from a technical standpoint," Burch says. "And you can see with each video that we've done, the quality gets better as we take it more seriously."

Clounie says he has even used footage in his demo reel to land jobs.

While the group sees the venture as purely recreational, there is some seriousness to what they do.

"We do the videos for fun and for mostly the people on campus," Burch says. "But it also allows us to experiment with different technical aspects of film production that we probably wouldn't use for a class project. We like the creative freedom it gives us."
More videos can be found on the group's YouTube Channel, "Forester W3 - W3 Productions."

The "Thrift Shop" music video parody can be found on Wood's YouTube Channel at "Josiah Wood."

Complete caption: The current faces of W3 Productions, a video production group started by the students living on the third floor of Wright Hall at Huntington University, include (from left) TJ Clounie, Ethan Burch, Tyler Burson and Josiah Wood. The group makes parodies of popular music videos and posts them on YouTube.