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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Verb1 productions proves successful

Tuesday, February 12, 2008  
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By Alana Duffle

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," (NIV Genesis 1:1).

Most Christians have heard this verse many times, but to Todd Fraser and Darin McClaugherty, it is much more than just the first verse in the Bible.

The verse served as inspiration for the name of their company, Verb1. They chose this name because the first verb in the Bible is "create."

Fraser and McClaugherty both used to be individually commissioned to film random events around Oklahoma.  However in 2005, they decided it would be better for them to join forces to create a larger clientele base.  They formed Verb1 Productions, which operates in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

"We have each put more than $10,000 into the business for the acquisition of equipment," Fraser said.

While at Oklahoma Christian, Fraser got an early start in the media business.

"Todd worked a lot of sound jobs for me early on," Director of Special Events Bob Lashley said. "When he started getting interested in videoing, he did Spring Sing.  He is very dependable, and he knows what I am looking for because we have worked together for so long."

The sound jobs were just the beginning for Fraser.  A strong interest in filming found a place in Fraser's mind, and he began pursuing opportunities to film.

"I tech-directed Spring Sing in 2003 and 2004. That's where I became familiar with the show and learned to love it," Fraser said.  "I started filming Freshman Fanfare in 2003 and Spring Sing in 2006."

Many media companies would see Spring Sing as another job, but Verb1 sees it as a passion.

"Spring Sing is a great deal of fun for the students, and we enjoy being a part of that, shooting the intro blurbs and creating a quality DVD of the show that they will be able to enjoy for years to come," Fraser said.

Verb1 has a slight advantage over other media companies when it comes to Spring Sing because they are familiar with it and have even participated in Spring Sing themselves.

"They know the show very well. If we hired an outside group, they would just be coming in to shoot an event, but Todd has been around it for seven or eight years," Lashley said. "They know the show well enough that they can actually contribute to the show, and an outside company wouldn't know that insight."

Although Spring Sing is a big job for Verb1 each year, it is by no means the only event they cover.

"Typically, we do videos, so if people need promotional videos, sales videos or training videos, they call us," Fraser said. "In addition to Fanfare and Spring Sing, we film many other events, including a graduation for another school."

Fraser and McClaugherty are also expanding their business to include other aspects of media.

"We are just getting started doing photography, so people are beginning to call us for that," Fraser said.

Verb1's clients include Memorial Road, Edmond and Park Plaza Churches of Christ, summer camps held on campus and many others.

They have also done many university projects, including videos for the marketing and advancement offices, the music and theatre departments, Summer Singers and New Reign.

Many of their videos have been shown at Homecoming, graduation and the Associate's dinner.

They recently did a video for a national conference that "Just Between Friends Franchise," was attending.  This video was featured on "The Big Idea" on CNBC.

Oklahoma Christian gave Fraser and McClaugherty a good base to start a business on. They were well prepared for the real world, and they were knowledgeable on what they were doing.

"Verb1 has very good equipment, and all the employees are very talented people," Chair of the Communications department Larry Jurney said.  "I think the students who graduate from Oklahoma Christian University, like Todd, are on the cutting edge of technology. They have a stronger graphics background that you typically don't see of other media companies.

Aside from technical difficulties and time constraints, the main problem Verb1 has come across is being looked at as a respected company.

Fraser wants the business to grow to be a competitive media company in Oklahoma. Fraser said the company is not finished transitioning yet and doing so is a major challenge.

"It is really difficult to make the transition from being students at Oklahoma Christian who video random jobs, to graduates who own their own company," Fraser said.  "We didn't graduate, go to the corporate world and return to start our own company. We tried to start as we were graduating."

Numerous people spoke of Fraser's advanced technical skills, ability to get the job done, creativeness, ability to fix any problem that comes his way and the quality of his products.

For more information on Verb1 Productions visit their Web site at www.verb1.net.  


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