ECOT students watch their classmates, teachers, events and more on their computer monitors twice a week through ECOTtv.
A lot of work, planning and creativity bring these stories to vivid life.
And a lot of the work starts with one person: Elizabeth McPherson, ECOT’s video production coordinator.
“I am responsible for the pre-production phase of ECOT's video projects,” she said. “This includes finding students and teachers that have interesting stories to tell, talking with them to prepare them for the shoot, scheduling the shoots, scouting and reserving locations, writing scripts, choosing music, and developing a feel for our video projects. During the shoots I conduct the interviews and help the production crew gather all of the shots that we will need for the edit.”
McPherson, who joined ECOT in September, said she was drawn to the job because she loves producing videos.
“Our crew is incredibly busy with writing, shooting and editing…all things that I love to do. Working in this industry is a lot of fun; it doesn’t even feel like work!”
Her main goal: creating more effective videos that not only engage students, but help nurture a sense of community and pride among them.
“I measure the success of our work based on the feedback that we receive from students and teachers,” she said.
“With thousands of students and hundreds on staff at ECOT, there are some extraordinary people doing interesting things,” McPherson added. “There are so many inspiring stories, and I want to share that inspiration with the rest of the staff and students here at ECOT. With ECOTtv, I want our students and staff to have a sense of belonging, even though we are all spread throughout the state.”
Video Production Manager Michael McNeese had kind words for his new colleague.
“Elizabeth comes to ECOT with a wealth of experience in many areas of video production that are vital and relevant to the work that we do here,” he said. “In her previous work, she has played an integral role in high-end national broadcast projects. But, she also has proven her resourcefulness in working on productions that she has initiated, simultaneously playing the roles of producer, director, actress, and editor.”
“We are very excited to have her on board,” he added. “With her experience, she brings a new voice and fresh ideas that will keep our students anxiously waiting for the next episode of ECOTtv.”
As McNeese said, McPherson’s experience isn’t limited to working behind the camera. She’s proudly stepped in front of it.
“For the past 10 years, I've worked as a model and actress for both print and motion pictures,” McPherson said. “I've produced and directed many of my own films and video projects.”
Her journey into the entertainment world began at the age of 12 as host, puppeteer, and actress for a drama troupe.
“I found a way to channel my passion at an early age and have been doing it ever since, from stage plays and sketches, to hosting shows, and teaching beginner acting classes. More recently I have worked with major brands on local regional and national projects,” she said.
A special cause sits close to her heart. She serves as the administrator of a global support group for those with a rare chromosome disorder.
“I have also honed my skills in producing and directing creating a short documentary on Rare Chromosome Disorders, and a series of PSAs to raise awareness for people living with them, along with working on small marketing videos and ads for local companies,” she said. “My passion and drive comes from my family, who has been very supportive of my goals and dreams. My youngest son is my biggest inspiration, though, born with a Rare Chromosome 6 Deletion in 2007, and inspiring me daily to believe in the impossible!”
Outside of the video world, McPherson enjoys spending time with her three children -- Abigael, Ethan, and Evan, along with “wonderful” husband Nick. Her family includes a few four-legged members, too. They include two dogs (Jack Russell/Dachsund mix) named Rascal and Biscuit, and a cat called Kitty.
Whether she’s behind or in front of the lens, McPherson continues to coordinate creativity and invent inspiration.