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Employee bios get creative take on outdoor couch in downtown DeKalb

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com)
Miguel Sierra (left), director of photography, sets up his shot as assistant Dan Kapper (right) speaks to Brian Oster, production manager of OC Imageworks, as Oster sits on a couch waiting to be interviewed Monday near the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway in downtown DeKalb. The three were filming biographies that will appear on the OC Imageworks website.

DeKALB – Sandwiched between the clock tower and the corn mural of tiny Memorial Park at the northeast corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway, Brian Oster sat rigidly on a cream-colored couch.

He spoke about what he liked most about his job, the team he works with there and his inspiration as a creator. It was late afternoon Monday – just another day at the office for Oster.

He and his team at OC Image Works, which is based in DeKalb, came up with a unique idea for telling their story online: Record video biographies for each employee from a couch placed in areas around town that represent their personalities.

They recorded their first videos Monday and plan to finish shooting today.

“The idea is – we’ve doubled in about two years – and being a creative agency, we want to be able to show off what we do,” Oster said. “... As proud as we are of DeKalb, we want to be able to do more than DeKalb. We want to expand, and the way to do it is to present yourself ... in a way that shows you can take on big clients.”

Oster chose the busy downtown area to represent the frenzied worklife on which he thrives.

“I love everything going on, managing 20 things at once,” he said. “But our lead designer is going to be at Hopkins Park, because all her inspiration comes from the outdoors.”

The team hopes to edit the short videos down to between 30 and 45 seconds and use creativity and technology to make the videos stand out on their new website.

Dan Kapper, a native of DeKalb who graduated from Northern Illinois in May with a degree in communications, works as video coordinator at OC Image Works. He took some credit for bringing the concept to life.

“I assisted in making the pieces connect,” Kapper said. “[Oster] came up with the conceptual stuff, and I came up with the actual production part.”

The project’s director of photography Miguel Sierra said that the idea of taking a couch outdoors for interviews was a new twist on an industry standard.

“With an artist bio page you want to be as creative as possible” he said. “We don’t want to be people just sitting inside an office.”

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