In 2018, Leanna Agresta earned a B.A. in Visual and Sound Media, but her interest in the production world began years before she stepped on the Seton Hall University campus. As a Girl Scout, she documented the story of a woman whose father was a judge during the Nuremberg Trials, and her video was later donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Today, the College of Communication and the Arts alumna helps clients share their own stories and perspectives as a production associate and make-up artist for VideoLink, a production and communication company.
Agresta supports the company's "ReadyCam Video Studio" service, which provides an in-house, remotely controlled studio to executives and companies in need of a professional production set. "Our studios give people the chance to create content and use it for whatever they need in a personal, but professional space," commented Agresta. "I work behind-the-scenes to make sure the lighting, audio and other elements are all set up and ready to create the best experience."
While every day and every story is different, Agresta is always ready to tackle a new project and learn from her colleagues and friends. "In the classroom, I learned production methods and skills and how to harness creativity," said Agresta. "Now, I'm learning the more technical parts of the industry and how it's evolving. There are all kinds of ways to feed footage from the studio whether it be satellite, fiber optics or wirelessly through the internet."
The off-screen production side is only part of her professional "storyboard", Agresta highlighted. She also takes an active, hands-on role in VideoLink's Operations Department where the ReadyCam studios are built and the technology is pulled together. The environment and technologies are exciting parts of the industry, Agresta commented, but her ability to make calculated decisions in the studio stems from her time in the classroom and with Pirate Television.
"I was taught to be strategic and thorough when thinking about my audience. You want people to see the content, feel it and be touched by it. Your message is what makes the most impact, not your skills in the studio," said Agresta.
During her studies, she also interned with Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, acquired through the Career Center, where she learned to work with celebrities and edit content while facing time constraints – skills she applies every day when working with VideoLink's diverse clientele of key executives.
Reflecting on the last year, Agresta credits Adjunct Professor Ken Magos for teaching her about the industry and shaping her professionalism. Post-graduation, she worked side-by-side with her mentor to shoot onsite in locations across the country for NJTV's documentary-style show, "Drive by History."