Hothouse Productions at the College of Communication is an intensive semester long field- and classroom-based experience for talented graduate and undergraduate students at Boston University. Taught by Garland Waller, an award-winning producer and a professor in COM’s TV department, Hothouse Productions provides students with an opportunity to put into practice what they have been learning in the classroom. Teams of students are created, usually four to a group. The goal is for each group to complete a student-run, client-driven production by the end of a school semester. Non-profit and for-profit organizations seek the energy, determination, and newly-minted experience of the Hothouse Production teams.

Timeframe for Hothouse Production Projects

For the fall semester, productions begin in early September and are completed by early December. For the spring semester, productions begin in mid-January and are completed by early May.

Process of Communication

Hothouse does not have an official office. Students work as teams, usually of four, but that means that they may be using phones, e-mails, and faxes in their rooms. Client meetings are a must with the students and these will usually be at the client’s office, or a place of mutual convenience. Once a student producer is assigned to a project, the client and student teams will connect by phone, e mail, or text.

Hothouse Productions Process

Over the years, Hothouse Productions has learned that certain basic requirements are needed in order for the production to work and for the client to be pleased with the final product.

  • Students and clients need to be clear about long and short-term goals of the production. They should be defined in writing early in the process through a client application (below) and by providing any additional materials that will help students to create the production.
  • The primary focus and mission of the organization must be specified before shooting or production begins. It’s best if this is in writing.
  • Both client and students need to be clear about the parameters of the production.
  • The client must either be THE contact person or designate ONE person from the organization who is the “yes” person; the one person who can say yea or nay to production goals, needs, etc. This person could be the executive director or it could be a staff person, but it must be clear to everyone (client and students) at the start of the production who this person is.
  • No project will be accepted unless it can reasonably be completed during one semester.
  • A fee of $500 must be submitted before production begins. This fee covers BU shooting, editing, and all producing but it does NOT cover any additional expenses like travel, props, etc. This money helps BU’s Hothouse Productions purchase technical equipment that is up to industry standards. Students are not paid for their services, but they are reimbursed for production expenses. The client must agree to covering the $500 Hothouse fee PLUS the budgeted expenses.
  • The client must agree to pay these ADDITIONAL EXPENSES which cover production expenses like travel, taxis, studio space, video cards, etc. These expenses tend to run from $250-$1000, largely depending on travel needs. Clients should consider travel needs in advance.
  • Students will submit a budget estimate after client and student have met to determine production needs.
  • Clients will approve expenses at the start of the semester when students submit a budget estimate.
  • Download the Application to work with Hothouse Productions

Student Teams

Professor Waller assigns student teams in class. All students have taken Video/Film Production and The Creative Producer. Many have taken additional courses in post-production, editing and producing. Students may apply early by sending an e mail to Professor Waller. The letter should contain a resume and/or links to video projects which the students have completed in the past.

Completed Video Projects

Clients own the completed video and the copyright. It is legally theirs, but Hothouse students will be able to use the produced video for online resumes and on the BU/Hothouse website. See our past work.

For Additional Information

For additional information or clarification regarding projects please email Professor Garland Waller at