At the corner of Florence and Delmar, Austin Elliott and Chris Olson lived in a five-bedroom house crammed full. They saved every dollar they could, extremely limiting their personal expenses to buy one thing: film equipment.
“We were both working full-time jobs in video production for Convoy of Hope, but we kept moonlighting, kept creating and kept buying more gear to make better, higher-quality work,” he says.
Elliott now serves as co-owner and operations director for Locke and Stache, a video production company that specializes in award-winning commercials, music videos, short films and more. Austin serves as the leader of the pack, managing operations for a team full of dynamic creatives who have chosen to make Springfield home.
“We’re a part of a community making exceptional creative work here in Springfield, and we know that this city can become an even larger hub for creatives,” he says. “Here, you can create high-quality art and enjoy all that life has to offer. We strive to make excellent videos on a national scale, and we’re proud to create art that also makes an impact on our community.”
Locke and Stache’s team creates a variety of work for passion projects that positively impact 417-land. From low-budget music videos to promoting Springfield businesses, Elliott is proud that his team spends nearly a third of their time creating videos and telling stories for nonprofits and worthy causes.
Elliott’s biggest challenge: avoiding burnout within his talented team. Monthly check-ins, flexible schedules and outstanding benefits keep them creating, all made possible because of Elliott’s exceptional oversight, says Josh Pfaff, partner and creative director.
“Without Austin, I would be an unemployed, starving artist,” he says. “He is really exceptional at balancing profit and passion, and he makes our business work by making sure we both stay profitable and stay creative with passion projects that stretch us. Austin cares deeply about our mental health and the experience of being a creative, because he used to live behind a lens. Now, he’s leading us to the next level.”