PEMDAS Productions ...

After graduating from Coronado High School (CHS) in 2014, friends Sam Sprague, Ian Ware, and Isaiah Glasoe went their separate ways, but stayed in touch with each other. The three first met as students in the award-winning Coronado School of the Arts program (CoSA). Sprague was in CoSA Digital Film, and Ware and Glasoe in Animation. Based on each of their individual areas of expertise and interest, they decided to form their own videography, photography, and graphic design firm. They called the company PEMDAS Productions.

After graduating from Coronado High School (CHS) in 2014, friends Sam Sprague, Ian Ware, and Isaiah Glasoe went their separate ways, but stayed in touch with each other. The three first met as students in the award-winning Coronado School of the Arts program (CoSA). Sprague was in CoSA Digital Film, and Ware and Glasoe in Animation. 

After CHS, Sprague went on to earn a degree in Philosophy from UCSD. Ware is pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering, also at UCSD. And Glasoe is studying Computer Science. Although they took varied paths after high school, the friends continued to return to the passion for storytelling and filmmaking they fostered during their years at CoSA.

“It took us a few years to come back together, but in the summer of 2019 we decided to start a business together,” said Sprague. “We were all working for David Romero at Eddie Grace Films [a Coronado-based documentary film production company] and it was a great learning experience.” Based on each of their individual areas of expertise and interest, they decided to form their own videography, photography, and graphic design firm. They called the company PEMDAS Productions.

PEMDAS comes from the math orders of operation (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction). The seemingly incongruous pairing of math and creative arts makes sense to the partners. “It represents an orderly well thought out process… which filmmaking requires,” explained Sprague.

As young entrepreneurs trying to grow a business during the COVID19 pandemic, the partners are finding innovative ways to promote different brands and reach a broad range of audiences for their clients. 

They believe that top quality media should be accessible to all, and their website promotes the idea that “stunning video, photo, and graphic design aren’t just for established brands, but also for startups, side hustles, and self employed professionals.”

Some of PEMDAS’ clients include musicians and entertainers who have been greatly affected by COVID19 restrictions. “We have produced online concerts that broadcast through YouTube, and they have been surprisingly successful,” said Sprague of the ability to generate income via online tips and donations. 

Most recently, and coming full circle, PEMDAS produced CoSA’s fall Musical Theatre and Drama production “Songs for a New World.” The event was a pre-recorded musical show with individual performers digitally spliced into each others’ shots to appear as if they were actually on stage singing together. Sprague, the videographer and editor for the digital show, spent two full days filming students one at a time. “We set up our cameras and lighting and didn’t move anything. The students had specific time slots and they came and stood on marked spaces on the stage and sang their parts.” 

“CoSA gave all three of us the skills and background to start a business like this,” said Sprague. “It was great to work with them [CoSA] and we want to continue to collaborate not only with the program, but with individual students and families.” 

In fact, PEMDAS will be working with CoSA again this spring on a project recognizing the ten-year anniversary of the school’s production of “The Laramie Project.” The play, about the 1998 murder of a gay college student, sparked a lot of attention for its subject matter. Amid the controversy, the community of Coronado united behind the CoSA performance as outside groups planned protests. Fittingly, it was the very first CoSA play that Sam Sprague ever saw. “We are looking forward to working with Kim [Strassburger] at CoSA and already have some ideas in the works.” 

Next up for PEMDAS is a “Patton-Sprague Christmas Concert” on YouTube Livestream, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. The event listing describes it as “an unforgettable evening of collaboration between two of San Diego’s most musical families. Playing seasonal classics alongside modern day hits.” 

While Sprague, Ware, and Glasoe continue to pursue their own individual paths, including freelance writing, directing, and higher education, they are working hard to make PEMDAS Productions successful. Glasoe serves as the Chief Executive Officer, Ware as the Chief Operating Officer handling legal and financial matters, and Sprague as the Chief Marketing Officer focusing on client outreach. 

For more information about their business, and to RSVP for coming events, visit pemdasproductions.com.

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