Student film organization aids small businesses during pandemic


PLW member Jack Regala snaps pictures of airplanes taking off from the Seattle Tacoma Airport. Photo courtesy of Anirudh Manika.

Margaret He, Co-Editor-in-Chief

For small businesses hit hard financially by the ongoing pandemic, five Inglemoor seniors offered a promising way to boost publicity. Under the Instagram handle @productionlakewashington, seniors David Zhou, Jack Regala, Anirudh Manika, Erick Wang and Kevin Shi create short feature films for local restaurants and organizations. Production Lake Washington has covered community favorites, from the family-owned Tacos El Guero and Indian Palace to popular spots such as Boba Up and Chi Mac in Seattle. 

The group first began posting in June 2020. The account’s first post was a project done for the Technology Student Association club, for the Digital Video Production event. The project won first in the state and went on to attain a finalist standing at the national level. Zhou said that he and Regala had always had an interest in filmmaking and in the idea of creating a video production team. 

“Originally, we sought out to compete in film festivals but, due to the pandemic, we had to scrap that idea. Instead, however, we decided to put our film interests and talents into our community, and decided to reach out to small businesses hit hard economically by COVID-19 to help them in any way we can,” Zhou said.

Currently, the organization is working on a feature for the Genesis Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking in the Seattle area. The members of the PLW said that this has been their favorite project thus far. 

“Not only do we get to interview police deputies and sex-trafficking recovery volunteers, but [also] some of the sex-trafficking survivors; hearing all their stories is so surreal and meaningful, and gives us a whole new meaning and appreciation for helping others,” they said.

Although the PLW team will soon be parting ways after they graduate from Inglemoor, they said that they hope to keep the organization together as members move to other states for college and university. 

“The thing that inspires us to continue working for PLW is the never-ending new experiences we get to have each time we film,” they said. “What’s nice about this job is that we get to work on our own schedule and go to new places around Washington [that] most high schoolers don’t go to.”

To check out PLW’s work, visit them on Instagram @productionlakewashington


Boba Up Promotional Video

Production Lake Washington