A Creston family is bringing an old school building in Afton back to life.
The former East Union Elementary School, located at 205 S. Douglas St., is slated to become a multi-media, full-service studio for photography, audio and visual production.
Teddy King and his wife Bethany Myers purchased the former school in April. Their intention was to preserve a bit of the town’s history by maintaining the building’s original structure.
“It had sat vacant for a couple of years. There was a restaurant in here that didn’t succeed and we knew that Dollar General was going to tear this down ... We beat them to the bid and we are going to save the school,” King said.
King has completed demolition of a 6,000 square foot area on the ground level of the structure that will be used for the studio, where his business, Nouveau Flux Media, will be open to rent in addition to King’s services. The total square footage of the building is over 12,000 square feet. Through his business, King offers portrait work, graphic manipulation, photo restoration, digital video editing, audio and visual effects, post-production remastering, and commercial and music video creation.
On the east side of the school’s ground floor, King has gutted the school’s interior and has started work on creating a three bedroom, three bath residence for his family. His goal of the second floor is to create a space for recreational and possibly community functions.
“It’s going to be a continuous renovation,” he said. “Right now we are focused on getting the studio open and as we generate revenue, we will continue to update the upstairs office space.”
King, who had a small studio in Creston, said he has been searching for a much larger space as his business has grown due to free photos with Santa he offered last year at the Union County Historical Village and the commercials he has made for a variety of political campaigns.
King said a strong influence in his career path was his mother, Donna Badgett of Orient. As a former photographer for Oprah Winfrey, King said he grew up with a dark room next to his bedroom in his childhood, Illinois home.
Before King became a multi-media professional, he had enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in 1994. His family returned to the Creston area from Germany in 2017. During his military service, he was an amateur photographer, documenting the places he had traveled. As his portfolio grew, so did offers for work. His portfolio grew to include work for major companies such as Sports Illustrated and Disney. While his main focus currently is portrait work and and sports action photography, ramping up his film production services is next as he continues to renovate his production studio.
King is hoping the addition of a green screen room will bring more film to the region.
“With the help of my director of physical visualization Robert Pilon, who has been a key element of this renovation project, we are going to make that dream a reality,” King said. “Our last great hit was ‘Bridges of Madison County.’ Now that that has been so many years ago, I really feel that Iowa missed out an opportunity to bring video production here. While there are efforts, there is not a lot of space. So when we complete our green screen room, that will be something we can offer to the Iowa Filmmakers Guild to rent out when there’s a production out here in the rural area.”
For more information about Nouveau Flux Media, visit its Facebook Page or visit www.nouveauflux.com.