A documentary project focusing on the Ball State University centennial anniversary is currently in production.
Christopher Flook, telecommunications lecturer and faculty advisor for the project, said they expect to release three end-products: a full-length documentary, a shorter version of the documentary and promotional pieces “designed to celebrate the university’s centennial.”
Depending on final edits, Flook said, the full documentary should be around an hour, the shorter film around 10 minutes and the promotional pieces 30 to 60 seconds.
Flook helped the team with research and writing over the summer and says the team should finish editing by spring break.
Historical research occurred over the summer and scripts were written for all three products. Flook said Dr. Bruce Geelhoed of the history department checked the scripts for accuracy.
Geelhoed is one of the authors of “Ball State University: An Interpretive History," originally published in 2001. Geelhoed said that he applauds the timeliness of the documentary, considering the school's changes since 2001 from the "spoken and the written" to the "visual and the digital."
“It’s a very worthwhile undertaking to have a documentary like this for the centennial,” said Geelhoed.
President Mearns was then sent final scripts for approval, which he granted for the production team.
Flook wants his students to have a good experience producing something valuable for the university and the community, as well as develop the skills necessary for future projects.
“When it is all said and done, I hope that the students’s work will have a lasting impact on the future of Ball State. I hope that we all will have a better understanding of Ball State’s evolution, but also a strong desire to make the next century even better,” Flook said.
John Osterhoudt, a senior theater directing and video production double major, is the director of the full-length film. He said working on this film has been different than anything he has done before.
“It’s really stretching my skills as a visual storyteller and how to work directly with my teammates in a technical way," he said. "Before, it’s always been story based, and it still is, but this is a lot more of a technical muscle flex that I have yet to do. It’s very collaborative."
Osterhoudt said he and his team are in the process of interviewing people. Interviewees include historians, old presidents and “a few alumni celebrities which aren’t official yet.”
A closed premiere of the film is planned for students and faculty sometime this spring.
Flook said there will be a big premiere that will be open to the public in either August, September or October of 2018. A live orchestra will play the score of the documentary as the film rolls, which will be produced by music media production students.