This year the Student Documentary Unit at the University of Montana Radio-Television Department and School of Journalism turned 25. It is now at the point where it is older that many of the students actually taking the class! When I was in school, I saw the student doc unit as the prize for working really really hard on news packages for 3 years.
When it was our turn, my class made “Beyond the Myths: Growing up in Montana” (aka Monteentana). It was a tough semester and I pretty much lived in the edit bay where I worked on the opening and segment-introducing graphics for our film as well as two segments “Jessika” and “Hana”. Fun Fact: our program’s editing studio was in the basement of an 80-year-old house, 530 Eddy, that used to live on campus. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything though, some of my best memories from college happened in that basement.
When all was done, Beyond the Myths aired a few times state-wide on PBS, was named the National Winner in “Television In Depth Reporting” from the Society of Professional Journalists and won “Best Student Long Form Documentary” from the Broadcast Education Association.
I’m so happy the doc unit continues to go strong, it was such a fantastic opportunity and I hope it remains so for at least another 25 years! A piece of the animated opener I created for my class’ documentary (and a few of my friends!) can be seen in the program’s 25th Anniversary video below.
If you’d like more information on the project please visit the University of Montana School of Journalism.
You can watch all of Beyond the Myths at Montana PBS or right here: