BACK ON THE MISSISSIPPI
...............................BOTM Web Site
Fundamental You 30 second promo
Fundamental You 90 second promo
Fundamental You YouTube clip
My first TV work was in 1971 at a cable outfit owned by Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph (yes that was its name) in Nebraska. This was before telephone companies were prohibited from owning cable operations, and way before they were allowed once again to own them. Think of it as somewhat after the pony express.
Since those old times when I pointed at one of two cameras while floor directing a real estate program, and keeping all of the names of the puppets straight while booth announcing for a kiddy show, I was in and out of TV production work.
In addition to a handful of television commercials, I produced a cool little segment about one of the last great lumberjacks of the early 20th century, Cecil Weingarden, for a classroom program called Minnesota Living History. It was picked up by Twin Cities Public Television (TPT). That opened the door to more work for with TPT, including the revolutionary new idea of providing program transcripts for their Almanac show in 1987.
But the real fun began in 1994, when I sold my Internet business to my partners and dropped out to raise our two kids. Kathy and I were together for 17 years before our son was born. Our two 17-year-old cats were quite confused. By 1994, we had two cats, two kids, two careers, and too much trouble. So I did a John Lennon.
As part of our deal to make me First Line of Family Defense (i.e., be available for a sick kid), I took a yearly week off by myself to do whatever I wanted. Mostly, I drove around, heading in whichever direction the car took me.
When Will and Inga started school, I wrote some fiction, set up some Web sites, and traveled some more. I wanted to re-establish myself as a creative resource.
The result was Back On The Mississippi, a program I wrote and produced that was seen on PBS stations all across the country. Click the link on the left to see more about BOTM, including a clip from the show.
BOTM had "exceptionally strong" ratings (according to TPT Executive Producer Bill Hanley), with an average of 2.1 (5 share), or over 100,000 homes in the Twin Cities metro area. PBS stations in other locations -- over 30 markets across the country -- reported similar viewership.
More recently I wrote, directed and co-produced The Fundamental You, a feature-length video based on the business book Will Work For Fun (John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2008) by Alan R. Bechtold of the BBS Press Service, Inc. There are links to two promotional Web sites for the movie at the left, plus a link to the YouTube clip.
For several years I have been researching, writing and gathering funding for a program called Museums of Minnesota that I hope to debut in 2011. It is being produced in conjunction with TPT, and aspires to share info -- on TV and online -- about small and unusual museums in the North Star State. A Web site is under development; check back periodically to view it.
Museums of Minnesota is definitely the closest thing to my heart (other than my family and cats, of course). With any luck, it will go beyond traditional television and help develop new forms of digital media. A couple of underwriters have already signed on. It's a non-for-profit venture, so let me know if you're interested in getting a tax break while spreading the word on our great northern culture.