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Distinctive statues go to TCU students.

By Mark Wright

Lone Star Emmys were awarded in November to recent RTVF department graduates for documentaries they produced and directed while students at TCU. The films, Regeneration and Detached, delve into the personal family struggles of the documentaries' producers.

"I can't begin to express the significance of these awards not only for the students who won, but also for TCU," said Greg Mansur '04 (MFA), RTVF instructor who teaches the documentary class. "This was a very tough competition and our students were competing against colleges and universities across the state."

Because many students think documentaries are boring, Mansur encourages students to use their own lives as the backdrop for their first films.

"Students inventory their lives to discover what they know and don't know about themselves. The class is as much a search for personal identity as it is discovering what they know. One of their first projects is to write a paper about their family, and see if a family drama shaped them," said Mansur.
The films delve into the personal family struggles of the documentaries' producers.

Regeneration, which was produced by Chris Greer '04 and directed by Justin "Red" Sanders '04, is the story of Greer's teen-age sister who was diagnosed with macular degeneration at 17 and told that she would be legally blind in six months. The 23-minute documentary explores the effect this news had on the family and follows the sister as she travels to New York to take what could be her last look at Manhattan.

Detached is Chris St. Pierre's '04 story of his younger adopted brother whose disabilities served as a source of stress and joy in the family. Directed by Laura Pici '05, the 45-minute documentary contains family videos showing the younger brother's self-destructive habits, interviews with family members and a reunion between the adopted brother and other family members.

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Cinematographer brings experience to campus.

By Allison Speer '91

When your resume includes an Oscar nomination and films like Flyboys, students tend to listen. And so when Hollywood cinematographer and photography director Blake Evans '86 told a room of theater and RTVF students in November that it's "all about the reel," they grilled him about how to find success in the business.

Evan's brought his own reel to share, which included highlights from "Try Seventeen" and "3 Ninjas" as well as TV shows "The District" and "Jake in Progress."

He enjoyed being a director of photography because "you have fewer people putting their nose in your business." One key is to mold your style to the director's; in a television series, for example, he works with a different director for every episode.

"A director of photography should be the director's right-hand person," he said.

Evans moved to Los Angeles after graduation. During the second year of his master's program at the American Film Institute he garnered a 1990 Oscar nomination for his film project. One connection led to another opportunity, and his reel became increasingly impressive.

Evans' most recent gig took him away from the camera and in front of a computer as screenwriter for "Flyboys," a film about the country's first fighter pilots.

"I saw that some of the scripts I was reading were really bad, and it was driving me crazy. I thought, 'How hard can it be to write a script that makes sense?' "

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