R-G Photographers Part of Series on OPB

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), August 26, 2007 | Go to article overview

R-G Photographers Part of Series on OPB


Byline: Mark Baker The Register-Guard

If you're a fan of the photographs you regularly see in The Register-Guard, then you might want to catch a new documentary on Oregon Public Broadcasting Monday to see just what - and who - is behind the process of getting them into the newspaper.

"Making Pictures," directed and produced by Daniel Miller, an assistant professor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, is an inside look at the newspaper's small staff of nationally recognized photojournalists, and the role they play in the community.

"I think primarily what the film lends, is that idea of community," says Miller, who began the project in 2003 with UO students in his advanced documentary filmmaking class. "And how local journalists cover events that national journalists can't."

The film is one of several documentaries - including four short films by UO students in the Oregon Documentary Project - that air this week on OPB's "Oregon Lens" series, which kicks off its ninth season Monday at 10 p.m.

The Oregon Documentary Project was created in 1996 when OPB proposed that UO video production students produce short historical documentaries for the state's public broadcasting station. Miller, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who was then a visiting professor at the UO, developed the class that has created about 50 student-produced documentaries for OPB. Several have won regional Emmy awards, and a few have won national collegiate filmmaking awards.

Students in the class produce 6- to 10-minute films on the people, places and issues that have made Oregon unique throughout its history.

Airing on "Oregon Lens" Tuesday at 10 p.m. are three short films produced by UO students of Miller's: "Vanport: Oregon's Lost City," "What About Us? The Children of Incarcerated Parents Project," and "Deceptions of Truth: The Major Lee Morehouse Collection."

Airing Wednesday is another short film by UO students: "No Boundaries: Barbed Wire and the Steens Wilderness."

The "Vanport" film is particularly poignant, Miller says. "One of the great things about that film is it focuses on diversity issues," he says.

With a mostly African-American population of about 50,000, Vanport was Oregon's second-largest city when it was destroyed by a flood in a matter of a few hours on May 30, 1948. Its residents mostly came from the South and the industrial Northeast when the town was built in 1943 on the banks of the Columbia River to house workers in wartime shipyards.

Miller's other documentaries include "Fire in the Heartland: Kent State 1960-1980," the Walter Cronkite-narrated "Dream to Fly: Howard Hughes and the Flying Boat" and "The New House: Autzen Stadium." Miller has gotten to know The Register-Guard's photo staff over the years through class lectures and sending his students to the newspaper for research. …

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