bdj - and one more note, this was not a "final authority" documentary,
or a "final word", this documentary was made to help preserve the memory
and efforts of Judge and Scott Whitaker, to get the dialogue going again, to
re-call them into our remembrance, and celebrate the lives and legacy they left.
So many unsung heroes in this history and in this documentary. with every effort
made, they're always be critics and we appreciate the feedback thanks, tom
bdj - Many people who had worked with Judge, who we wanted to interview, felt it
was too tender of an experience for them to go back and recount, so they
provided photos and stories as well. The reality we also faced was, thousands
could've been interviewed, and with the films they all worked on, the lack
of history that was preserved, and some that still does, we fought and did the
best we could, though it's not a 5 hour film. bdj - our apologies
bdj, You are correct, your father was not approached, not on purpose, but to be
frank we had over 100 pole that we could have interviewed for this documentary,
and because of the small budget and time-frame, we interviewed 17 people in
three days. We also spent weeks working with Judge's family directly, who
provided photos, stories, and more "in depth" stories and direction for
us to go in the documentary. We also interviewed the "first" person
Judge hired, to help, Wally Barrus, back in 1953, when he arrived in Utah, who
provided many first projects accounts for us. Doug was hired a few years later,
and his service, as well as the services rendered of countless others, will
never be forgotten.
You are correct about my father's age, he just turned 80 this year. He is
very much alive, of very sound mind and not difficult to find. I know that Mr.
Laughlin did not approach my father because my father told me so when I asked
him last night.
Bdj,I'm just curious how you know for certain that Mr. Laughlin never
approached you father? I don't know exactly how old you father is, but he
is almost certainly in his 80s. It wouldn't be unthinkable that he was in
his 90s or triple digits. Might it be that your father turned him down and
forgot about it? I can think of numerous other scenarios where you might just
not know the details. Your posting is so strident and hostile in tone that
I'm wondering why you are so sure and what the backgroudn might be for you
feeling that way.
Although I have not yet seen the documentary, I cannot say enough good about
those who worked at the BYU Motion Picture Studio. They are deserving of any
good said about them. Having worked there in the 1970s, I was privileged to
know and rub shoulders with these people. They were humble, talented, and
devoted people. It was a honor to know and work with them. I look forward to
seeing this movie. As mentioned above, by bdj, Douglas Johnson, Frank Wise,
Robert Stum, Scott Whitaker, Irwin Goodman, and others like Lynn Bishop, Irene
Fuja, Gary Kapp (and too many others to mention), were part of this wonderful
legacy. I hope that someday an in depth history might be written of these
dedicated church motion picture pioneers.
I am highly skeptical that this documentary will accurately depict the hard work
and creative adventures of those founding members of the BYU Motion Picture
Studio. I say this because the filmmaker, Thomas Laughlin never approached one
of the key veterans of the Judge Whitaker era to give his voice to the film, and
that would be my Father, Douglas Johnson.My Father, was one of the
first employees that Judge Whitaker hired in 1960, others included Frank Wise,
Robert Stum, Scott Whitaker (Judge's brother) and Irwin Goodman.My Father's job in those first 10 years (1960's) was to head up the
Art Department at the Studio and became one of the major individual creative
forces that was enlisted in by Judge Whitaker, and was a great influence in
crafting that early content.Any telling of the history of the BYU
Motion Picture Studio without the input of my Father, Douglas Johnson, would be
a biased, incomplete history at best and disingenuous propaganda at worst.I would suggest that Thomas Laughlin look past those who might
manipulate history so easily. It is a great history and an inspired story to
hear, the complete telling unfortunately, still seems to elude us.
I have a "double-sided" Question: Maybe someone knows the answer??This article referred to the "BYU Motion Picture Studio".This studio is now known as the "LDS Motion Picture Studio".When the "LDS Radio Network" was transferred from Bonneville
Internationalto BYU, it's name was Changed to the "BYU Radio
Network". The word "network"has since been dropped and so has
the "LDS flavored" Gospel Music in favor of"secular type"
talking type radio. It still appears at channel 980 on the Dish Network,
in the middle of all the Music/audio only channels on the satellite service.. The "Music" channel is missed. Not too many places to find
the "softer sounding" LDS Gospel type Music.The
Question is: Why did the Motion Picture Studio Flip its name from "BYU"
to "LDS"and the Radio service Flip its name from "LDS" to
"BYU"??So much Flip/Flopping.
I, too, enjoyed many of those pioneer films and reveled in the atmosphere of my
plains ancestors, thanks to the dedication of these professionals.I
do wish, however, that more attention would be paid to the script content and
factual details. There still remains to be made a film of accuracy on the
complete life of Joseph Smith- sans the emotional violins and with the plural
wives. I'm thinking sooner than later, lest Trey Parker and Matt Stone
beat you to it...
I think the original suggestion that Dutcher was a pioneer in film was
sarcastic. Dutcher's ego inflated to epic proportions after the success of
his first work, and after making a number of lds films that were too
"worldly" for LDS sensibilities he went off into obscurity to pursue
nonLDS filmmaking. This article was interesting, though. I always
loved "Man's Search for Happiness", as a kid, it always made me
think--especially when the girl drops that doll and breaks it. When
I saw that that the filmmaker came from Disney, I thought perhaps it was going
to refer to Don Bluth. Interesting that Whitaker was in with Disney and
didn't get a chance to experience the Booming financial success that came
from it. It seems like a lot of big LDS families and folks have stories like
that... starting with the whole California Gold rush... :)
Dixie - Richard Dutcher blew the typical "LDS film" onto the big screen,
but I remember seeing "Pioneers In Petticoats", and "Johnnie
Lingo" long before "Gods Army". Very timeless films with timeless
messages (all respect to Dutcher, his work is great!!)
is this going to be on byutv? That was an interesting story.
Wait, I thought Richard Dutcher was the father of Mormon cinema.