Baylor > Lariat Archives > News

Homecoming film takes viewers on 'significant journey'

Nov. 12, 1999


Entertainment writer

A beautifully filmed and directed documentary about Baylor, A Most Significant Journey, is a must see for this homecoming weekend. The film is set to play at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. today in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building. It runs approximately 38 minutes.

Filmed in high definition, A Most Significant Journey takes advantage of today's newest projection technology. Jones Concert Hall is equipped with two high-definition projectors that are worth nearly $250,000 together.

Produced by award-winning director Fred Miller, the documentary takes a day-by-day approach to showcasing the happenings before and during a Baylor Homecoming weekend. Fred Miller has received more than 75 international awards and has worked on films as significant as For All Mankind, a NASA film made in 1989.

Miller said he intended to make a portrait of Baylor while eliminating any unwarranted hype.

'The purpose is really to paint a beautiful portrait of Baylor,' Miller said. 'I wanted to make sure what you saw in the film is what you saw at Baylor. We tried to paint the picture without a lot of adjectives.'

The film technique was beautiful, and the colors were spectacular. The main focus of the cinematography was to show Baylor in a way to make the viewer feel present on campus, said Randall Dark, the director of cinematography for the film. Film 'doctoring' was only used to make transitions from scene to scene easy on the eye.

'I was trying to create the feeling that you are experiencing Baylor as if you were really there,' Dark said. 'I used a lot of natural light to accomplish this.'

The film followed the progress of the Kappa Sigma float as well as the Kappa Omega Tau Pigskin Revue routine. There were intimate interviews with students and faculty and exploration of specific programs and classes at Baylor.

Miller said the production costs were only about 20 percent that of a normal commercial production of this quality.

'Every time we would go to a shoot there would be volunteers,' Miller said. 'The volunteers were in place of the seasoned veterans who would usually be out there. Sometimes people would come out for an entire weekend and only bill for half a day.'

The production crew shot over 84 hours of footage. Much of that footage is in the hands of Baylor for future use, according to Kristen Cox, graduate from Baylor in 1994 and contributor to A Most Significant Journey.

The film only had slight organizational problems, which could confuse the viewer. The day-by-day framing method is interrupted several times by scenes of Diadeloso and other Baylor events. Without prior knowledge that these events happen outside of homecoming week, the viewer could be confused.

After the showings this weekend, the film will go on a nationwide tour with Baylor's President Robert B.Sloan Jr. It will travel as far west as Los Angeles and as far east as Washington, D.C. The tour will take place over the rest of this fall and into next spring. Also, many high definition TV licensed stations will air the documentary as part of their regular programming.