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Capturing the true image of UC

One Day

Thinking you are special is one thing. Having an hour-long, prime-time television documentary about you proves it.

On Oct. 30, 2000, right between "Jeopardy" and "Monday Night Football," Cincinnati's ABC affiliate spent an hour showing the trials and triumphs of a typical day at the University of Cincinnati. (The show was also rebroadcast on Jan. 14.) Rather than highlighting strictly newsworthy events, the channel 9 TV special looked at real life ... and all that came with it.

That meant some students expressed admiration for their professors, while others poked fun at them in a good-natured way; one moment, students were epitomizing frustration, and the next, they proudly proclaimed their accomplishments. Ultimately, UC was portrayed at its best, and the realism lent credibility.

Eleven video crews had crisscrossed campus for 24 hours on May 31, from midnight to midnight, taping everything from surgery and dance classes to basketball practice and the Clifton bar scene. Producers Jim Friedman, DAAP '78, and Polly Carroll, MA (A&S) '98, chose about 20 subjects to film from more than 200 suggestions received from UC colleges and divisions.

In the end, 50 hours of video tape were edited down to a mere 45 minutes. Separate interviews were conducted for audio tracks, and local news anchor Clyde Gray narrated the finished product.

The documentary was the first in a series of seven "One Day" shows that WCPO plans to broadcast highlighting interesting institutions and people in Cincinnati, says series producer Friedman, head of the Blind Squirrels Production Group. Returning to campus to film was exciting for the industrial-design alumnus, though working on campus was not a new experience.

"I never really left," he says. "I've been on faculty. I received the outstanding DAAP alumnus award a few years ago, and I lecture whenever I can. I love my connection with the university. I just wish there was more of it."

Winner of at least 11 International Film Festival awards, a national Gabriel Award and 45 regional Emmys, Friedman says he and Carroll worked 44 hours straight surrounding the day of the shoot, preparing, supervising and wrapping up all the shooting. Although university photographers did not attempt to duplicate that dedication, "Horizons" magazine did have a crew of eight photographers following most of the video teams around on May 31.

No one was able to hang in for the entire 24 hours, but we did shoot sunrise, sunset and 1,500 exposures in between. On the following pages, we share a few of our favorites.

 "One Day" photo gallery


Read more about producers Jim Friedman and Polly Carroll