RICE Day hype

By Madison Bloker

Wow! What a last couple of weeks it has been. The team is so ready for next Thursday! We have put in a lot of hours (and delirious nights in the edit suites) this whole semester, and it totally shows. We spent this past week inputting Laurie’s interview we got over the weekend in Minnesota and rearranging our story a little after the comments we got from rough cuts.

From the project manager standpoint, I think it has been an absolutely blast working with the team and telling the story of a man who had such an impact on so many people. Of course there have been some ups, downs and frustrating moments, but overall, I am so very proud of my team. There are a lot of small details that needed to be covered with this project all semester long (I mean, our binder is thicker than a dictionary), but I felt that my team was willing to step up when it was needed, and everyone honestly had great attitudes.

I am really anxious for next Thursday and cannot wait to sit alongside my team members in Neumann Auditorium as we watch our prized little baby get played for an audience to see. I’m excited to smile and maybe even cry at our creation while also imitating Eric Hanson’s “LOVE” bit and Jim Waterbury’s “and he did…” (my team knows what I’m talking about). Thursday will be a special day, and we’ll get to end it with fellowship and food, so that’s pretty cool too.

A big thanks to my team this semester for doing their best. I’m very proud of the work we put in, and I really hope that everyone who has been touched by Grant Price will see this documentary we’ve created and feel like a little bit of him is still here.

Weekly Wednesday Update

By Katie Kreis

Hello, everyone! I’m going to be concise here, because we have a lot of work to do.

This last weekend we finished up interviewing up in St. Paul with Grant’s older daughter, Laurie, her husband and their daughter.

A particularly heartwarming moment for me was showing them the rough draft. We weren’t completely proud of this draft, but seeing them emotional was a nice reminder that this documentary is more than b-roll, audio bites and blog posts. We now fully understand the impact that Grant had on every person he encountered and are under a large amount of pressure to get it right. The standard is set, and we are excited to exceed it.

Other than that, we’ve spent many hours each night working through edits. We invited two professors to review our progress so far, so stay tuned!

The interview

By Jon Mohwinkle


Arguably the biggest aspect of our documentary process has been interviewing people. We interviewed over 20 people for this project and, though we didn’t use every single one, all were valuable in some way. Doing the interviews was quite a process, from the preparation to the travel and the execution of the interview itself.

I’m going to tell you about the behind the scenes process of setting up for the interviews. First, we find a spot within our interview location to set up. We usually have three cameras for each interview, two light sets and a boom mic. This requires about a 30-minute window to set up, tweak everything and get the interviewee in place to start the interview. We certainly have cut down the time it takes to set up as we’ve gone on through the weeks.

We typically haven’t had every group member at every interview, due to various circumstances. It wouldn’t make sense to have to take multiple vehicles on our longer trips. However, when we had on-campus interviews, usually all seven of us were present.

We finally completed our final interviews this past weekend and we hope to never enter our equipment room again. Our travels have taken us to the Wartburg library, the Wartburg DJC, Waterloo, Marion, Iowa City, Des Moines and St. Paul. I think it’s safe to say we’re ready to stick around here a little more to get this thing done.

Weekly Wednesday Update

By Katie Kreis

Y’all, we survived rough cuts. This means that we had a first, complete draft of “Grant Price: Setting the Standard" to present to the faculty and staff of the Department of Journalism & Communication and the Marketing & Communication videographer last Thursday. We were all well-aware of the horror stories of rough cuts from previous years, which resulted in a lot of crying, totally reshooting interviews and completely upheaving storylines. Thankfully, we had prepared for what was to come. We knew that we would have to work on color correction, sound, transitions, b-roll and some minor story/narration incongruences — these were all pointed out to us by the review board. Something I found reassuring is that everyone said we are on the right track. We have about 80 percent of the documentary completed, so we’re ready to put our noses to the grindstone and bust out an awesome final cut in just under two weeks.

While rough cuts weren’t too emotionally draining, the night before was. Robby and Tom stayed in the edit bay overnight nursing an update, then a bug on the computer all of our footage was on. Thankfully, they were able to resolve the issue in the wee hours of the morning and add some more elements we’d planned on including that night. Thursday evening concluded in a nap by Robby, followed by a drink with the whole team — we thought we deserved it.

Friday, I presented on the purpose and results of our Facebook polls. Go check them out (click here)! Those informed us on the general opinions on legacy versus new media and the First Amendment.

To keep us sane, we took the rest of the weekend off. Now, we’re working more consistently and diligently than ever. We are incredibly excited to follow this journey through!

Official Trailer

By Katie Kreis

Flash Films will premiere the documentary ‘Grant Price: Setting the Standard’ on Thursday, April 11, at 3 p.m., in Neumann Auditorium at Wartburg College. Admission is free.

For more information, click here.

The 15-minute film showcases the legacy that Grant Price left on journalism in Iowa and across the nation. Price led the industry of broadcast journalism in its transition from radio to television. Price began his career at WMT-TV in Cedar Rapids, now KGAN, and spent 20 years as news director at KWWL. Civically, he helped put cameras in Iowa courtrooms and fought for First Amendment rights. Meanwhile, Price served as a mentor to countless broadcast journalists. After retiring from the newsroom, he taught and advised in the communication arts department at Wartburg College and assisted in the founding of the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting. Price died in 2008. The standard he set for balance between the work and home inspired many who knew him. Generations of journalists, students and citizens near and far have benefited from his efforts.

“Simply put, the world is a better place because Grant Price was in it,” said Jeff Kennedy, former KWWL-TV meteorologist. “He really impacted me. He showed me how to be a professional and gave me my chance when nobody else would. 

The documentary premiere is a component of Research, Internship and Creative Endeavor (RICE) Day at Wartburg College.

“Wartburg dedicates a day each year to recognize student achievements and celebrate excellence in and out of the classroom,” said Janeen Stewart, executive administrator for the President’s Office and RICE Day coordinator. “By showcasing a variety of learning, RICE Day tells the story of all the great work that happens on campus every day. It also lifts up the importance of deep and integrative learning and mentoring relationships, both of which are important goals in the college’s strategic plan. The entire campus community, parents and families, and many others come together to enjoy and celebrate outstanding student work.”

Information about RICE Day activities can be found at www.wartburg.edu/rice/.

Following ‘Grant Price: Setting the Standard’ at 3:30 p.m. is another capstone documentary, ‘Not So Fragile,’ which tells the story of fragile-x syndrome in the life of Aaron Haugen.

For more information on production, follow Flash Films on Facebook. For more information on the documentary premiere, contact Madison Bloker at madisonbloker@gmail.com or 319-939-1557.

Wartburg, a four-year liberal arts college internationally recognized for community engagement, enrolls 1,498 students. Wartburg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is named after the castle in Germany where Martin Luther took refuge disguised as a knight during the stormy days of the Reformation while translating the Bible from Greek into German.

Weekly Wednesday Update

By Jon Mohwinkle

What a wild past week this has been. Our rough cut is due tomorrow, so you can imagine what things have been like. We did one interview last week with Jim Ohmstede, and then started the process of getting everything ready for our rough cut.

Here’s a synopsis of everything that went into our rough cut. We found all relevant content from our interviews and placed it all into a timeline on Adobe Premiere Pro. We took all our logged interviews and made a document for a script. Then we cut things out of the script, as our original timeline was nearly 40 minutes. The final documentary is only supposed to be 10 to 15 minutes, so cutting content out was a very time-consuming process. Some things were fairly easy drops in the beginning of the process, but it became tougher and tougher as we kept shrinking it down. It’s hard to be concise with a topic like ours, but that is one of the learning outcomes of this project. We finally have our timeline down to the 15 minute mark and we’re ready to present our rough cut to our department’s faculty.

A depiction of the process (with a still of Jim Waterbury that accurately describes how we feel at this point in the process.

A depiction of the process (with a still of Jim Waterbury that accurately describes how we feel at this point in the process.

When we finally viewed the documentary after we got it down to time, we were so amazed by what we had accomplished. The introduction was even enough to bring out Katie’s emotional side. (I say this with her permission and suggestion.)

This has been a long process, and we’ve met more often as a group than ever before in this entire documentary process. It has involved a lot of late nights in the McElroy Center, but that’s what Capstone is all about. In the past week, this project has literally been a full-time job. Over the course of four days, we’ve spent an estimated 30 hours working on this thing.

We have come SO far since we began this process back in January. We only have a few more weeks to go, and we’re extremely excited to finish our product.

One Community

By Katie Kreis

Beginning this filmmaking process, we wanted to identify the group of people who were influenced by Grant L. Price as a father, grandpa, colleague, journalist, leader, friend, mentor, etc. Our thinking is that everyone should care about Price’s story. He influenced the whole nation, really, and that must be celebrated.

We’ve identified the people who should care about Price’s legacy:

  • Journalists and broadcasters — He set a standard of journalistic integrity since before the time of television and the early days of broadcast media.

  • Anyone working within the media industry — The willingness to evolve with new technologies while maintaining the same values throughout it all showed that embracing change can be a good thing.

  • First Amendment supporters — Basically, everyone should care for this reason alone. Grant Price fought for basic rights that have allowed us to see a more transparent government, like lobbying for cameras in the courtroom.

  • Those in leadership or management roles — Price’s philosophies and ways of operating can transcend the journalism world.

  • Educators — He taught us that anyone can be a teacher, mentor or advisor in any field they’re part of, even outside of the classroom.

  • Friend — Price held onto relationships he made in every corner of his life, welcoming students into his family and staying in contact with people whose paths diverged from his own.

  • Families — From what his grandkids said, Price wasn’t a newsman; he was Grandpa and he was very good in that role, too.

Every single role that Price held was not taken for granted. He lived life to the fullest and, though it is cliche, it sounds like he actually did. We hope we are half of the person Grant Price was. We are one community, united in the identities held and standards set by this broadcast legend.

Jon: The voice of Flash

By Katie Kreis


KATIE: What do you want to be when you grow up?
JON: Let’s see. A sports journalist of some sort. Or at least play-by play.

What do you love about your industry?
Oo. Good question. Bringing life to what I’m covering, painting a picture for the listeners and telling a story for the viewers. It’s all about the storytelling.

Did you know that your voice is as smooth as butter?
I’ve heard, yes.

What are you most excited for at this point in our documentary?
*in the butter voice*
Just sharing the legacy of Grant Price with people who never got to meet him. At this point in time, journalistic integrity seems to be less of a priority, so that’s something that, I think, needs to be brought back.

Weekly Wednesday Update

By Ian Coon

In this team, we don’t take breaks.  

Much of our team wasn’t resting over winter break, and I can’t say I’m surprised! Madison led a service trip to Arkansas, I was traveling for my nonprofit work to Colorado and Florida, Kailee was with the softball team in Florida, Katie ventured up north to Minnesota and Robby found his way over to Wisconsin.  

Even since we’ve been back from break for only 72 hours, it’s been a wild time!

  • Transcribed verbatim 16 audio interviews with family, coworkers and industry professionals

  • Pulled quotes and content from all 16 interviews to put together acts I and II of the film

  • Created a marketing plan (Mmmhmm, that’s right, just for all of y’all reading this. Because we love ya.)

  • Wrote a press release for RICE Day

  • Planning the spring celebration on April 11

  • Designed both the movie poster and viewing invitation rough drafts

  • Learned the ins and outs of dining etiquette (chewing with your mouth closed simply won’t cut it these days)

Overall, the team has been able to hit the ground running and dive into all of the content we spent the first half of the semester gathering. This is the fun stuff — the time to break it or make it for telling the story of Grant Price accurately. You’ll see, all in good time.

One Month Out

By Madison Bloker

Madison Bloker here - otherwise known as the project manager for Flash Films! Our team is just getting back from break this week, so I’m sure we are all eager to get back at it and look at all the things each one of us has accomplished during our little time off. I spent the whole morning today pulling content for acts one and two for our film as well as piecing together all the pieces in our project binder (inserting our contracts, releases… all the fun stuff). The break was awesome, but I’m excited to GET BACK TO MY TEAM! I miss them and want to really rock these next couple of weeks!

Madison interviewing Dean Borg.

Madison interviewing Dean Borg.

There is a lot of editing ahead of us, which is really exciting but also sort of nerve-racking! Our group made a goal of having a rough cut done by this Thursday, March 14, so I’ll be excited to see what progress Robby has made on those edits over break.

We also have a couple more interviews these next couple of weeks that got rescheduled due to weather, so it’ll be fun to talk to some more people and keep our fire aflame until our big showing day on April 11. It’s been really fun as project manager to continue to light this fire under my team and keep them energized and excited for what’s to come.

As I was going through content today, I got excited about how lucky our team is to get to document such an impactful and talented man. It’s important that we get this documentary right, just like Grant Price always was in whatever he did. I’m excited to finally see our hard work with all these interviews get pieced together and tell the story of a man who truly set the standard in all facets of his life.

Robby: Behind the Scenes

By Katie Kreis

Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 1.37.51 PM.png

KATIE: Why filmmaking?
ROBBY: Hmm…*rests head on hand* Honestly why film feels like a kind of complex question. I don’t have any specific answer as to why filmmaking is the area for me. I just feel drawn to it. I know that I first recognized my love for filmmaking back when I first saw The Lord of the Rings. I hadn’t read the books or anything so watching this movie was my introduction to the series. I instantly fell in love. The score, the acting, the cinematography, the set pieces, script — everything. I was so drawn into the film that I still find something to enjoy each time I watch it. I think if I had to pick, this movie would be the kickstart to why I love filmmaking. I just want to tell stories to people that leave them feeling changed or having learned something from it.

Which area of film do you like best?
I think if I had to pick an area, I would say that I enjoy cinematography the best. There are so many functions that are moving all the time to make a film, but the cinematography is the defining point for how we view a film. If the visuals in a film are bad, people notice whether it is consciously or unconsciously. Regardless, when the camera shots look bad it creates a disjointed feeling between the story and the audience. However, when the cinematography is good and well thought out it can tell the entire story on its own. There is a scriptwriting saying that applies well to this idea: show don’t tell. Essentially you want to show people the story instead of having a character speak through the events or drama. I think this is such an important lesson and a perfect reason why I think cinematography can make or break a film.

What turns a good film into a great one?
I think what makes a film great is awareness of the entirety of the story. What I mean by this is that a film can become great if the team that is working on it treats every part with a tremendous amount of attention to detail and all of it works under the same idea of what the end product should look like — this can create a great film. A film with the best visuals is good, but what if the music doesn’t fit? What if the acting is bad? What if the story doesn’t make sense? One component can’t make a great film; it is when every component works together that it becomes an amazing piece of work.   

What excites you about this documentary?
What excites me about this documentary is to tell the story of someone who very clearly mattered to so many people. I think learning about Grant Price has impacted my life greatly so I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to work in a newsroom with him or sit in on one of his lectures. All of the interviews we have had so far have said nothing but the highest praises for him. He did so much with his life and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to know Grant like I have come to know him.

When you graduate in a few short months, what do you want to do?
Pay off my debt. I’m going to hopefully work in Madison, Wisconsin for a few years working on paying off college debt and gaining experience in the marketing field as a videographer. Eventually, I may want to continue my career in marketing but the idea right now is to work and then after a few years move out to New York to work in documentary films.

Weekly Wednesday Update

By Robby Newell

Hello the WorId!

It’s me, Robby! In case you didn’t remember, I am the lead editor for Flash Films. This week Wartburg is on break, which means Flash Films is working on-the-go until this next Monday (woooooooo). During this time though, I am working on the initial editing process for the film we are now calling, “Grant Price։ Setting the Standard.”

The beginning steps of the edit are very exciting. This is the phase where the film really starts to take shape and the story starts to come together with all of the other elements including b-roll like photos and video. Everyone in the group has worked incredibly hard to get to this point and now it’s time to bring it all together.

I personally am very excited to see how it all comes together. The interviews, b-roll filming and gathering of content have all been incredibly interesting and fun. It is evident that this documentary will mean a lot to many people. Whether it is the wonderful family or the devoted colleagues, there are so many people that will be excited to see this documentary. Hopefully Grant’s story and legacy will reach even more people and inspire them to live a life like his. A life of dedication to working hard, fighting for the truth, and caring for those family and friends in your life.

I think I can speak for my team when I say we all can’t wait to present this film and look forward to sharing it with the world.

Fly on the Courtroom Wall

By Jon Mohwinkle


The cameras in the courtroom controversy was a big topic in its day and one that Grant Price was instrumental in implementing. The rules concerning the use of cameras and other electronic media was and still are different in each state, but Iowa was one of the first states to allow it. Iowa was very progressive in this regard, as there were questions about how this might affect the proceedings in the courtroom. Some of the problems people saw with this topic mostly concerned the logistics of the operation — it wasn’t so much about privacy or confidentiality of the trials themselves. A loud shutter of cameras, bad courtroom lighting and underdressed camera operators were the main concerns.

May of 1979 was when it all began in Iowa. Chief Justice W. Ward Reynoldson appointed a committee to study whether or not Iowa should allow the use of cameras in its courtrooms. The main reason would be to inform the public and enhance the public’s understanding of judicial proceedings. That November, the Iowa Supreme Court agreed with the committee’s recommendation that cameras should be allowed in courtrooms. The ban was suspended and a one-year trial period began in January 1980.

Grant Price was the media coordinator of the first-ever trial under what was called Expanded Media Coverage. It was a fairly significant trial as well, because the defendant, Michael Earl Moses, was convicted of first degree murder in Black Hawk County. After experiencing success in the first year of the trial, the Iowa Supreme Court decided to extend the trial for another year. In December 1981, after the second year of the Expanded Media Coverage trial, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of the committee’s recommendation that laws should be permanently revised to allow for cameras in the courtroom. Just recently, in May 2014, the laws were amended slightly. This allowed for changing technologies and non-traditional media access to courtrooms.

While this is simply a timeline of events, it was much more important than just getting this mission accomplished for Grant Price. It was about providing transparency to people outside the trials. Price was an advocate for providing the truth, and nothing but the truth, in journalism — not only that, but the complete truth. A role model in this regard, he felt that it was only right to have cameras in Iowa’s courtrooms.

In the same way, it is our goal to provide great insight and an accurate description of the life and legacy of Grant Price.

The Iron Throne

Dr. Bill Withers

Dr. Bill Withers

By Katie Kreis

I love catching up with friends, professors and mentors, and am lucky to have found all three in Dr. Bill Withers, Professor Emeritus (a recent honor — congratulations!) of the Department of Journalism & Communication. Withers was a longtime friend of Grant and Fadra Price and held the first position of Grant L. Price Endowed Department Chair of the Department of Journalism & Communication. We current students only recognize Withers in either a Hawaiian or flannel shirt, depending on the season.

After taking a year of leave from Wartburg College to explore his ever-evolving passions, Withers will retire with 20 years of service to the students of Wartburg College. His next move is as Executive Minister at Lutheran Church of Hope in Des Moines.


KATIE: When did you hold the position of department chair?
WITHERS: I came to Wartburg in 1998 to be the department chair, a position I held for 12 years, three consecutive terms and I was the first to hold “The Price Chair” when it was first endowed and awarded.

What were your duties as chair?
My primary leadership focus was to attract and retain as many students as possible to a department that had gone through quite a few changes in the mid-1990s. In addition, the industry was changing dramatically at the same time. So, leading change, growing the department, attracting solid faculty and landing the very best students were where I spent most of my time and attention when not in the classroom with my own students. We grew to be the third-largest program on campus during that time.

“This pic is one of my favorites,” said Withers. “The day he was honored for part of his gift, back when they named me The Price Chair."

“This pic is one of my favorites,” said Withers. “The day he was honored for part of his gift, back when they named me The Price Chair."

Could you explain the establishment of the chair and how it became attributed to Price?
To Grant’s credit, he understood what it might take to secure the department and leave a legacy toward a more-than-sustainable future. Grant had been a good steward of his own financial matters and agreed to endow not only the chair, but scholarships. He was visionary.

What contributions did Price make to the department as its leader?
He and Sen. Liz Mathis were both instrumental in getting the department more firmly grounded as a pre-professional academic unit. Students would come in knowing they would be almost assured of landing a good job in the industry, while at the same time getting a solid liberal arts education.

What did it mean for you to sit in a position that has so much history and legacy attached to it?
I was honored, as I know Dr. Pier is today. It’s hard not to appreciate Grant’s media legend and legacy across the Midwest and how much of a pioneer he was. We became dear friends and I miss he and Fadra both — they folded my young family into theirs, and we have wonderful memories of those days. He even became friends with my parents.

“Pictured in the car are “Grant and my father, Bill Sr., and [my kids] Andrew and Emma,” said Withers. “I was with Fadra and Linda during this photo — Grant wanted to give the kids a ride, so he and my Dad did that.”

“Pictured in the car are “Grant and my father, Bill Sr., and [my kids] Andrew and Emma,” said Withers. “I was with Fadra and Linda during this photo — Grant wanted to give the kids a ride, so he and my Dad did that.”

I’m proud to have also been the professor and advisor of Grant’s granddaughter, Emily. Her brother Andrew was also in my office quite a bit at Wartburg. To know Grant and his family trusted their kids’ education to us was very special to me. Ironically, I worked on a project with Emily just a couple weeks ago as part of her own life of leadership leading a substantial foundation here in Iowa. It’s funny how those Price family connections have become *priceless,* even still today.

Kailee: Designated Designer

By Katie Kreis


Kailee O’Brien serves as the graphic designer for Flash Films. You may know her for her portfolio of awesome design work, but we also love Kailee for her obsessions with guacamole, Harry Potter and the service dog her family is training. Catch Kailee in the outfield playing softball for the Knights this spring.

KATIE: How did you get interested in design?
KAILEE: My senior year high school I was in a communication design class where we worked with the Adobe Suite programs on Macs that were the greatest computers ever. I just fell in love with it.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?
Ever? Hmm… Probably my senior design picture because it was so cool. We had to draw first then scan it in and create it. I can do that all now, but just the process was so much fun and there were so many small details to it.

What’s your favorite font?
Is it basic if I say Avenir or Helvetica Neue?

Do you have a favorite part of your role on Flash Films?
Getting to put everyone’s ideas into a final design.

What do you want to do when you grow up?
Rocket scientist… Just kidding — wrong major. *laughs* I want to be on a marketing team for an organization around college-aged kids.

Katie: Socializing

By Ian Coon


Have you meeeeett, Katie?
*Insert Ted Mosby gif here*

IAN: What do you do on the team?
KATIE: I’m the digital producer which means I run the website and social media streams. I kind of organize everyone related to content to push out to the public.

What are your hopes and dreams for the documentary?
*stares off at a majestic 45-degree angle thinking 100 years into the future*

After all of the interviews, my hope is that we do justice to Grant Price’s legacy by telling the right story of who this man was. I have a dream, that one day, this documentary will rise up…

But, for real, I dream that at RICE Day Grant’s family will come up to us and say thank you for what we’ve done. That’s the main goal. I also hope that other journalists and media professionals will be inspired by the work we’ve done in telling the tale of their industry.

Why social media?
*laughs with maniacal power*

Social media is wonderful! It allows us to reach a large audience, is free marketing, we can share the content from the website to an audience. It is super engaging to not only get the word out about the documentary but the principles behind the documentary that will never go away.


Katie (Kathryn on the birth certificate, you know) Kreis is a fourth-year student majoring in journalism and communication with a concentration in public relations and minors in Spanish, leadership and women’s studies.