How are we going to tackle describing the life of this media legend in 15 minutes? Good question.
We’re obviously not going to give you all of the nitty gritty and (quite frankly) awesome ideas we have… You’ll have to wait until April 11 to see that for yourself. We’ve worked tirelessly to create a plan and set it in motion. Here are our thoughts for the three-act film:
Imagine: Grant L. Price before the camera called his name. Who was he as a young child, a teenager? When did he develop a passion for journalism. Throughout, we hope to use photos and video from Price’s family, and we’re working to contact his family. This section will look to build the human side of Price that his coworkers and students may not have seen. We want to know more about the people he loved most dearly like his wife, children, grandchildren and best friends, to name some. He was obviously a very loved man. We want to know why. Price’s time growing up on the ranch in Nebraska taught him many skills like horseback riding, guitar and various craftsmanship skills. These not only furthered his motivations to work diligently, but gave pleasant memories to his children and grandchildren when they remember him; we hope to encapsulate these emotions to better understand Price.
This section will continue to build Grant’s life by telling the story of how he found his passion for journalism in high school speech competition. Once he chose to follow a career in broadcasting, Price left to attend college in Washington D.C. However, his time would be cut short by the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States entering in World War II. Price chose to attend college closer to home anticipating to be drafted. Through an interview of someone (maybe a Wartburg faculty member) who was alive during these times, we will learn more about how impactful this was to life back in the United States and show how this will shape Price’s outlook upon his return home.
The primary focus of this act is to show the audience why Price became the legend he now is in the Iowa broadcasting community. Price began work in broadcasting at a time when radio was the largest form of mass communication and television was only a novelty. As he continued work, television news started to grow exponentially in popularity and availability throughout the United States. As Price saw a big shift in broadcasting on the horizon, he transitioned into television and radio broadcasting. It is in this realm that Price began to thrive. We will show how Price became a recognizable figure, earned respect and set a level of excellence that became standardized throughout the industry.
Price was also one of the leading voices in Iowa to push for legislation to allow cameras in the courtroom. Working with elected officials and other colleagues, he fought long and hard for the rights of journalists to report on important trials instead of having to rely on sketch artists for coverage. Eventually, he helped in creation of that legislation and was able to report on the first case in Iowa to allow cameras. We will use shots from the archives to showcase this camera in the courtroom case.
The documentary will conclude with Price’s time spent at Wartburg College and how his impact has affected the lives of his students and journalism across the nation. Price came out of retirement to teach communication arts at Wartburg College in 1990, and loved the opportunity to give back and teach future journalists. Professor Cliff Brockman said this was “one of his greatest joys of his life” (2018). Students raved about his hands-on style of teaching and guiding to the best practices of the industry. Interviews with his students will help to share some personal details about what it was like to see Price in the classroom. Upon retiring he not only left behind a donation of $2 million for the Department of Journalism and Communication, but created and helped operate the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting, which is housed at Wartburg College. The importance of this donation will be shown with modern footage of the department today with its students and student workers in Knight Vision, Cedar Valley Today, KWAR and the Trumpet.
This draws us back to the main point of why Grant Price is seen as a legend. He gave everything he had to journalism and those involved in it. Every moment of his life since he found his calling was focused on his craft, and he achieved nothing short of excellence.
What’d you think? This is just the bare bones. If you think we left anything out, don’t hesitate to reach out to us — we only know what we know at this point!