Posts tagged ‘Penn State Public Broadcasting’

‘Amy’s Story’ to be Told in New York

Deirdri-Fishel

Joe Myers ’98 and his colleagues in Penn State Public Broadcasting must be thrilled with the attention that their 2010 documentary, Telling Amy’s Story, is getting. The film, which Myers directed, has already aired on more than two hundred PBS stations nationwide, and tomorrow night it will be screened in New York City for the first time—with Meredith Vieira hosting the event.

Telling Amy’s Story is the sobering true story of a State College woman, Amy Homan McGee ’91a, who was trapped in an abusive relationship—and who was eventually shot to death by her husband. Vince McGee was convicted of first-degree murder and is now serving a life sentence.

In the film, police detective Deirdri Fishel (pictured above) recounts Amy’s tale, and those who knew Amy—her mother, her coworkers, a police sergeant, and others—talk about the warning signs they saw in Amy’s relationship with Vince. Filmmaker Myers also scored a coup when he persuaded actress Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU to speak at the beginning and end of the documentary.

The New York screening on Tuesday night comes on the eve of a national event called “It’s Time to Talk Day,” which focuses on raising awareness about domestic violence.

Penn State has an extensive website devoted to Telling Amy’s Story, including a trailer you can watch and information on how to purchase the film. The hope is that civic groups, domestic-violence programs, employers, and others throughout the country will take advantage of the opportunity to learn from Amy’s tragedy.

We’ve got a story by Vicki Glembocki ’93, ’02g about the making of Telling Amy’s Story forthcoming in our January-February issue.

Tina Hay, editor

December 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm 1 comment

‘Amy’s Story’ Still Being Told

Every month or so, our staff meets to kick around story ideas for upcoming issues. And from the very first meeting I attended after I started here in February 2009, one of the items that repeatedly came up was a documentary titled Telling Amy’s Story.

It tells the story of Amy Homan McGee ’91a, who was murdered by her husband in their State College home. My colleagues had seen it in a division meeting well before I started here, and they kept talking about how powerful it was. I didn’t doubt them, but I wasn’t exactly sure what they meant. All domestic violence stories, I thought, are chilling. I didn’t see how this would be much different.

Then we got a copy of the documentary, and I took it home to watch one night.

Wow.

Telling Amy’s Story is the story of Amy McGee, of course. But it’s also the story of State College police detective Deirdri Fishel, who was part of a committee that reviewed homicides to see if anything could have prevented the crimes. She spent months making a timeline with everything that had happened to McGee over the previous decade. Then, angry at (more…)

October 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm 1 comment

‘Telling Amy’s Story’ Comes to PBS

About a year ago, those of us who work in development and alumni relations at Penn State had a chance to watch a film about a domestic-violence case here in Centre County that led to tragedy: the wife dead, and the husband charged with murdering her. It was a spellbinding and sobering film, tracing the way the alleged harassment and violence escalated over time, and how the woman’s coworkers in retrospect might have been able to see what was coming. (I think that’s why it was shown to us—to raise our awareness and help us be more alert to the signs whenever a coworker might be at similar risk.)

When the film ended, the room was silent; we all just sat there absorbing what we had seen. And one of my first thoughts was, “Wow, we missed a chance to do a great story for the magazine.” I figured that since the movie was finished and already being used in seminars like the one we had just experienced, we were too late to get anything into The Penn Stater.

Now, more than a year later, I’ve just found out that the film is taking on a new life—and this time, we hope to cover it. Joe Myers ’98, creative director at Penn State Public Broadcasting and the film’s producer/director, apparently has reworked the documentary since last we saw it, and tonight, Telling Amy’s Story has its premiere at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Starting June 1, it will be seen on many PBS stations nationwide.

Telling Amy’s Story now features actress Mariska Hargitay (detective Olivia Benson on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), who not only appears in the film but will speak at the premiere tonight in Washington. Hargitay is founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, which seeks to “heal, educate, and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.”

Telling Amy’s Story has an impressive website with a trailer for the documentary as well as resources to help prevent domestic violence; the film also has a Facebook page.

Meanwhile, we’ve assigned a feature story on the film, and the story behind it, to one of our favorite freelance writers. Because of the magazine’s lead time, the soonest it can run is our September-October issue, but we suspect that Telling Amy’s Story will still have legs (as they say) by then. And, needless to say, the problem of domestic violence is not likely to go away anytime soon.

Tina Hay, editor

May 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm 2 comments

Nittany Lion Documentary Makes Debut

As if the super-cool ESPN Magazine feature on the Nittany Lion weren’t enough, here comes another in-depth look at the mascot, Heart of the Lion. The documentary, which will premiere at 8 tonight on WPSU (Channel 3 in State College), traces the mascot’s history back to 1939 and follows eight students as they try out for the role. Jerry Sawyer, who produced the documentary for Penn State Public Broadcasting, says in this media release, “It was such a great experience to work on putting this show together, and a real treat to meet 15 of the former mascots and see how very humble and Penn State proud they all still are.”

The Alumni Association was the lead sponsor for the production of Heart of the Lion. If you miss the show tonight, the documentary will air again throughout the winter. Check your local listings for more information.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

December 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm Leave a comment


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