Defending Nashville: The Story of Fort Negley, a video documentary produced entirely by Belmont journalism and music students, was the featured presentation at a June 18-20 Civil War symposium at the Fort Negley Visitors Center. Along with the general public, an audience of 135 historians from around the state viewed the 20-minute documentary, giving it high marks for its accuracy and creativity.
“It’s as good as many films that I’ve seen at visitors’ centers in other parks,” said Fort Negley archeologist and doctorial candidate Zada Law. “It’s clear that [the students] did their research.”
The Belmont student team, led by executive producer Melody Drushal and chief writer Erin Carson, also included journalism majors Dena Adams, Amber Garner, Cassidy Hodges and Savannah Packard. The students did all of the research, photography, interviewing, writing and editing in producing the documentary. Music major Tony Steiner, with the assistance of fellow music major Alejandro Medina, performed, composed and/or arranged all music used in the piece.
“I was so impressed in how these students went about doing their respective tasks,” said Fort Negley museum specialist Krista Castillo. “They were always prepared and always professional, and I was amazed at how quickly they grasped the subject and the concept.”
Defending Nashville: The Story of Fort Negley was the 2009 spring semester project for Media Studies instructor Stephan Foust’s Journalism Practicum II class. The Belmont student team partnered with Nashville Metro Parks and the Fort Negley Visitors Center for the project, in cooperation with Franklin’s Charge, the Williamson County historic preservation group that organized the June multi-site symposium.
The documentary can now be seen daily at Fort Negley Park. To see an excerpt of the documentary, visit the BelmontVision.com YouTube Web site.