Professor of Film Production
12 years at KU
Expertise: Audio Production, Documentary, Narrative
Projects: "The Listeners", "Garden City"
Professor Hurst is an accomplished production professor and filmmaker, more recently concentrating on documentary work. Past projects have included audio design and sound surpervision on "The Only Good Indian", "Destination: Planet Negro" and "Fall From Grace" as well has museum installations at the African Burial Ground National Monument in Manhattan, NY and The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC. More recently he has directed and produced "The Listeners", a feature length documentary exploring suicide hotlines and the volunteers who answer calls. It is currently being distributed by Kino Lorber Films.
"Our faculty and students are making connections with other schools and departments, which is also enriching the life of the department for everyone."
What do you teach?
I teach filmmaking courses mostly - Sound Design, Post Production, Documentary and Fiction production.
What are some of the things that excite you about the Film Department and KU in general?
Well, our new facilities are pretty great! Really first class. I think that’s bringing a lot of energy to the program and attracting a lot of positive attention and new majors. Our faculty and students are making connections with other schools and departments, which is also enriching the life of the department for everyone.
What’s your passion?
Well, making films is no. 1 – filming, editing, sound mixing – all of it. Probably travel and cycling are next.
What are you currently working on?
I’m making a documentary about Garden City, Kansas, which is located in the extreme Southeast corner of the state. It’s a small city with a long history of immigration and is one of the most diverse cities of its size in the US. For instance, there are something like 35 languages spoken in the public schools.
How did you first get involved in film?
I took a film class in high school. At that time we shot 8mm Kodak Ektachrome film. In college I was a French major and switched to Cinema hallway through. It was all celluloid and analog when I started college – 16mm film, 2-inch (24-track) audio tape, and Betacam video.
What’s the best way for students to get involved in Film and Media Studies?
There are lots of ways – taking courses, of course - but also one can get involved with Filmworks, which is open to any undergraduate; by attending screenings and events sponsored by the department; and even acting in or crewing on student productions. There are a lot of productions going on in any given semester.