Monday, December 29, 2014

Article in Corpus Christi Paper on TV Family

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times published an article on TV Family and Story of a Family today. The reporter (Erica Quiroz) interviewed me and Carrie Robertson Meyer.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Article in Port Aransas South Jetty

An article about TV Family was published in today's edition of the South Jetty, the newspaper in my hometown of Port Aransas, TX. Unfortunately, it's behind a pay wall for now. Hey, small town newspapers need to get paid!

Here's a photo of the article.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TV Family Outtake: Preserving Story of a Family

TV Family Outtake: How Ellen Preserved Story of a Family from Ethan Thompson on Vimeo.

In 1960, NBC gave the Robertsons a copy of Story of a Family on film. In this outtake from her interview for TV Family, Ellen explains how, when she worked at the Amarillo NBC affiliate in the 1980s, she and the crew there pieced the film together to convert it to video. This preserved the only complete copy of Story of a Family currently known to exist. The family was also given additional footage that was shot but not included in the broadcast.

Monday, December 15, 2014

TV Family featured on front page of TAMUCC web site

Just in time for the holidays, TV Family is featured on the front page of the Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi website.

Article on TV Family in Amarillo Globe-News

Documentary revisits Amarillo's Robertsons | Amarillo Globe-News

An excellent article has been published about TV Family, Story of a Family, and the Robertsons in the Amarillo paper. The author (Chip Chandler) interviewed me, Ellen, PJ, and Gini.

"Long before “Duck Dynasty” first squawked onto the TV landscape, another Robertson family closer to home had their lives turned into a television special."

UPDATE: Here's a scanned in copy of the article

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Recent Arrival

Real Mom Pauline Robertson introduces "recent arrival" Ellen Theresa to viewers at home.

Two TV Moms

This newspaper ad played up the juxtaposition of the "real" mom (Pauline Robertson) and the TV mom (Jane Wyatt of Father Knows Best)  in Story of a Family.


This is one of my favorite shots from Story of a Family. While R.L. is talking to the camera, a female shopper turns quickly to face the camera--as if caught by surprise.


TAMUCC has put together an excellent press release about TV Family and our fundraising drive.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Produced 50 years before “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “The Real Housewives,” and “Duck Dynasty,” America’s favorite reality TV family lived in Amarillo, Texas. 
Dr. Ethan Thompson, Associate Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, recently completed his first feature-length documentary, about the Robertsons, an everyday family who starred in the 1960 NBC special “Story of a Family.”


Monday, December 8, 2014

Recreating the Dust Bowl

TV Family Excerpt 3: Recreating the Dust Bowl from Ethan Thompson on Vimeo.

Fifty years before she appeared in Ken Burns' documentary The Dust Bowl, Pauline Durrett Robertson described what it was like to get caught in a storm for NBC's Story of a Family. In this excerpt from TV Family, we see part of that segment, and PJ Robertson Pierce explains how the NBC crew recreated the dust storm for the 1960 special.

Braniff airlines + conscripted child can't do this any more!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fund Raising Drive is On!

The campaign to raise funds to complete post-production on TV Family has officially started, and will last until December 18.

Check it out here.

You can also watch me explain the project in the video below.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

First Excerpt from TV Family

Here's a short excerpt from TV Family I'm releasing in preparation for a funding drive. This contextualizes Story of a Family in relation to postwar TV documentaries as well as contemporary family-reality programs.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Bag Full of Information and Memories

Ellen Robertson Green pulls Jane Wyatt's titlecard for Story of a Family from a bag containing the scrapbook and documents collected from the production by Pauline Robertson.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

TV Invades the Home

In this image from a reel of outtakes, Pauline Robertson gets ready to talk to host Jane Wyatt through her TV set.

Story of Family - Documentary - 1960 - Clips

To see some highlights from the original documentary, NBC's Story of a Family from 1960, watch this video. You can also click on the link at the top of the page to watch the entire program in three parts.