Archived Voice Articles
Alums collaborate on Jubilee video
Do you remember Merle and Rose Alons, Gary and Shar Alsum, Henry and Evonne Bierlink, Allan Kramer, Arnie and Jan Melissen, Julie Peterson, Kent and Ann Vos, or John and Angela Wagenveld? They’re all profiled in the Dordt College Jubilee video, Vision at Work and Play, that is being shown at Jubilee events in communities across the country this year. You’ll hear and see these alums tell their stories through taped interviews done with Dr. James C. Schaap in the Jubilee video.
And remember Jim Vanden Bosch (’68) and Barry Funderburg (’91)? You won’t see their faces or even hear their stories in the video, but you’ll certainly see the results of their work. Vanden Bosch and his company, Terra Nova films, turned the hours and hours of video tape into the finished product, and Funderburg composed the music and designed the sound that supports the videos.
Vanden Bosch makes his living creating documentaries, so the Jubilee project was right up his alley. But he’s the first to admit that Schaap made his part of the process easier than it might have been. Vanden Bosch connected Schaap with videographers around the country to film the interviews done with alumni in eight states. Sifting through the hours of footage for each interview, Schaap did the preliminary editing, looking for the story, as Vanden Bosch says, and bringing each one down to about fifteen minutes. From there Vanden Bosch and his assistant did the hard work of cutting it down to five minutes.
“You have to keep the main story of each segment in mind and then cut, first minutes and then seconds here and there,” he says. He admits it was probably less painful for him to do than for Schaap since he came at it with a fresh eye and did not have so much invested in the process at that point.
“It’s what I do every day,” Vanden Bosch says.
Funderburg began by consulting members of the music faculty to determine which songs would be good to use in the video. They agreed to use familiar and appropriate hymn tunes that would contribute to the celebration of fifty years of God’s blessing on Dordt College. Funderburg took hymns such as “This is My Father’s World,” “Praise to the Lord the Almighty,” “Earth and All Stars,” “Be Thou My Vision,” and “Let All Things Now Living” and arranged and composed music which he and his wife, Madra (’91), and an associate recorded on keyboard, bass, percussion, flute, recorder, or guitar. Over the months that the videos were being taped and edited, Funderburg composed pieces and generated ideas he could use in the production. The bulk of his work, however, had to be squeezed into a short time frame at the end of the video editing, as the deadline for completion approached.
Unlike Vanden Bosch, for whom the project was similar to what he does every day, Funderburg had not worked much with video. His experience has been in theater, albeit with some of the best theater in the Midwest. As a freelancer based in De Motte, Indiana, he’s done shows for the most prestigious theaters in Chicago as well as for productions in Milwaukee and as far away as Arizona.
In the final stages of the Jubilee video process Vanden Bosch and Funderburg worked together in the Terra Nova studio, perfecting the timing of the sound and music to the video segments so that they flow seamlessly.
“I was amazed at what he could do on his computer,” says Vanden Bosch. And Funderburg was intrigued by the documentary process. They both hope it might lead to some future collaboration.
Both are committed to putting their Christian worldview to work in the arts. After he finished film school, Vanden Bosch began Terra Nova films as a nonprofit organization to create documentaries. An early and continuing focus of his work has been on aging and health care issues.
“When we began there wasn’t much attention paid to the aging people,” Vanden Bosch says. “They tend to be segrated, defined by their age, not by their humanity,” he adds. Terra Nova produced some films and distributed others, many of which were used in college classrooms or as training videos in long-term care facilities. Today, the situation is different and there are almost more people focusing on this area than there need to be, he says. But he believes he has a view to share that sees value in every stage of life. He and his staff are presently working on a four-part documentary that will look at issues that effect elderly people, such as Alzheimers, life insurance, and drug companies.
“I’m fairly mission oriented in my approach to life,” Vanden Bosch says. And that’s also why he was glad to be part of shaping and communicating the story told by Vision at Work and Play.
Funderburg shares that view. Although freelancing is not an easy way to help provide for a family, he believes it is crucial for Christians to be involved in the arts and he loves what he does.
“What I do today comes directly out of my Dordt experience,” he says. He began composing and designing sound for theater as a student. And though he’s received prestigious awards for his work, he remains firmly grounded.
“My greatest accomplishment is that I work in professional theater and maintain my faith. With God’s help, I’ve been able to share it with others pretty well, too,” he is quoted as saying in a profile about him in the newsletter of the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities. He’ll continue to do that, both through his freelance sound design and through his music. In addition to composing for theater, he also plays bass in a band called Bottle Rocket, which he says isn’t real well known outside the Midwest—yet.
So when the Jubilee video comes to your area, you can put a face to these guys too.