gray shim
T600 Presentation

Writing & structuring the Story

Needed to create two versions of the hour-long program:

  • Broadcast/DVD/PBS (56:46)
  • Membership campaign with three beaks (with segues/bumpers)
  • DVD extras

Getting started:

What should be in a documentary about Brown County?

Arranged meetings with Brown County residents, musicians, writers & researchers.

Asked them what was important to include.

Often posed the question: "What do you think the world should know about Brown County?"

Built a list of contacts

Found sources for images, information, music, art, and history.

  • Brown County History Center
  • Lilly Library
  • Books
  • Our Brown County & INto Art magazines

Wrote a treatment (outline) which developed and changed over time.

An early version looked like this:

Spirit of Brown County - Overview & Treatment -------------------------------


Mention Brown County to someone who’s visited and ask what comes to mind. Chances are they’ll think about Brown County State Park or the neighboring town of Nashville with its share of both authentic arts & crafts and tchotchke touristic shops. Or perhaps they’ve been to Bill Monroe’s music festival up at Bean Blossom. Maybe hiking Yellowwood Forest or visiting the TC Steele studio near Belmont- where a rich legacy of art blossomed out of the surrounding landscape.

But go to Brown County and ask someone there the same question. You might be in for a surprise. They might tell you about the Thursday night jam session at Uncle Otis’s place. Or ghost stories and legends about Browning Mountain, which is just past the lost town of Elkinsville.

Millions of tourists, TC Steele, Bill Monroe and the old hermit who lived on Browning Mountain all have something in common: the love of the beautiful woods and rolling hills of Brown County, Indiana.

[This documentary will explore the art, history, and culture that developed out of the rugged, vast, and beautiful landscape of Brown County, Indiana.]


Act I - 5 minutes

Scene 1 - Opening

Voiceover: Brown County Indiana is a popular tourist destination. During the fall, more than a million people flock to Brown County State Park to admire the beautiful vistas and colorful autumn foliage. It’s the largest and most popular state park in Indiana.

The region attracts more than tourists- It’s also been home to a number of great artists. In 1907, Indiana painter Theodore Clement, or TC Steele moved his studio to a ridge just outside of Belmont. Other artists soon followed. The painters Adolph Schultz, Marie Goth, and photographer Frank Hohenberger are just a few who rambled the hills and hollows capturing the sublime imagery of Brown County. TC Steele’s presence marked the beginning of an arts movement that continues strongly to the present day.

What is it that draws and inspires so many?

Scene 2 - Introduction (introduce key characters and threads)

[Introduce key characters/interview subjects. Montage of them describing why they love Brown County and how it relates to their passion/work. “I love these hills…..”

Act II - 15 minutes

Scene 3 - History / Growth of Tourism & Art Colony

History rooted in the Arts
Started as Art Colony founded by TC Steele
Brown County Art Guild (Contact: Jaime Sweeney)
Lyn Letsinger-Miller (Author & artist - suggested by Jaime)
Rachel Perry (Interview, Author & scholar)
Julie Pearson (historian & writer for the BC Democrat)
Artists (old and new)
TC & Selma Steele (writer James Whitcomb Riley was a friend)
Adolph Schultz
Marie Goth
Photography of Frank Hohenberger

Scene 4 - Modern Day Arts & Crafts

Tamar Kander

Act III - 15 minutes

Scene 5 - Music in the Hills

Kara Barnard (musician/teacher/artist/runs Weed Patch Music Co.)
            Spiritual Qualities
John Frans - popular street musician
White Lightning Boys
Bruce Taggart (mandolin & fiddle maker)

Scene 6 - Ron Volbrecht (luthier)
            Slats Klug

Scene 7 - Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom

Act IV - 12 minutes

Scene 8 - Culture
            Small town life / interesting collection of people & businesses
            Mike’s Restaurant & Nursery (near Bean Blossom)
            Brown County Democrat

Scene 9 - Sheriff’s Log (from the Brown Co Democrat)
Sheriff Rick Followell

Scene 10 - Tourism

Scene 11 - Gatesville Country Store - Gold panning

Scene 12 - Beauty & Adventure in the surrounding areas

Brown County State Park is the largest state park in Indiana and one of the largest in the country.

            Jim Eagleman (Naturalist, birder)
            Horse Camp
Mtn Biking/Hiking Nebo Ridge
Browning Mtn
Canoeing Yellowwood Lake / Salt Creek
Bean Blossom

Act V - Conclusion - 5 minutes

Future of County & Present Day Arts


Final Draft

The overall focus stayed the same but the sequencing and conclusion changed.

Here's what it finally ended up as: PDF of final treatment + narration.

On to: Working with People & Talent


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