Duck TV Producer Tanner Staab Talks Creative Triumphs and the Importance of Student Access to Creative Outlets

By McKenzie Hargens
Focusing most of his time on his work with the University Film Organization, Tanner Staab initially became a part of Duck TV working as an editor. Staab worked in production for shows such as Yesterday’s News Tonight and The Radventures of Rad Girl, while also branching out into the role of an actor for small parts in various shows. He eventually established a reputation for quality that he feels lead to the opportunity to finally have his pitch chosen for the first time after pitching without success for over a year. Staab’s first show was The Media Wars, for which he worked as the show’s lone writer, director, editor and producer and ultimately went on to win the Force Award for “Best Show of the Term.”
Throughout working with the various responsibilities of each of his positions, Staab feels he has always enjoyed working as an editor the most. He accredits this dedication to the passion, thrill and validation that he feels when he has the opportunity to experience a crowd reacting to something that he’s made.
“Watching a crowd and knowing that in a few seconds they could all laugh because I put in a small sound effect, it made me realize that this was something cool. Something I wanted the chance to do more of,” he said.
At the beginning of his senior year, Staab’s high school introduced a video production class that he quickly enrolled in. However the school had limited confidence in the program and offered little support, resulting in the lack of student access to cameras until half way through the school year. After the class finally received the cameras, Staab was assigned a stop motion project for which he created a video titled Color. This project greatly impressed his instructor, who subsequently shared his video in an email to the entirety of the school’s staff emphasizing the importance of the program and demonstrating the value of student access to creative outlets. In response, the vice principal committed to continuing the program and increasing its annual funding.
When speculating if other students will continue to have access to similar opportunities for artistic expression, Staab wavers between optimism and pessimism. “There will always be people who don’t understand what art and culture bring to this world. It shapes people’s mentalities, their prejudices and ultimately their lives. While businesses and economies may fail, art will last forever,” he explained.
Staab feels that the growing lack of support for arts and arts funding has continued to undermine the tremendous value that artistic expression has to offer. However through it all he remains encouraged stating, “In times of great strife comes great creativity. The great Renaissance artists came after the Dark Ages. When you restrict art you restrict people in general, but people will always find creative ways to still get the job done.”
Staab’s newest show Indiana Johana will air spring term 2017, Wednesday nights at 8 o’clock in Allen Hall room 221 and is also available on the UODuckTV YouTube channel.

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