Award-winning Documentary Developer to Speak at SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) – Southern Oregon University’s annual campus theme, “Exploring Happiness,” comes to a close Monday, May 13, with “Communicating Happiness.” The presentation features Richard Hutton, developer of many award-winning documentaries and currently the executive director of the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Carsey-Wolf Center, which supports media research, teaching and literacy. SOU Associate Professor of Theatre Jackie Apodaca, will moderate the conversation at 7:00 p.m., Monday, May 13 in the Meese Auditorium of the SOU Art Building. Admission is free, and is open to the public. Parking is available in the metered lot off Indiana street adjacent to Cox Hall, along Indiana street, and in a few spaces behind the Schneider Museum of Art.

From 2001-2010 Hutton ran Vulcan Productions and its feature film and documentary units, and also directed all of Vulcan Inc.’s media development projects, including initiatives in the education, museum and entertainment sectors.

Under Hutton’s direction, Vulcan Productions produced or co-produced a wide range of shows: The six-hour series “This Emotional Life,” “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” a two-hour, Peabody Award-winning program chronicling the latest battle in the war over evolution; “Strange Days on Planet Earth,” a four-part series on the environment; the Emmy Award-winning “Rx for Survival,” a six-part series on global health; the Peabody and Grammy Award-winning “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan;” and the Emmy and Grammy Award-winning “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues.” Hutton was also the executive producer of the critically acclaimed, PBS series, “Evolution;” the Peabody Award-winning “Black Sky: The Race for Space;” and the blues concert film “Lightning in a Bottle.”

Feature films produced under Hutton’s direction include the Humanitas Prize winner “Where God Left His Shoes;” the critically-acclaimed “Hard Candy;” and Independent Spirit Award winner for Best Picture, “Far From Heaven.” 

Prior to Vulcan, Hutton was senior vice president of creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering, and served as vice president and general manager of the Disney Institute, where he directed the transition of the organization from concept into an operating business.

Earlier, Hutton was SVP of programming and production for WETA Television in Washington, D.C. Still earlier, at WNET in New York, his projects included the award-winning “The Brain and The Mind.” Hutton has authored or co-authored nine books and texts, as well as articles for publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Omni and Cosmopolitan.

Over the past year, SOU’s “Exploring Happiness” theme has looked at the topic through a variety of lenses, including theatre, music, business, psychology, and mathematics.

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