Students to meet with members of ‘Friday Night Lights’

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    Fans or not, students are invited to attend a reunion and screening event of the pilot episode from “Friday Night Lights.” 

    David Hudgins, writer and producer of the show, Director Michael Waxman and Derek Phillips, who plays character Billy Riggins, will all be at the event.

    It will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21. 

    Dr. Colin Tait, who teaches “Topics in Sports Media: Investigating Friday Night Lights,” made the show the topic of a class this spring.

    Tait said he hopes Tuesday’s event creates more fans of the show and also leaves students with a deeper understanding of what goes into making a television show.

    “After we show the pilot, I hope students come out as fans of the show,” Tait said. “It’s one of the best TV show pilots ever made.”

    Tait said he hopes the event will help people better understand how TV shows are made.

    “I’d like to make sure everyone understands who the different people involved in the show are and what their contributions are, and how they all work together to create something bigger than themselves,” he said.

    There is also a learning component students can take from the event, said Tait.

    Tait said he expects that students will leave with an increased knowledge of “Friday Night Lights.”

    “One of the things we’re learning about the show is how much authority the actors had on set and how that tends to be a little different than other shows,” Tait said. “In a lot of other shows, actors don’t have a lot of input in to how their characters work and how they are portrayed.”

    Dr. Tricia Jenkins, associate professor in the Film-TV-Digital Media department, agreed with Tait’s idea that students can learn from the event.

    “We essentially wanted to create this event so students can learn what it takes to make a critically acclaimed television series and the work that goes into casting these actors, writing their lines, framing them in the appropriate light and appropriate camera angle and more,” Jenkins said.

    Maddy Bilder, senior FTDM major, said students can learn about the importance of community in the show.

    “I think students can learn the importance of community and uniting under one common goal or event,” Bilder said. “Despite all of the characters’ differences in the show, they are able to put aside those differences and still show up for the football games every Friday night.

    “It created a bond unlike any other and it proved that despite economic circumstances, social differences and past experiences, a community is able to be one and whole,” Bilder said.

    “If all goes well, there may be some special guests, but I don’t want to let anyone down by saying who they are if they’re unable to make it,” Tait revealed.

    The event will be held in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium. There will be a screening of the pilot, a talk panel with the show’s members and a question and answer portion.

    Snacks will be served at 5 p.m.