Narrative Television Initiative gives students hands-on production experience

Photo courtesy Andrea Carrizales

With the success of the Theatre, Film, and Creative Writing department’s Narrative Television  

Initiative (NTVI), Boise State seems to be on its way to be the next film hub. 

In 2016, the film department created the Narrative Television Initiative, a program for film and creative writing students to collaborate with professionals and faculty on a full professional-grade film or TV production. 

With two finished productions and a third in post-production, NTVI has a history of success. The initiative is one of the fastest-growing programs on campus and is expected to continue to expand into the coming years.

Dr. Richard Klautsch, department chair of the Film, Theatre and Creative Writing department, has been involved both as a faculty member and an actor in the productions. 

[Photo from the production of “The Chinese Tourist”]
Photo courtesy Andrea Carrizales

“It’s faculty involvement. It’s student involvement. Staff [is] involved. [We] see a lot of crossover now between all three of our programs,” Klautsch said. “This is the largest and most high-profile collaboration that we have between the three programs and we hope to continue it.”

So far, the Narrative Television Initiative has completed two projects: “And Beyond” and “Lucky Us,” both of which premiered at the Egyptian Theatre in downtown Boise. Although both projects are currently unavailable for public streaming, the department would like to make them available in the future.

The current project, “The Chinese Tourist”, is in post-production.

Di Bei, the creator and major writer of this season gave a description of the film’s synopsis in an Instagram post.

“‘The Chinese Tourist’ is a comedy-drama feature film of Jade, a rebellious Chinese girl whose American education is sponsored by her rich and toxic Chinese boyfriend,” Bei wrote. “Living at a birth tourism house in Idaho, Jade decides to leave the world she comes from, only to find herself cornered into a green card marriage to a white college student with an Asian fetish.”

“The Chinese Tourist” is set to premiere in March 2022, according to Rulon Wood, a film faculty who runs the post-production class.

Right now, both Dr. Richard Klautsch and Rulon Wood would like to see the program grow beyond its current rate. 

Klaustch said he’d like to see a new production start every fall, and Wood said similarly he would like to see a production done every year.

And with the kind of growth the film department is having, this dream is a very real possibility. 

According to an article released by Boise State, the film program is one of the fastest-growing programs on campus. 

Klaustch said the department’s expectations were blown out of the water by the growth. He expected approximately 50 students in the program once it formed. The program now has over 100 students, and the number continues to climb. 

Wood also mentioned how he would like to see collaboration go beyond the Film, Theatre and Creative Writing department. Wood would like to see more professionals and community partners.

“I want it to be even more collaborative. I want to see even more industry professionals,” Wood said, “My personal dream … is to maybe sell these projects.” 

Students can get involved with the Narrative Television Initiative by taking one of the four production classes: FILM 401, FILM 402, FILM 403 and FILM 404. There is an application process for the classes, but everyone is welcome, regardless of major.

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