USAO’s ‘Studio 18’ Features ‘Law & Order’ Interview
CHICKASHA – All play and no work may not be a successful mantra for some, but for a small television cast and crew at the University of Science and Arts, it’s a formula that’s paying off. Beginning Jan. 25, USAO’s “Studio 18” will feature an exclusive interview with “Law & Order” actress Milena Govich.
Originally from Norman, Govich plays Detective Nina Cassidy, the first-ever female detective on NBC’s long-running drama.
David Duncan, television production specialist at USAO, said Govich’s interview is an exciting segment for the award-winning local show.
“This is an amazing interview,” said Duncan. “Milena talks about getting from Oklahoma to New York and everything in between. Viewers will eat this up. She got all of her police training in Oklahoma, still has family and friends here … and viewers will love the stories she reminisces about, but also what life’s like on the ‘Law and Order’ set in New York City. This is great television and viewers won’t want to miss it.”
Now in its third year of production, “Studio 18” is the staple for entertainment on USAO’s cable-access channel 18. Twice a month, its small cast comes together under Duncan’s direction to show the best of Hollywood’s worst movies. Throughout the 2-hour show, three crazy hosts add a silly spin with babbling banter, movie trivia and zany sketches.
“It’s a really simple formula that we’ve hit a home run with show after show after show,” said Duncan, “and that is: a great old classic movie with three pretty hosts who give away great prizes. I can’t say enough about the girls; they’re the most talented, funny, creative hosts we’ve had on the show.”
Those hosts are Tulsa drama senior DeeDee Beard, 2006 art graduate Marcie Price and Julie Bohannon, USAO’s director of alumni development. Together, the trio brings the Chickasha and University communities comedy that’s as infectious as it is original.
“I love being a part of ‘Studio 18’ because it allows people in the Grady County community another opportunity to become involved with what’s going on with USAO,” said Price. “That, and, well, it allows us to be as goofy and crazy as we want to be and keep people entertained.”
“It's amazing we get anything filmed or done because we are such goofs during the recording,” Beard said. “However, David puts plenty of the goofs in the bloopers, which is why we often have more bloopers than show.”
But the cast and crew are serious about entertainment, and it shows. In 2005, “Studio 18” won first place in the video production category at the annual Oklahoma College Public Relations Association awards ceremony. Duncan, who writes, produces and directs all the episodes, took the award to heart.
“We were competing with OU, OSU, UCO and every other university in the state and our show won first place,” said Duncan. “That says a lot about our show, and it’s really the icing on the cake when we are honored like that.”
Duncan, who has been in television and video production for nearly 27 years, has worked for Oklahoma City’s KWTV News and national companies like Boeing and E! Entertainment Television. He’s directed statewide television spots starring Garth Brooks and has experience in news, feature film, corporate, documentary and radio advertising.
In addition to silly sketches, “Studio 18” is home to several special segments that compliment the show and help break up the featured movie. Noble junior Jessica Anthony hosts “Ask Me Anything,” during which she answers strange and random questions. In the past, she has provided information about the weight of planet Earth, the actual effects of sugar on children and an explanation for why men have nipples.
The newest segment to air is “Song Search,” hosted by 1999 alumnus Michael Bendure. A local singer/songwriter, Bendure presents trivia about music influenced by movie and TV themes. He then performs an original acoustic arrangement of a rare song found during his research, sometimes with a musician from the USAO or Chickasha communities.
The show’s most popular feature may in fact involve the floating head of USAO’s president John Feaver. In nearly every episode, Feaver’s face can be seen for a mere second in the background, on a character or even on a prop. The first viewer to call in and correctly disclose the location of the president’s face wins a DVD player or other prizes. Duncan said “Find Feaver” has bolstered the show’s local popularity.
“I am amazed at the number of calls we get,” Duncan said. “It’s not uncommon for me to receive 80 to 100 calls per show, and when we don’t run that segment, I get calls asking me why we didn’t. We have loyal dedicated fans who love this show.”
Price, a designer for USAO’s public relations and alumni offices, had a recent run-in with Feaver after a silly stint involving his likeness.
“Some skits we perform on ‘Studio 18’ are scripted, while others are completely improv,” said Price, “such as the skit where I was wearing a black and white mask of President Feaver’s face while singing and dancing. After he saw the show, he jokingly told me that I may no longer be employed at USAO.”
With a bolstered public following, prize giveaways and a plethora of Hollywood’s B-films to pull from, “Studio 18” has got a winning combination. Most of all, it’s got plenty of fun.
“The reason I do ‘Studio 18’ is the fun I have with Marcie and DeeDee,” said Julie Bohannon. “For every laugh that’s on the show or the blooper reel, there are 10 that David cut. It’s a blast. People tell us all the time that we look like we’re having fun, and they don’t know the half of it. We’re actually laughing almost the entire time we’re taping, and that’s why I keep doing it.”