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In the Studio with Stephen Hudnell and Beth Pike

Two local filmmakers share their stories behind their workspace

Photographs by Alli Inglebright

Documentarians and business partners Stephen Hudnell and Beth Pike comprise the Columbia-based Orr Street Productions.

November 8, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST

For more than 20 years, Stephen Hudnell and Beth Pike have combined their talents to create award-winning documentaries. Graduating with MU journalism degrees in 1986 and 1972, they now own and operate Orr Street Productions, located up the road from their alma mater.

With funding from the Missouri Press Association, the duo produced and directed a film, Deadline in Disaster, about The Joplin Globe’s coverage of the 2011 tornado aftermath. The documentary will be screened at the St. Louis International Film Festival Nov. 8-18.

What you'll find in their workspace:

Baseball signed by Yogi Berra

After working on a PBS documentary about legendary baseball player Yogi Berra in 1999, Pike asked the former Yankees catcher to autograph a ball. She wanted him to use a permanent marker so that the signature would last, but Berra preferred pen. “I am sitting here arguing with him,” she says. “And I later thought, ‘This man has signed how many baseballs?’” His experience beat out Pike’s protests.

Swiss army knife
Pike and Hudnell worked with a film crew from Switzerland on a 2011 documentary called Enemies in Love. The movie tells the story of Iris Von Roten, a Swiss feminist writer who attended MU in the late 1940s. After a month of filming in several locations including downtown Fulton and in Ellis Library, the crew gave Pike and Hudnell a Swiss Army Knife as a memento.

White House press passes

While working for CBS, Pike was allowed to follow President Barack Obama during his visit to Joplin. The group included about a dozen photographers and reporters; only major national stations and local stations were allowed access.

Panasonic AG AF-100

This video camera was the only camera used in filming Deadline in Disaster. Although it is smaller than some of their other cameras, it isn’t lacking in professional quality. In fact, Pike says that the Panasonic shoots the better high-definition footage than their larger pieces of recording equipment.

Emmy award

In 2008, Pike and Hudnell won an Emmy for Trustees for the Public, another project sponsored by the Missouri Press Association. The documentary highlights the history of Missouri newspapers and the changes that have occurred since the first article was published in the Missouri Gazette in 1808.

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