How to compress a lifetime’s work into an hour’s television? I must confess that I wondered how they would do it with Fay Jones’s lifetime of accomplishments. When Larry Foley and Dale Carpenter, an Emmy-award winning duo from the University of Arkansas approached me in 2008, the task sounded daunting.
We met by phone, and then for the actual filming at the AIA convention in 2008 in Boston, and the filming was challenging, to say the least. The filmmakers had chosen a site on a crosswalk high above the trade show floor where I had been working for several days. People came and went during the filming, turning around to peek at the rolling camera. There were fits and starts, relating to audio levels and intervening visitors.
Then the filmmakers previewed the results at the April, 2009 gala celebrating the naming of the School of Architecture for Jones in Fayetteville—and, Eureka Springs!, it worked: a cogent appreciation of the man’s life and work, all neatly combined in one presentation, with colorful walk-throughs of the most interesting buildings. Also featured are Robert McCarter, Roy Reed, and Jones’s family, including his wife Mary Elizabeth (called “Gus”) and his daughters. As the author of a critical work on the Arkansas master, I eased a sigh of relief.
Now the university has released the DVD to the public, with final editing, mixing, and additional footage. Larry Foley and Dale Carpenter knew what they were doing all along. I needn’t have worried. You can judge for yourselves if you chance to see, “Sacred Spaces: the Architecture of Fay Jones, written and produced by Larry Foley and Dale Carpenter.