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The Antelope

Rosdail presents ‘A Plague on the Plains’ film

antelope issue 2 spring


UNK associate professor of communication Jacob Rosdail’s “A Plague on the Plains” premieres 7 p.m. Feb. 6 on NET World.

Throughout 2016 and 2017 Will Stoutamire, former director of the G.W. Frank Museum and Rosdail conducted interviews. At that point the two were working on “Stone Mansion on the Prairie” which was about the history of George and Phoebe Frank during Kearney’s industrial boom.

“Work on “A Plague on the Plains” began in 2017 as part of a longer film that was also about the history of the Frank family,” Rosdail said. 

With Stoutamire as his partner, Rosdail produced “Stone Mansion on the Prairie” which debuted in 2018. This included managing content, writing materials and shaping the entire film.

Rosdail worked side-by-side his UNK students to collect the verbal histories included in his film and the museum exhibit. His students also assisted by shooting b-roll for the film during their semester.

The film tells the story of the G.W. Frank Museum through its two periods of significance as the private mansion, and as part of the Nebraska State Hospital for Tuberculosis.

NET World was interested in the “Stone Mansion on the Prairie” but wanted something more character driven.This pushed Stoutamire and Rosdail to recreate a short film covering the Nebraska State Hospital for Tuberculosis.

While researching and co-conducting interviews with Stoutamire, Rosdail began production of “A Plague on the Plains.” The 30-minute film covers the misconceptions that surrounded the hospital during this time.

The film highlights its sometimes-strained relationship with the Kearney community. It also offers comprehension of the daily lives of patients and employees through interviews with their present family members.

After showing NET World “A Plague on the Plains” the network worked with Rosdail to finalize the film and show it on public television.

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