As a forensic anthropologist, author, producer and professional speaker, Dr. Kathy Reichs believes students can achieve it all with education and an open mind. Reichs spoke on behalf of Houston Community College’s Audio Recording and Filmmaking Department at the Houston Museum of Natural Science September 7. Reichs is a well-known author, producer of the hit FOX series “Bones,” and one of eighty-two forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. Her experiences and research are shared through her novels and the television show and inspire young writers and filmmakers to take the extra step.
The event, attracting some 250 people, 50 of which were HCC students and faculty, was unmistakably influential. Reichs talked about her involvement with the show “Bones” and how she has only ever officially written one episode for the series. However, the show is based on the characters and science in her books with approval and input from the author. Her role as producer for “Bones” is one she enjoys and she sees the show as a prequel to her books.
Reichs also shared the difficulty of her profession, having helped identify victims at ground zero from the September 11 attacks. She also performs autopsies, which she sees as closure for the families of the victim. Reichs is constantly on the move, traveling from destination to destination to identify the remains of everyone from murder victims to patron saints. Her experiences fuel the inspiration for her novels, and she is a representation of what a college degree can earn a young individual if you just work hard.
HCC was chosen to be the sponsor of this event among all of the other non-profits in Houston. Houston Film Commissioner Cynthia Neely felt that HCC was the right fit because of the “beautiful mesh” between Kathy Reichs’ television experience and the college’s filmmaking program.
Neely explained that “HCC’s film program is so under the radar that people think you have to go to LA or film school.”
Reichs wanted to do something good for Houston so she used her experience as a television producer to promote the film program. Those that attended the event were given pamphlets about the filmmaking course offerings. Many were unaware that HCC had a film program and expressed their delight. The hands-on training and modern equipment used in the learning process opens up many opportunities to work in professional news stations and other levels of the film industry in Houston. A student learns every function of creating and completing different style films, including scriptwriting, producing, acting, directing, shooting, budgeting, managing and crew responsibilities.
Reich’s speech was even filmed by a former HCC film student, Torrence Atkinson, who now works for HCC on the soundstage. Having since earned his associates degree, he is now pursuing his bachelor’s at Texas Southern University in film. He often films events for HCC and is enthusiastic about his career choice. He is one of many students who have taken advantage of a program that is creating skilled employees for the jobs of tomorrow.
HCC is one of the country’s largest singly-accredited, open-admission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training and lifelong learning opportunities for 75,000 students each semester. HCC is composed of six colleges that serve the greater Houston area’s diverse communities by preparing individuals to live and work in today’s increasingly international and technological society.
To learn more go to hccs.edu.
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