A show created for UM students by UM students is a perfect description of Montevallo’s new campus talk show, “momentUM.” It explores a plethora of topics, from Miley Cyrus and her shocking wrecking ball debut to Montevallo’s ghost tales of Condie and Captain Reynolds.
“MomentUM,” which airs once a month, focuses on popular subjects of the moment. The show is comprised of a host and three regular panelists who offer commentary on trending issues. Host and co-producer Savannah Kidd said, “We talk about subjects relatable to students and the UM campus. We try to make the subjects as current and interesting as possible.”
There are two special topics that producers Kidd and Tonya Fleming spend a few weeks preparing for the show. The other topics are chosen closer to the filming date so they’re current. Although the topics are outlined prior to the show, everything is completely unscripted, which provides a different type of production than other existing mass communication productions.
The talk show creates an opportunity for students to be involved in a production that is not strictly “hard news” such as “Falcon Weekly” or “Falcon Fever.” Instead, it offers a more relaxed and laid-back production versus dry-cut, formulated newscasts, according to Kidd.
Not only does it create a different kind of production environment for majors to explore, but it opens up jobs for more students to experience.
“It definitely offers opportunities to mass communication students. We’re always looking for help, whether you’re a senior with a few years under your belt or a freshman looking to get your foot in the door,” Kidd said. The production is made in the best interest of the students. Kidd said it has allowed the producers and crew members a lot of freedom to personalize the production.
Many students involved say they have quickly come to love this new type of production experience. Panelist Chloe Allen said, “It’s different because it’s a very relaxed show where we talk about anything and everything, and it’s a break from the standard cut and set news show. It’s definitely a lot more relaxed and we get to be ourselves.”
The beginnings of “momentUM” started when Kidd and Fleming were looking at options for a directed study. The idea of a campus talk show had been in the air for a while, so they teamed up and seized the opportunity under the direction of Bruce Finklea, a mass communication instructor. They have taken a simple idea and turned it into an entire original production. Kidd‘s favorite part of the show “has been building it from nothing,” she said. “It’s hard to believe that it all started as an idea, and we can now see our work in action.”
From the original idea to the first airing, the show has definitely transformed. So far, the producers said they have been pleased with the end products of their hard work. However, there is always room for improvement.
Fleming said, “The pacing of the show can be worked on. We sometimes linger on one topic for too long and it makes other topics not get enough time. If we worked on our pacing of different topics we could have an even better show.” Each episode is a new experience, and if something goes wrong, she said they learn from the flaw and make it better next time.
The producers said they envision the show continually growing. “It’s been thrilling to see so many people interested in our production, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Kidd said she hopes the show will eventually be able to air weekly, instead of monthly. “Since it’s getting off the ground it has taken longer to prepare for each episode, but we’re hoping to air more often in the future.”
To watch past episodes of “momentUM”, you can visit the Mass Communication department’s YouTube channel, “MontevalloForYou.” The next episode, which airs in December, will be a Christmas special.