Skip to main content

Brigham Young University. Motion Picture Studio

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1953-1990

Administrative History

The Motion Picture Studio (1953-1990) was a support unit at Brigham Young University. It produced documentary, historical, and training films for use of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in schools.

Within the Motion Picture Production was the Film Development Advisory Committee. That committee's functions were to review and select subjects for motion pictures, to review motion picture proposals to consider whether they should be approved for production, to review motion picture scripts and make recommendations for changes if necessary, to review marketing studies made on proposed motion pictures, to review budgets for proposed motion pictures, and to evaluate the overall marketing and advertising programs for educational motion pictures.

Originally the Motion Picture Studio reported directly to the president of the university. In 1959, the director of the Motion Picture Studio began reporting to the director of Auxiliary Services. In 1960, Auxiliary Services became the Vice-President of Auxiliary Services. The director of the Motion Picture Studio reported to this Vice-President until 1965 when the Division of Communications was created. Thereafter the director reported to the director of Communication Services, the Instructional Services Division, and the Division of Instructional Production Services.

In 1991 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints moved the studio from Brigham Young University supervision to the Church. Directors of the Motion Picture Studio included Wetzel O. Whitaker (1953-1974), Jesse E. Stay (1974-1983), and Peter N. Johnson (1983-1990).

Citation

The Miracle of birth [VR] c1987: credit frame (Brigham Young University, Motion Picture Studio)

Phone call to the Studio, 5/7/97 (management of the Studio transferred to the LDS Church in 1990; official name changed to LDS Motion Picture Studio)

Ensign, Nov. 1987: p. 101 (BYU Motion Picture Studio)

BYU Organizational History Project, via WWW, Apr. 15, 2013 (BYU Motion Picture Production; BYU Motion Picture Studio; est. 1953; produced documentary, historical and training films for the LDS church and schools; included a Film Development Advisory committee, responsible for review and selection of subjects for films, approved productions, reviewed scripts and made recommendations for changes, reviewed marketing studies and budgets and evaluated marketing and advertising; studio originally reported to the university president; 1959, reported to the Auxiliary Services; reported to vice president until 1965 when the Division of Communications was created; then reported to director of Communication Services/Instructional Services Division/Division of Instructional Production Services; in 1991 the LDS church took over the studio; directors of the studio included Wetzel O. Whitaker (1953-1974), Jesse E. Stay (1974-1983), and Peter N. Johnson (1983-1991))

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

Motion Picture Studio collection for Portrait of a Prophet

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: UA 5414
Overview Photographs of movie productions from the Motion Picture Studio. The photographs were taken by President David O. McKay.
Dates: approximately 1873-1967

Motion Picture Studio stills

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3737
Scope and Contents Collection contains photographs, slides, negatives, and contact print sheets from eight Brigham Young University Motion Picture Studio productions. Films represented in the collection include: How Rare a Possession (1987), Seeds of Destiny (1987), The Three Witnesses (1968), Restoration of the Priesthood (1982), The First Vision (1975), The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon (undated), That They Might Have Joy (undated), and The Lost Manuscript (1974). Collection also includes a BYU football...
Dates: 1968-1987

Photograph of BYU Motion Picture Studio staff

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 8655
Scope and Contents Materials include a photograph of the staff of the BYU Motion Picture Studio. There is also a black-and-white photocopy with every individual's name written on it.
Dates: 1980

Photograph of fire at Motion Picture Studio

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F225_p225center

Photograph of Motion Picture Studio

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F224_p224center

Photograph of Motion Picture Studio sound stages

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F225_p225top

Photograph of Wetzel O. Whitaker

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F224_p224bottom

Photographs of BYU Broadcasting, 1939-1968

 Series — Carton: 1, Folder: 21-24
Identifier: UA 1070 Series 3
Scope and Contents Contains photographs from the News Bureau and the Motion Picture Studio including photos of radio broadcasts, KBYU television and radio, television filming sets and soundstages, as well as photos from several films made by the Motion Picture Studio and the process involved, 1939-1968.
Dates: 1939-1968

Scott Whitaker papers

 Collection — Carton: 1
Identifier: MSS 2278
Abstract This collection contains the papers and journals of Scott M. Whitaker, including ten journals covering 1966 to 1975, photographs, cartoons, and biographical information.
Dates: 1966-1976