Saturday's episode of the PBS series “One Square Mile: Texas” will zoom in on Nacogdoches, featuring the people and lifestyles rooted in one square mile. The nine-part series is airing on KERA, and on all public broadcasting outlets in Texas.
Fort Worth filmmakers Carl and Betsy Crum are graduates of Stephen F. Austin State and have worked on “One Square Mile: Texas” for the past 18 months. Carl Crum said the half-hour episodes don’t rehash the typical information found in a tourist brochure. Rather, with the help of townspeople, they unearth rich characters who give unique insights into their piece of the world.
"We’re not trying to show any one side of Nacogdoches," Crum said. "We’re trying to show an honest representation of what’s happening in that square mile. We purposely do not lend our own voice to what’s happening in any of the episodes.”
One vignette in the Nacogdoches episode features SFA regents professor William Arscott. He’s taught filmmaking and cinematography at SFA for 51 years. Arscott said over a half century of teaching, hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of students have studied under him, including the Crums. He watched a preview of the episode and was pleased with the product.
“I thought the concept was really great because not only has he done them here in Texas and ‘One Square Mile’ in New York City, but even Barrow, Alaska, in the wintertime!” Arscott said.
“One Square Mile: Texas” is a continuation of a series the Crums started about five years ago called “One Square Mile: America.” It aims to distill what it means to be American. Crum said they’ll begin work on season two of “One Square Mile: Texas” in the spring. He’s currently seeking nominations of towns and neighborhoods to feature.
The episode on Nacogdoches airs Saturday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. Beginning next month, the series will be available to watch on Southwest Airlines flights.