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Behind the Scenes: ‘Due West of Ordinary’

Frampton explores the Erskine Archives in Reid Hall.
Frampton explores the Erskine Archives in Reid Hall.

In February 2012 a conversation began about how to commemorate Erskine’s 175th anniversary in a special way. That conversation resulted in a plan to create Erskine’s first full-length documentary film chronicling its past and looking prayerfully toward its future. Will Frampton ’03, an Emmy-winning television news reporter with CBS46 in Atlanta, Georgia, took the lead in creating a film would ultimately include information from 44 interviews and reenactments in 18 locations across the Southeast, more than 45 hours of raw footage, and more than 300 hours of research, filming, writing and editing.

For Frampton this project was a labor of love. He sought to capture the essence of the Erskine story, a story he describes as one of “perseverance through unbelievably challenging times.” He calls it “a story of really pushing through against all odds and people becoming stronger with each other in this tight-knit community that is Erskine College and Due West.”

David Earle with Dot Wise ('39) at the premier of "Due West of Ordinary."
David Earle with Dot Wise ’39 at the premiere of “Due West of Ordinary”

Vice President for Communications Cliff Smith, executive producer for the film, worked with Frampton to condense 175 years of history. Identifying individual stories representing the larger Erskine story was a key focus of the production. Frampton and Smith were assisted by Abe Duenas, editor, and Chris White, post-production supervisor. Frampton said he hopes the film will “inspire people to be involved with the college again,” adding, “We need our sons and daughters to be active supporters, to love and uplift Erskine.”

The premiere of the documentary film Oct. 17 in Memorial Hall was one of the productions and events leading up to the Erskinefest celebration Oct. 19, including a museum exhibit, a video series, a choral concert, and homecoming activities. In remarks at the first public screening of the film Frampton told the audience, “I hope watching this movie will make you fall in love with Erskine all over again.”

Copies of Due West of Ordinary: 175 Years of Erskine College can be purchased by emailing Vice President for Advancement David Earle at All proceeds raised by sales of the DVD go directly to the Erskine Annual Fund.

Cast, crew, & friends gather in Memorial Hall for the opening of "Due West of Ordinary."
Cast, crew, and friends gather in Memorial Hall for the opening of “Due West of Ordinary.”
Erskine and Due West Skyline

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Erskine College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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