Aside from the station being one of the last bastions of creative freeform radio in the modern world, did you know that WCBN is also a star of the silver screen? Thanks to a motley rabble of filmmakers led by deejay and serious auteur, Jon, “WCBN: The Soundscapes of Freeform,” is now available for your visual consumption.

Congrats to Jon for his efforts as the film was also the recipient of the 2010 BEST DOCUMENTARY award at the University of Michigan’s Lightworks Film Festival.

Always eager to spin a yarn, Jon shared a bit about how the documentary came to be.

“It all started, like most of my projects, with procrastination, anger, doubt, and a little bit of brainstorming.

All I knew was I had to make a project for my SAC 300 class, that it had to be black and white, and that it had to either be an “experimental film” or a documentary. I’m not a big fan of experimental films, and I’m not entirely sure I’m kooky enough to make one, so I had pretty much decided on a Doc. But what was it going to be about?

The day before I had to announce my plans for the film I was walking home for class and made a pit stop at the station, as I’m apt to occasionally do. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

I could do a documentary about WCBN! It would be like killing two birds with one stone. I had a subject for my class, a location that I knew very well, and I could also help the station out by making a short little PSA and spread the word about the awesomeness that is WCBN.

My professor loved the idea, as did my team and we started work right away. I had the pleasure of getting nearly unlimited permission for shooting in the station, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. The shoot went without a hitch, and I was pleased to have the help of Jim Manheim and Buddy Engelhart on the shoot (sadly, Buddy’s scene didn’t make the final cut).

The film came back after two weeks and I started editing immediately. The edit and the addition of sound went nearly without a hitch, although I had to record the voiceover at least 3 times. I tried to hit all the cues, but also be completely unscripted.

And so I present my little labor of love. I tried to be informative, but also to show everyone just why I love CBN so much. I’ve only been here a short time, but it already means so much to me, and my intent is to spread that feeling to as many people as possible.

Enjoy!”

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