Jumpmaster’s ‘Citizen Soldier’ PBS series bows Nov. 11

Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer receives the Medal of Honor

The first two episodes of “Citizen Soldier,” a 12-part original panel discussion series on military topics, coproduced by internationally famous Pritzker Military Library, and Jumpmaster, the Library’s stand-alone internal production facility, premieres on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, on WTTW/PBS.

The first “Citizen Soldier” episode airing, “In Our Voices: Profiles of Courage,” is a discussion moderated by Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington exploring how the military has changed through the stories of three generations of veterans.

In a consecutive time slot is the second premiere show, “Citizen Soldier: Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer with Bing West.”  Sgt. Meyer, the first living US Marine in 38 years to receive the Medal of Honor, will discuss his book, Into the Fire, with author Bing West, a Marine combat veteran and an  assistant defense secretary in the Reagan administration.

Series executive producer is Col. (IL) J.N. Pritzker IL ARNG (Ret.);  producers are Kenneth Clarke, Pritzker Library president/CEO, Andrew Edeker and David Cannek who also directs, and the Library’s director of special projects,  Nancy Houghton.

An upcoming discussion on reserves and the National Guard with Dennis M. McCarthy, assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (right) leading the distinguished panel.

Shows shot in theatre production facility

“Citizen Soldier” is taped in the Library’s lecture hall and broadcast production facility, a spacious, high-ceiling theatre with a 300-sq. ft. stage and seating for 110 guests.

Stage action is captured by four HD cameras, including two cameras mounted on the balcony, with a customized-built track and operating system designed by UK-based Marc Roberts Motion Control.  Camera movement is directed from the control room.

Jumpmaster has a staff of three: Edeker, who joined the Pritzger Library in 2005 after 10 years in television programming at local stations; producer/director David Cannek and production manager Bradley Guidera, who also edit the shows.  All three are proficient cameramen.

Full-service rental serves corporate, entertainment clients

After it produced the opening ceremonies of the Medal of Honor Convention in Soldier Field for NBC5 and the Pentagon Channel in 2009, Jumpmaster was spun off from the Library as a separate, full-service for-profit production entity.

The state-of-the-art facility is located within the Library, with its 50,000 volumes that span all historical eras, countries, cultures and US military branches, on the second and third floor of the beautifully restored 1912 Monroe Building at Michigan Ave.

Andrew Edeker, Jumpmaster president/EPRecently, Jumpmaster developed proprietary software for live interactive webcasts, that asks each participant questions, tracks their answers and the time they take to answer in real time, Edeker explains.

“Businesses like law and accounting firms, where continuing education is crucial, find this particularly useful. Essentially, we’ve taken distance learning to new levels of interactivity and opened up new dimensions of real-time, multilevel communications for our clients,” he says.

Jumpmaster’s scope of programming has grown to include event presentation and videos and it also partners with Mayne Stage theatre to record and webcast the theatre’s live comedy and musical performances.

All the while, Jumpmaster produces and distributes the Pritzker’s programming, including more than 250 episodes of Pritzker Military Library Presents and Medal of Honor, an interview show that airs on WYCC/Ch. 20.