Arkansas PBS > Engage > Blog > Director’s Take - “Men & Women of Distinction: Gov. Mike Beebe”

Director’s Take - “Men & Women of Distinction: Gov. Mike Beebe”

  • Posted by
  • Kathryn Francis Tucker
  • on

As a sixth generation Arkansan, directing AETN’s “Men & Women of Distinction: Gov. Mike Beebe” was a dream come true. Truly, his charisma could carry him on camera for an hour without cutting, and the film would be wildly entertaining.

Mike Beebe's career in Arkansas is unparalleled. To quote his fraternity brother Johnny Allison, “ … have you ever seen a Governor as popular as Mike Beebe? There’s just no one else like him.”

Vintage Photo of Mike Beebe Shaking Hands

The cardinal rule in filmmaking is to throw a lot of conflict at your protagonist, but finding conflict was a real struggle I encountered in making this film. Mike Beebe’s political career was exceptionally charmed and, from a historical perspective, there just wasn’t much tumult. Beebe has always run on a clever but pragmatic slogan, “Underpromise and Overdeliver,” and was unopposed for office for his entire career until he ran for governor.

Vintage Photo of Mike Beebe Sitting in Arkansas Legislature

Former Gov. Beebe’s ability to place partisanship on the sidelines in order bring people together and get things done to help Arkansans is his legacy. My hope is that this film documents his selfless style of leadership and serves as a reminder for generations of Arkansans to come.

“Men and Women of Distinction: Gov. Mike Beebe” Director Kathryn Tucker”

Kathryn Francis Tucker is a proud Little Rock native and sixth-generation Arkansan. An alumna of Little Rock Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania, Tucker is also a Directors Guild of America member and boasts extensive experience in still photography, photo editing for film and film production. Tucker founded the Arkansas Cinema Society in 2017 and currently serves as the non-profit’s executive director and its efforts to nurture new and existing film talent within Arkansas through educational programs, year-round screenings and Filmland, the annual Arkansas Cinema Society’s annual film festival.