One Ohio University alumnus will be bringing new life into cities across the nation in his new series Time Traveling with Brian Unger.
The Travel Channel show starring Unger premiered April 20 with back-to-back episodes at 10 and 10:30 p.m.
Unger graduated with a degree in telecommunications in 1987 and currently resides in Los Angeles. He previously worked on The Daily Show and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The Post spoke with Unger about his time at OU and what to expect from the new series, which will highlight the unknown histories of areas throughout the U.S. The program will combine computer generated graphics, actual footage and interviews with locals to tell the story.
What is your favorite memory of OU?
My favorite memory of OU is probably sitting on the College Green and stuffing a burrito in my face.
What do you miss the most about Athens?
I miss my old professors. I miss the faculty; I miss the people who mentored me and had a great impact on me.
When did your idea to be on TV first start?
I've never had the intention of being on TV until I was a producer at CBS News in New York and a fellow producer put me in front of the camera. My TV career began quickly after that.
How has it been working on the Travel Channel so far?
So far it has been very rewarding. The criteria for happiness for any production is that (the network stands) with you and that you are united with the vision in the show and that (the network) supports the visions of that show. I've had all of that and more. It has been very, very rewarding and fun.
When did you first become interested in historical sites?
I've always been interested in history; I was when I was at OU. I loved political science; the two go hand in hand. I call history old news, or news of the dead. You're able to glean a lot of lessons off of the past.
What has been the most surprising part of your adventures?
The surprising part is that the doors that have been unlocked ... by being from the Travel Channel all help to really shine a light on the fun, great subjects we're covering in the show. We go places people can't go and that’s what makes the series very unique.
Where is your favorite place to visit?
Someplace rustic, with access to good food and good people and interesting culture, so I like being in the boondocks that do not have too long of a drive to civilization. On the show, my favorite places have been places where I've learned the most. I loved going to Death Valley. The beauty of Death Valley is as staggering as people have described to me. I've enjoyed going to archaeological sites like Jamestown, where the path is being uncovered as we're shooting.
What city has surprised you the most in terms of having an unexpected history?
Key West is, of course, known for being a tropical paradise. It has been honored and revered in every Jimmy Buffett song ever written. (This) contradicts a past of the Cuban Missile Crisis where it was a military base.
What is the premise of your new show Time Traveling with Brian Unger?
We are going to familiar places and making them new again. We are rediscovering places people know but discovering a new bit of their histories. We are bringing history to life, and we are showing people things about their hometowns that perhaps they never knew before.
Are people surprised by the history of their own hometowns?
I think by the time we are done, they are changed; they view their cities, their towns, their homes differently and take less for granted.
Technology is an integral part of your new show. Why do you think the kinds of technology you use for your show are helpful for people understanding the history of an area?
Mainly because we are able to use existing images ... essentially animating the past. You can't get closer to history than that.
Have you seen a lot of shows use this type of technology before?
I’ve never seen any show use 4K technology yet. 4K technology takes a lot of disk capacity to shoot on; our cameras use chips, not tape. Shooting in 4K requires a lot of space on those cards. It takes a lot of time. It’s very labor intensive to use. We shoot some of it in 4K and we shoot the rest in HD.
What's one of the most interesting cities you'll explore on the show?
I think I love sort of telling the history of New Orleans jazz and how it got its start there and why it’s such an integral part of its landscape.
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Original Article by Will Gibbs.
Photo via Stacey Richman