COLUMBIA — When Scott Mansker pitched a TV series about the Missouri River to PBS, he put the idea on hold after being told it could cost $100,000 to produce the pilot episode.
In 2007, Mansker invited Jodi Pfefferkorn, then a graduate student of film and video production, to make a video about the Missouri River 340 race he organized. After making a film about the race, Mansker and Pfefferkorn realized they could produce the TV series with minimal investment – the largest expense would be the cost of gas for the boat.
The production process was simple — Pfefferkorn handled the camera as Mansker led the boat to their next adventure.
Clips from their PBS documentary series "Rivermiles" will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the lower level of Les Bourgeois Bistro in Rocheport. Admission is free.
The six, unscripted TV episodes, each 30 minutes, focus on the Missouri River and people whose lives are intertwined with it.
“There are so many important ways people interact with the river,” Mansker said. “But they all care about the river and want to see it protected and cared for."
The filmmakers hope their series will inspire more participation in water sports and river protection along the Missouri. “We wanted to show how easy it is to become connected to the river,” Pfefferkorn said. “If Scott and I could handle it with cameras, it must be pretty easy for everyone.”