This lecture was an exclusive collaborative presentation from 2011 MSUAA Distinguished Alumni Recipient W. Clark Bunting (BA ’77 Advertising and MA ’84 Communication), President and General Manager of Discovery Channel, and 2010 MSUAA Distinguished Alumni Recipient Craig Murray (BA ’76 Advertising), CEO of mOcean.
The pair discussed “Building a Better Sandbox- The Art of Story Telling In The 21st Century” and the different tools available to us as communicators in the new Media Sandbox of the 21st century.
For more than 25 years, Clark Bunting has been asking a lot of good questions….and turning the search for those answers into award-winning, unforgettable and standard-setting television. As one of the Discovery Founder John Hendricks’ first hires, Bunting has played a pivitol role in almost every facet of program development and production. Whether he’s been knee deep in murky waters with the late, beloved Croccodile Hunter Steve Irwin, on the shop floor of Orange County Choppers or watching pumpkins take flight in rural Delaware, Bunting lives and breathes life into the Discovery brand with a signature mix of industry expertise and a genuine wonder and embrace of the world. As president and general manager of Discovery Channel, Bunting oversees the flagship network now reaching nearly 100.6 million subscribers in the U.S. Bunting has overseen Discovery Channel in a year that included LIFE, the record breaking and breathtaking BBC co-production follow up to BLUE PLANET and PLANET EARTH, as well as highest rated SHARK WEEK, DEADLIEST CATCH and STORM CHASERS in network history. Bunting has presided over development and production of new hits including GOLD RUSH: ALASKA, AUCTION KINGS, FLYING WILD ALASKA and SONS OF GUNS. He also continues to innovate the natural history genre with leadership and investment in new technologies evidenced by the highly anticipated FROZEN PLANET and CANE TOADS. In addition to all aspects of network programming, Bunting is closely involved with the network’s environmental advocacy and stewardship.
Craig Murray is the founder and CEO of Burbank-based CMP Entertainment Group, Inc., and mOcean, one of the largest creative marketing/design agencies and production companies in the entertainment industry. Consisting of over 150 employees in 3 Los Angeles offices, mOcean creates and produces trailer, broadcast, digital, mobile and print campaigns, as well as original programming and DVD bonus content material for a wide variety of studio, gaming, digital and network clients, including Disney, Warner Brothers, Fox, Paramount, F/X, Microsoft, TLC, Universal and Sony Pictures. The company has been responsible for over 500 motion picture campaigns, such as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, “The Lion King”, “8 Mile”, “Oceans 11”, “The Mummy”, ” “Wall-E”, “Enchanted”, “Up”, “District 9” and, most recently, “Inception”, “Tangled”, “Captain America”, “Cars 2” and “Toy Story 3”, the top-grossing animated film in movie history. And, in 2010, Murray’s team was selected to create the nomination film clips for the 82nd Oscar awards telecast. The CMP Entertainment Group has received over 400 major industry creative and advertising awards, including Key Art Awards, Clios, Effie, Promax and London Film Festival awards. Murray is a member of the Motion Picture Academy and serves as co-chair of the Burbank Arts Education Foundation. He remains actively involved with Michigan State University as a member of the College of Music National Leadership Council and the College of Communication Arts alumni advisory team. He has also endowed a CommArts scholarship in his parents’ names. Murray resides in Burbank, California with his wife, Lisa, and three daughters, Jessie, Courtney and Becca.