Alan FranksAssistant Professor; Director, Broadcasting
Heritage Hall 337
(205) 934-3877

Research and Teaching Interests: Video Production and Distribution, Emerging Technologies in Storytelling, Science and Nature Media

Office Hours: By appointment only

  • BS, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Civil Engineering
  • MA, University of Sydney, Film & Digital Image
  • MFA, Montana State University, Science & Natural History Filmmaking

A Fulbright Scholar whose films have screened around the world, Alan’s media experience extends to virtually all genres. His work has taken him across the US, and he has filmed in four countries outside the Americas, from the Australian Outback to the mountains of Malawi. He has produced media for a range of clients, including corporations, municipalities, federal agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and museums, and he has worked on feature and broadcast productions with international releases.

Alan’s broadcast credits include multiple roles on the award-winning series “America the Wild,” a program from National Geographic that was also available as an interactive game on Xbox 360. His most recent documentary has sent him to nearly every region of the country in search of stories about the hippopotamus, including the International Hippo Society and the song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

Alan’s interest in visual media reflects a lifelong love of art and science, both of which are needed to effectively communicate through the technical and creative craft. His classes emphasize learning and applying skills through projects that prepare students for a number of multimedia applications, whether for broadcast, cinema, or digital distribution.

  • Visual Media Production I
  • Visual Media Production II
  • Visual Media Production III
  • Fundamentals of Broadcasting
  • Director/Producer, The Pursuit of Hippo-ness. Feature documentary about hippos and the people who love them.
  • Director/Producer, Collaborative Science. Short documentary about Geologic Carbon Sequestration research conducted at UAB, Montana State, and Southern Company.
  • Assistant Editor/Researcher, America the Wild. International broadcast program for Nat Geo Wild, which received a Golden Panda Award (dubbed the “Green Oscars”) as well as awards from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
  • Photo Publication, Archaeology magazine. Photographs taken aboard the E/V Nautilus as it explored 19th century shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • University Film & Video Association
  • Certified Broadcast Technician, Society of Broadcast Engineers
  • 24 FPS (Junior Board for Sidewalk Film Festival)
  • Fulbright Scholar to Australia, 2007
  • Rotaract Club of Birmingham