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Production Information

Production Notes

The following sources were used in conducting research and producing the documentary.
  • The Florida State Archives, Tallahassee -- More than 30,000 pages of official state documents related to the Johns Committee are stored here. The records were supposed to have been sealed until the year 2038, but Florida's public record laws allowed them to be opened in 1993.
  • James T. Sears, author of Lonely Hunters: An Oral History of Lesbian and Gay Southern Life
  • Special Collections Library, University of Florida -- specializes in the study of Florida history

  • Louis Wolfson II Media History Center, Miami, Florida -- one of the largest film and video archives in the country
  • James Schnur, Assistant University Librarian, Special Collections, University of South Florida-- Schnur wrote a master's thesis entitled, Cold Warriors in the Hot Sunshine: The Johns Committee's Assault on Civil Liberties in Florida, 1956-1965
  • Bonnie Stark, a University of South Florida graduate who wrote a master's thesis entitled, McCarthyism in Florida: Charley Johns and the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee
  • Personal interviews with Art Copleston, Merril Mushroom, and Julia Penelope
  • The Independent Florida Alligator, The Gainesville Sun, The Miami Herald, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, The Lakeland Ledger, The Tampa Tribune, and The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper articles
  • Numerous individuals, including students, professors, reporters, lawmakers, and others who were involved with the Johns Committee investigations and have spoken about their experiences.

  • Executive Producer and Director: Allyson A. Beutke
  • Co-Producer: Scott Litvack
  • Written by: Allyson A. Beutke
  • Editors: Allyson A. Beutke and Scott Litvack
  • Narrator: Mark Sexton - General Mangaer of the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville, Florida
  • Voice of Sigmund Diettrich: Hank Conner - Television and Radio News Announcer
  • Music: Chuck Michaelson - Jazz Director at WUFT-FM/Classic 89 in Gainesville, Florida and freelance music writer
  • Technical Assistance: Brad Courtney
  • Photographers: Brad Courtney, Claire Fontana, Chris Nowak, Allyson A. Beutke, John Aldrich, Ben Wilson

The documentary has received a Louis Wolfson Media History Center Film and Video Award. Behind Closed Doorswon an honorable mention in the Archival Productions category, and the film was honored an the annual awards ceremony in Miami Beach in May 2001.

Behind Closed Doors was shown at the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival as part of the "In Our Backyards: Florida Filmmakers" screening in October 2001. The documentary was also screened at the 2002 Florida Film Festival in Orlando during June 2002. It also aired on The Education Channel in Tampa, Florida as part of the Independents' Film Festival during July 2002. Visit for more information.


For articles and reviews about Behind Closed Doors, please visit the following:

Behind Closed Doors is a documentary produced by Allyson A. Beutke, a graduate of the University of Florida. The documentary served as her creative thesis for completion of a master's degree in Mass Communication. It was completed in 2000 and is available for purchase. Please email Allyson Beutke at [email protected] for more information.

The master's program in documentary production is offered through The Documentary Institute at the University of Florida.

Copyright � 1999 by Allyson A. Beutke
All rights reserved. No original portion of this document may be reproduced without written permission from the author.
[email protected]