Student filmmaker produces documentary to break down Kansas state budget

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. --  A Louisburg High School sophomore is using humor to help people understand the Kansas state budget in a documentary. The film  premiered at an Overland Park theater, to a packed house.

Carson Tappan was thrilled to see his documentary,"Where the Buffaloed Roam: An Ode to the Kansas Budget" taking off. He takes a comical approach in trying to figure out how the state budget works.

"The satirical approach in that manner is mainly to draw people in with comedy and then hit facts with them while they're in it," said Tappan.

In part of the documentary, Tappan can be heard asking Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's budget director why the state can't just print more money to solve its budget shortfalls.

Tappan says of course he only meant it to be funny, but didn't think the budget director caught on. He says only about 25 percent of the documentary is satirical, which he thinks will be a clever way to get people to pay attention to something he cares about, primarily because the budget involves education funding.

"I'm going to be in the educational system for two more years, so right now this is pretty much the biggest issue in my life considering my education is pretty much my main concern," he said.

He learned a lot along the way and found the process of finding funding for education, eye-opening.

"There's been some talk that we're going to change the formula, and some of the ways we do it are kind of like, 'what? Why do they want to change the formula?' But at this point I don't think changing the formula is to fix those problems. I think it's to make it look like you're paying more into education,"said Tappan.

He said he also wanted to show others that you don't have to be a professional to put together documentaries highlighting what you think is important.

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