Mid 2021 we were approached by an outfit that had found us online. They produce high quality mini documentaries for the YouTube channel, “Paragraphic”. When they first reached out, they only had two on their page, but the quality was like nothing I had ever seen before. “No thanks” was my first thought. I’m not a big fan of media outlets and this seemed like a deal where they could portray us any way they saw fit to get more views. I like my life fine just the way it is.
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They dropped a third video that was way more polished than the first two. Now, I was starting to appreciate how they were telling the story. So after a lengthy call with the guy, I learned that he’s an ASU film school graduate and is a producer for USA Today. It’s him and a few professional editors doing this as a way to build a passive income outside of their day jobs. I have final say on what’s released and can use the documentary in any fashion I like but he owns the video for his channel. There are no expenses for Amy and I. Hmmmmmm. By now he’s had a couple of videos top 5 million views.
We talked more about what might be expected of us. “Nothing, we just want to film the day-to-day operation of a family that’s decided to live a better life”. Much of what we do daily is centered around Fort Rock Farms and what it has grown in to so there are plenty of plugs on that side but really, we just wanted this guy to be able to tell our story visually. I’ve played around with videos and the idea of YouTube- I’m terrible at all of it.
We made an agreement and scheduled shooting for July 13th.
This gave us the needed motivation to finish some long time projects and polish things up a bit. We upgraded irrigation, completely rebuilt the pasture grasses and just generally made sure we were at the top of our game for the video. Here’s how things looked days before the shoot.
Having a toddler means redesigning the outdoor spaces a bit. A kids playhouse now resides where veggies once were. Do worry, we still have more than we know what to do with.
I don’t know how to estimate the amount of money in audio/video and drone gear that showed up. My calculator doesn’t have that many zeros. This guy was an absolute pro and made me feel as comfortable as I can be in front of a camera. (Honestly, I’m way more comfortable communicating behind a keyboard- me and cameras don’t mix well). Over the course of two days, I think there was close to 20 hours of action footage, interviews and B roll. It’s still in post-production but should go live within the next month. Was this a good idea? Not sure. I’m a guy that doesn’t mind taking a chance. The experience was neat, and the end result will include my daughter and granddaughter as part of a multigenerational story. Will it open up some doors to new enterprises and possible income streams here over the long run? My gut says yes. But that will take more out of the box thinking and big efforts. Something we’re used to by now.
Here’s me wishing I was anywhere else other than in front of two cameras for a couple of hours…