People sometimes ask if boredom has been a problem since I retired. The answer is no, thanks in part to “Idaho: the Movie,” a project I’ve been working on most of this year with a company called Wide Eye Productions.
I’d worked with Wide Eye on another project several years ago, and when the people there came up with a new idea, I was lucky enough to be asked to help. They’d been shooting gorgeous HD and beyond-HD video of Idaho for over years and wanted to use it to make a movie. I was asked to be its writer and narrator, which proved to be an education — as well as the most fun I’ve had in some time.
The Wide Eye crew spent a big part of this year shooting additonal video, including interviews with me at my home and on the road. The education part of it, for me at least, was learning how much time and hard work go into making good television. Scenes that take thirty seconds or less in the edited film can take hours or days of traveling, on-site preparation and shooting. The photographers and editors routinely worked 15- and 20-hour days.
It was less time-consuming for me as the writer-narrator, but still a challenge. I’m geared to writing columns and lengthy profiles or feature stories. Writing short, informative segments that coordinated with what viewers would be seeing was a new experience, as was recording voiceovers in the studio. It was a lot of work, but I’d do it over again in a heartbeat — especially after seeing the final version, which shows our state and the work of those talented photographers and editors at their best. Because I didn’t shoot a single frame of it, I can say without bragging that it’s a truly stunning portrait of the place we call home – a love letter to Idaho
In my career as a journalist, I crisscrossed Idaho repeatedly. So I was surprised (and a bit embarrassed) while working on the film to be introduced to a couple of places I’d never been. It gave me a new appreciation for a state so big and diverse that you can spend a lifetime in it and it never stops surprising you.
“Idaho: the Movie” includes interviews with authors Kim Barnes and Clay Morgan, singer-songwriter Pinto Bennett, mountain guide and extreme skier Zack Crist and fly-fishing guide Lonnie Allen (who is also the mayor of Warm River, population three.) Each of them spoke eloquently about the parts of Idaho they call home.
On Sunday at 9 a.m., I’ll join two members of the Wide Eye bunch in viewing parts of the film and discussing it with Dee Sarton on KTVB’s Viewpoint program. “Idaho: the Movie” itself will premiere on Channel 7 at 8 p.m. on Friday Nov. 30. We hope you’ll join us for a new look at an old friend.
Editor’s note: DVDs of “Idaho: the Movie: will be sold at Idaho Mountain Touring; Idaho Albertsons, Costco and Flying J stores, and http://www.idahothemovie.com beginning next week. Signings will be at Idaho Mountain Touring, 13th and Main, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m.; the Boise Costco Store on South Cole Road Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at the Albertsons Store at Cherry Lane & Ten Mile Dec. 8 from noon to 2 p.m.