10 Throwbacks to Celebrate 2019
So much happened in 2019!
It feels like just yesterday we were writing our 2018 year in review.
We got a lot done in the last year, and we thought it would be fun to take a look back on some of the more unique highlights you may have missed!
Louis “Louie” B. the Barber
Often, scouting locations to film is like being a salesperson. You may get shut down many times before you make that sale, so to speak.
We’d been looking for a laundromat to feature in one of our Value of Electricity campaign ads, but were struggling to find a willing owner. After a few hard “NOs”, we looked at one more place. For starters, we didn’t expect to find a laundromat with a barbershop inside of it. What was even more surprising to us was the owner, Louis B. A brief discussion about using his laundromat to film an ad quickly turned into Louis becoming the leading actor for that very project (even though his wife was skeptical at first).
The ad couldn’t have had a better fit for an actor, and Louis acted out his part perfectly. (BTS video of Laundromat Ad)
Wheeler the Hamster
Different shoots require tons of different props. Sometimes, you need a prop that’s incredibly difficult to find—like a vintage refrigerator—and without it, your story falls apart.
We found ourselves in this situation in an advertisement we created surrounding a hamster running on a wheel to generate electricity. Originally intended to be donated to a family that had wanted a hamster, plans fell through, and we fell in love with Wheeler the hamster. Notorious for attempting jailbreaks that would make Alcatraz guards sweat nervously, Wheeler became part of our family.
We bought cowboy hats
If there’s one thing that says you belong in North Dakota, it’s a nice cowboy hat. During an adventurous shoot with Teddy Roosevelt in Medora, the Threefold team made a group decision to buy matching cowboy hats. Two black cowboy hats, and two tan ones made up two teams.
We’ll let you decide which group is the good guys, and which group is the bad guys.
PS. Joel is still on his quest to find a worthy hat (since he missed this shoot)
We camped in the badlands
The Maah Daah Hey is one of our favorite annual adventures. Usually, we’ll stay in a hotel, film the night before, and the day of the race, we’ll wake up at 4 a.m. to capture the iconic sunrises of the North Dakota Badlands as hundreds of bikers make their way across the landscape.
This year, we changed things up a bit. With over 100 miles of race course, it’s simply not possible to capture all of the Maah Daah Hey race in a single day. Over our years of filming, we’d never managed to get to the Never-ending Switchbacks, a beautiful uphill portion of the 100+ mile race. Our team made a decision to sleep out underneath the stars on a windy plateau and capture the race in a way we’ve never been able to before.
Don’t ask us about who had to sleep in the snoring tent…
Sometimes, we film in our studio.
Other times, we go where the action is.
That means it’s very possible for a few of us to end up filming in the desert for a couple of weeks.
In North Dakota, we’re used to the snow blowing in our faces at 30 miles an hour, so being blasted by sand at the same speeds, seeing a sand tornado, and a complete sandstorm washout, was a refreshing, dusty, change of pace.
All of this dust and sand is why we labeled 2019 as The Year of the Dusty Boys.
We wrote a poem about the sand:
Oh the sand, and how it erodes.
Wearing my teeth and heart away.
The edge of this wall, I’ll never see.
This dust and sand, has blinded me!
We picked up a leaky old fridge
When we weren’t filming in the sand, we were busy either scouting locations around the U.S. to use as film sets, or we made our own in our studio. One of our sets required an old fridge as a prop—and we were set on a specific look and feel. We wanted a retro-looking fridge, but had to look high and low!
Our crew ended up making a drive out beyond Dickinson to get a vintage fridge that fit the bill perfectly for our ad.
There was only one issue. The fridge, having lived most of its life outdoors, came in to thaw (for it was early March), and leaked gallons of rusty sludge-water that had been trapped in its frozen shell. We carefully drained the fridge, let it sit for a while, and went on to use it for our commercial.
After the shoot, we thought it might be worth plugging in to see if it worked, just for fun. It ran so well, that we set it up as a permanent fridge in our studio. While the fridge no longer leaks, we’ll never forget the rainwater it gave us.
We celebrated our fifth birthday
Five years ago, our company began our mission to create compelling stories from our home of North Dakota. To celebrate, we had a birthday party, complete with cake and piatas!
We’re thankful to everyone who’s worked with us to get us to 5 years—and we’re excited for every year to come!
We created a series of ads demonstrating the value of electricity.
How did the hamster, bicyclist, and hand-generator operator feel when they made electricity?
Shocked! Good night everybody.
This year, we created a stylized campaign to demonstrate the value of electricity with Minnkota. Our vision for the campaign was set in a world where electricity wasn’t always as easy to get as walking to the nearest wall—and sometimes it had to be created.
Let us know if you see the ads in the wild! We’ll share more about them in a post sometime in the near-future.
We started a YouTube channel!
Wanna take a look at what we do? Have you wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of our video production process?
Check out our YouTube page!
If you want to see more of our work, click on the subscribe button.
We Won some Cool Awards
We had a lot of fun at the ADDY awards in 2019, and won a few awards during the process. We even won a Golden Telly award!
We created stories
Lots of them. We captured so many stories this year, we had to increase our storage space by adding almost 87 million floppy-disks worth of storage. In total, that’s almost enough floppy disks to make it half-way around the world. At least, we think it is. Caleb is still out there placing them edge-to-edge. We think he is somewhere in Wisconsin, right now. If you find our trail of floppy disks out there, please follow it to the end and see how he is doing!
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