Behind The Scenes with Dirt Time

We finally got around to collecting some behind the scenes pics to post up on the site.  We are woefully forgetful when it comes to documenting ourselves making Dirt Time.  But every now and then someone is on the ball enough to grab a few pics (for which I am hugely grateful for – Kaila & Tara).

So, in case you were ever curious as to what is going on behind the scenes, you can take a look here.

The first thing you may notice is that its just me and John.  Yep, that’s right. Dirt Time is very much a two-man operation (this is slightly misleading, as the last two Dirt Time episodes had the benefit of Lisanne Pajot’s expertise – manning a second camera and performing editing duties).

We keep things light. We keep things simple.  Doing so allows us to i) do it for the modest budget that we have and ii) roll with the punches as a project evolves.  As many of you likely know, a construction site can be a pretty dynamic production in and of itself.  Keeping a small filming footprint allows us to insert ourselves right into the action and follow it.  

On most of our projects, very seldom, do we get to re-do things or stop work for the benefit of the camera. We need to be able to adapt to the ebb and flow of the worksite.

Another benefit of the two-man system is that the filming becomes a natural conversation between myself and John – which is to say, the camera (or audience) and John.  When filming, the end-product is often a result of in-field Q&A’s and back and forth between John and me.  As a producer and industry outsider, I ask the questions I need to have answered in order for myself to understand and grasp the overall concept being discussed.  The underlying thought being, if I can understand what is going on (conceptual, visually and through John’s words) than the audience should be able to understand and learn as well.

Dirt Time shoots (and edits) are long, arduous things.  The average 15-20 minute episode is often the whittled down result of 5 – 6 hours of footage.  We have walls of hard drives dedicated to storing the hundreds of hours we’ve captured over the years.

But alas, that process of treating this video series as an actual broadcast television production is (we think) what makes Dirt Time stand out from all similar products out there.  When we make a Dirt Time episode we want the audience to feel that they are watching something that could belong on the airwaves of the Discovery Channel or HGTV.  We give the topic and the audience the respect we think it deserves.  Learning shouldn’t be boring – and that thinking makes Dirt Time what it is.


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