People sometimes ask if boredom has been a problem since I retired from the Statesman. The answer is no, thanks in part to Idaho: the Movie, a project Ive been working on much of this year with a company called Wide Eye Productions.
Id worked with Wide Eye on another project several years ago, and when the folks there came up with their idea for a movie about Idaho, I was lucky enough to be asked to help. Theyd been shooting gorgeous, beyond-HD video of the state for years and wanted to use it to make a film. I was its writer and narrator, which proved to be an education as well as the most fun Ive had in some time.
The Wide Eye crew spent a big part of this year shooting additional video, including interviews with me at 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 30 seconds or less in the edited film can take hours or days of traveling, on-site preparation and shooting. The photographers and editors worked 15- and even 20-hour days.
It was less time-consuming for me as the writer-narrator, but still a challenge. My years at the Statesman geared me to writing columns, profiles and feature stories. Writing short but informative segments that coordinated with what viewers would be seeing on their screens was a new experience, as was recording voiceovers in the studio. It was a lot of work, but Id do it over again in a heartbeat especially after seeing the final version, which shows our state and the work of those talented photographers at their best.
Because I didnt shoot a single frame of it, I can say without bragging that its a truly stunning portrait of the place we call home. Yes, Im a partner in the project and will get a (small) share of the profits, but Id say this even if I hadnt been invited to be a part of this project: Its 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 Id never been. (Im planning to get to Blueheart Springs and the Camas National Wildlife Refuge next spring and summer. )
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 3.) Each of them spoke eloquently about the parts of Idaho they call home.
I hope youll enjoy Idaho: the Movie, a new look at an old friend.
Tim Woodward writes a column that appears in the Life section every other Sunday. Follow him at www.woodwardblog.com and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.