Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Profiling Producers: Update 1 - The Real Producer

The past three months has been a rollercoaster ride. We could not have imagined the amazing people we would meet, the amount we would learn, and the awesome experiences that would come our way.

It is only the beginning. We still have a whole nine months ahead of us on our 2016 Two Cowboys Journey. If it works like we think it will, and with your help we have five more years to do what we love. 

This short Blog post is an update to our loyal followers and newcomers, on where we are, our successes, challenges, and what we believe still lies ahead.

Jumping Off


If you review some of my earlier posts you will know by now that I became a maker in 2010. 

Before, I was an IT Management Consultant in the trappings of "civilized" life, or what is held up as "the way things should be". I spent my mornings and afternoons in traffic, on my way to contracts, jobs and clients I didn't like. Doing "work" through emails, meetings and more meetings, with nothing to show for it when I am done. All this took place while every month I was trying to escape the trappings of mortgage, car, credit card and other debt, to no avail.

Since becoming a maker, my life changed. First came denial. Then anger and frustration. The best and worse part of it all was realizing just how broken our world and its people really are. By making something, I've found relief, and inspiration. My values, purpose and faith in my fellow men have been restored. Change came in a good way. 

The next step for me was to become an activist, and to share what I've learned with anybody interested in listening. This site was the first step. I realized that there must be other people with the same frustrations and questions. A deteriorating economic and political climate in Alberta served to help me strengthen my resolve.

I exclaimed: "This cannot be IT!" There is another way to live and I can help people to find purpose and meaning in their lives through "making something". I enlisted the help of a great friend in the video business in New Zealand (Braam Compton). I gave my son an opportunity to launch his film career, and we kicked off our 2016 journey. We launched the Two Cowboys and a Camera Channel, the Cowboy News Network

We took one giant leap of faith by trusting in the support of our Producers and people like you, through our CrowdFunding site. Our thinking is that if we make an entertaining video product that people like, and we showcase inspirational people and their amazing business, and if we can manage to get support for our cause of inspiring more people to "make something" by showing communities and people that does, then who knows where it will take us? 

We may just help to change the world, for the better. 

Highlights


There is no shortage of inspiring stories to be told. 

At the outset, we wanted to offer an international scope for our message. Our video productions are of the highest quality available. We used the cultural bridge between New Zealand and Canada and the fact that we are Citizen's of both countries. You get stories from Producers in both places. Canada and New Zealand's people are similar. Both are entrepreneurial, community focussed, innovative and hard working.

We cast our net wide and deep. You get stories of food producers, engineering companies, training colleges, clothing manufacturers and artists. More are coming: Distillers, brewers, hat makers, shoe makers, and candy makers. All these people make things. Many of them are alone in their craft. Often they are the last of their kind. They employ family and community members. They support their communities. All of them have inspiring and unique stories we can, and will tell.

How do we know we have real Producer to profile? 

Two things usually happens without fail: When we offer to profile the Producer, we get a commitment and confirmation within hours, if not minutes. They jump at the opportunity to have their story told. Secondly, the real Producer we profile supports our cause.

For us there is a moment that we cherish above all. It is when we get a sincere and heartfelt thank you call from a Producer when their video goes online and they see it for the first time.

If we do nothing else with this whole campaign, then it is collecting these moments that fill us with pride, tears and admiration for the authentic people that are the foundation of our society. They are our Producers. Now they are our friends. It is an honour to tell their stories.

Many of the Producers we profile contribute to our cause. They give something so that we can use to continue to tell inspirational stories. Producers know that nothing is for free. Making something is hard work. They show their appreciation by supporting us in our video making endeavour, and recognize our efforts that benefit them directly through the video and indirectly through championing our (and their) cause. We've had sausages, chocolate, burrito's, cowboy hats, and beer donated, over and above financial contributions. 

We can tell the "real producer" from their willingness and contribution in support of our cause. 

Next Steps

The Cowboy News Network is another step to show how amazing our communities and people are. 

There are some stories we can tell that do not require a day of filming and a week of editing. The aim with the Cowboy News Network is to give these smaller entrepreneurs exposure. 

Where do we find them? We find them at our Farmers Markets and at our festivals. In the restaurant kitchens and sometimes we just find them by the side of the road like Motoburrito.

This summer is going to be full of these snippets with news from our communities, and features of our smaller Producers.

We have to monetize. We don't compromise on our video production. Every video we put out must satisfy broadcast quality video standards. If we make something for our Producers, we better make it as best as we can. The value in this is that our audience online, our Blog and Facebook page is growing with people that enjoy our productions and love our journey. People like you.

Soon we hope we can attract a few sponsors that share our values and that is open to be associated with our cause. This will help us to continue our journey. One would think that with all the people and businesses that benefit from our Producers, that this would not be hard to do. We are of the same opinion. We therefore invite potential sponsors and advertisers to get in touch. We look forward to working with you.

For the rest, please don't hesitate to follow-us, share us, and support us. If you like what we do, tell us. We love hearing from our audience. If you think we should profile a Producer in your area. Let us know. We want to meet more of the people that make our quality of life possible.

Hendrik van Wyk
Producer and Cowboy

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