A Letter From Reid Bangert

When my Dad and I started Northpass Media we founded the company with a few simple principles: to make every project better than the last, to create content with a purpose, and to be authentic. This way of thinking has gone a long way in building the culture we have today, and has brought us personal growth that extends beyond the bottom dollar.

Northpass Quarterly is designed to give you an idea of how we think, how we operate, and how we create quality content - without a filter. It’s a look into our ever-evolving process.

In this issue our new director and editor, Matt Blume, writes about radio and growing up in Western Kansas. We also dive a little deeper into Matt’s way of thinking and why we decided to bring him onboard. We’ll also look at editor Brandon Roten’s background and how his style and technique is a perfect fit for the content we produce.

Last but not least, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look into 4 projects we’re pretty damn proud of.

The Case For AM Radio

By Matt Blume

This is a test. KAYS is conducting a test
of the Emergency Broadcast System. This
is only a test.

I remember that automated voice wringing the AM radio waves in western Kansas during my formative years of the early 80’s. I cleaned our garage every other Saturday to earn 5 bucks. And there, in our garage next to the WD-40 and cans of Shasta sat our AM radio. We had a tape player and an FM radio as well but the FM radio station sucked and my tape collection was no better. It wasn’t only the warnings playing on KAYS 1400 AM, there were also golden-oldies, high-school football and Royals games. There was also my personal favorite, a program called Party Line that never quite lived up to its name. Part verbal garage sale and part citywide announcement, the analog Craigslist still plays in my head. Everyone you can imagine called Party Line to request a babysitter or snow removal or advertise used cars. Most of my friends were beyond bored by the program but the various voices pulled me in and I always listened.

I loved hearing grumbly old men grumble and women with thick volga german accents selling homemade bierocks. I had an appreciation for the dry humor of someone actually trying to sell a broken lawn mower or three rakes and a Mr. Coffee. You could hear a mom overselling a lot of size 13 levi’s with no holes but some signs of wear. I once heard my seventh grade social studies teacher selling a used cross-bow. What had he used it on? He was too odd to hunt.

It was those sounds that significantly delayed my recent purchase of a radio (I am not ashamed to admit I spent the better part of two months researching the options). I was disinterested in the Bluetooth or USB charging features. I didn’t need the thing to tell me barometric pressure or connect to my Spotify account. What I wanted was to replicate the sound of the AM radio. I am always searching for those voices. Unedited and unapologetic. Voices earnest in persuading listeners to part with 15 dollars for a used love seat that was missing a cushion.

I’m not sure if I got the purchase right but I do know the AM radio taught me how to listen to people. It is not just the sports talk guys or Denny Matthews calling a Royals game. Often in the videos we produce our job is to just keep quiet and ask honest questions. To start open-ended conversations and ease into the content we are there to capture. We love finding the truth first and then planning how to capture it. Here is the thing that I think makes the Northpass Media approach different, we are all genuinely interested. Not just in the topics we covering but in the voices that are telling them. Of course I love it because for me it sounds like home.

Introducing Matt Blume

By Kurt & Reid Bangert

It only took about 2 hours over some solid IPA’s at Bier Station for us to see that Matt Blume was the perfect fit for Northpass. It’s rare to find someone who not only syncs with your vision as a company, but also syncs with you on a personal level. Matt takes a thoughtful approach to every project that enters our door, spending his time making sure every detail is addressed and the content is built right. It’s his knowledge of every aspect in the creative process from story to sound to edit and color that makes us like him. It’s the way he goes about getting things done that makes us love him. He also brews one hell of a batch of beer, so that didn’t hurt.

We probably should have talked about Matt’s list of clients or his past experience, but we’ll save that for a meeting someday

Introducing Brandon Roten

By Kurt & Reid Bangert

We’re excited to announce that Northpass Media is now representing editor Brandon Roten.

Brandon is a creative editor who has been working with top regional and national agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, and national brands for the last 13 years. His strength in visual storytelling is part creative and part science, which allows, as he puts it, “for the edit not to be noticed, but the message to be remembered.” This is a key element of how we operate here at Northpass.

He’s worked on agency projects for clients like FedEx, KimberlyClark, International Trucks, KFC, Kellogg’s, Union Pacific and ConAgra Foods. His work has been awarded countless Telly’s, and for the past two years he’s edited a multiple Emmy winning campaign for the University of Memphis athletics program.

We’re sure Brandon is the right fit for most projects you have in the pipeline and he’s available to edit here at our studio in Kansas City, at your shop, or through an online session.

AT&T | Filming in Vancouver

By Reid Bangert

As we drove down the steep grade to Horseshoe Bay, 30 minutes north of Vancouver, everything that was on our minds before just melted away. The sailboats, peppering the harbour, popped up against the most majestic backdrop we’ve ever seen; bluegreen ocean meeting sharp, dense rock that climbed straight up to 12,000 feet.

We were greeted by our host (and talent) Pat with a cold beer and warm handshake before loading our gear into his cabin cruiser and taking off across the bay. The feeling was so magical, it’s hard to capture in words, we just knew in that instant - this shoot was going to be more than special.

Keats, our destination, is a small island north of the Salish Sea and bordered on either side by Gibsons, B.C. and Bowen Island. It has around 100 cabins on 1,100 acres and the only mode of transportation on the dirt roads is by golf cart or moped. When you pull up to the dock, the first thing you notice is that even though you’re only an hour away from Vancouver you feel totally isolated.

It’s this type of environment that facilitates some of the greatest footage. We started filming immediately after we had our gear settled - capturing detail shots; grass, dogs, birds, environmental goodness. We hiked up to the peak of the island around sunset to capture our first views of the magical vistas surrounding us.

Our goal for this shoot was to capture a story of freedom while still being able to connect to the greater world digitally. We knew this type of story only works when it is true. There is no sense in hiring an actor to pretend to be comfortable living on the edge of civilization. Pat Baker and his family spend their summers on Keats Island far from the bustle of the city. He’ll get up in the morning and do an hour or two of email and his work day is done. This leaves him to relax, set the crab pots, spend time with family, and take in the absolutely stunning sunsets.

Not only did we capture amazing scenes but we also caught a halfdozen crab. There is nothing quite like a crust of bread and succulent crab to accompany the incomparable scenery. It was at the end of the trip on the boat ride back to Horseshoe Bay that was the toughest part of the trip. The shoot was over but we were happy knowing that we had captured the British Columbia sound.

Freedom
is what it’s all about.
— Pat Baker

LMC Truck | Bronco Trailer

By Kurt Bangert

In early June, we produced 21 videos for LMC Truck in 7 days. We finished principal photography on 20 without a hitch and were looking forward to the last one - a trailer for their most recent company build, a 1979 Ford Bronco Custom.

Back in May, when we heard the Bronco fire up for the first time we knew the video for this truck needed to match the grizzliness of the rig. The concept quickly came to life in our minds and we set off talking to our favorite gaffer, Troy Paddock, about how we could make our vision a reality.

So along came day 7 of 7, the smoke machine churned and the lights were set. The Director of Photography and Dolly Grip talked about camera movement and execution and we rolled on Camera A. Using a combination of light manipulation, backlighting, and underexposing the Bronco we brought the beast to life. Every crew member came together on this one and executed their job flawlessly. We could say more here, but this is one of those videos you have to watch. Click here to watch the LMC Truck Campaign.

KVC's Big Idea

By Northpass Media

We helped KVC Health Systems bring their big idea to life with a video series that presents the problems and solutions that face child welfare today. KVC’s vision begins with keeping children in families instead of group homes or institutions. It is this foundation that allows KVC to foster the needs of every child on an individual level.

The videos, which will launch in early 2016 will allow KVC to spread their message of urgency and help other systems around the country realize the benefits of KVC’s ethos. We love working with the folks over at KVC because they have a clear direction and a meaningful mission.

A Life With Leica | Still Going Strong

By Northpass Media

It’s been a year since we produced “A Life With Leica Featuring Thorsten von Overgaard” in Rome, Italy and the film is still going strong. We’ve had the good fortune of being able to screen the film in Los Angeles and New York as well as China and Japan but it’s the traction online that has us pretty excited.

The film has been shared across multiple photography blogs and communities garnering more than half a million impressions during the initial launch. This June it was published by the widely popular online publication Gear Patrol and has been racking up impressions and views ever since.

A Life With Leica is a good example of the results that can be had by incorporating the proper planning, preparation, and execution in all aspects of content creation.

Click here to watch A Life With Leica.