Fly Over Country

By Kurt Bangert

For people on the coasts, South Dakota is a “fly-over” state, and fly over it we did in late August. But in our case, fly-over didn’t mean extra time to get to somewhere else, it meant spending a week intentionally capturing the beauty of South Dakota from above and meeting the warm and interesting people that call this wonderful state home.

From the air and on the ground we were struck by the serene handsomeness of the landscape and feel fortunate we were selected to produce three broadcast spots featuring the hard work, care for the soil, and economic importance of the corn growers of South Dakota. During the entire week the contrast between the perception of the state and reality was striking. Never boring, always beautiful, it’s a place that we all want to see again and again.

For me the opportunity to work with a talented crew and befriend people I wouldn’t have otherwise met, was priceless. Although we were professionally focused on getting the shots we needed, we always made room to have a laugh and conversation with the people involved about the things that are important to them. The moments that weren’t in the schedule, like the pickup ride with Dave so he could show me his prize cattle, tell me about the crop season, and talk about his family’s roots in the area. The conversations with Phillip about how it’s not about making money, but about the experience with his family - especially his grandkids - and how he can’t bring himself to call a man that works for him a “hired hand”, but instead can only call him a partner. These are people that care for the land, their animals, their families, and hold great respect for personal relationships. I am fortunate to have met them.

From every point of view, it was a fantastic shoot. We look forward to showing you what we’re talking about.