By Mira Brody EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – Still frames are great, says Outlaw Partners’ Video Director, Seth Dahl, but the story is what emerges once you have a movement of light, sound and motion. The Great Falls native studied photography at Montana State University and transferred to the University of Montana where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
“I love both, the active photography, finding that one frame that tells the story is the quest of a photojournalist and that thrills me beyond anything,” Dahl said. “But I started finding that I like that frames after and before that one single image. The story that comes out of it with sound, audio … you feel something come out of the subject.”
Dahl joins Chis Kamman on the Outlaw video team, who has brought a multitude of experience after working for Big Sky Resort and his own video production company, SkyLab Media House. He’s been helping Outlaw produce high-quality real estate videos, client commercials, internal projects and much more.
Dahl remembers the moment of his calling clearly—it was 2004 and he was serving in Iraq for the 1-163rd infantry battalion army, a National Guard unit based in Missoula. He had been deployed on a mission with an Associated Press photographer and watched in awe while she documented something many wouldn’t ever experience back home. The stories she told of documenting history and capturing the human spirit amongst conflict inspired him to go to school to learn documentary film and photojournalism when he returned.
For the last five years, Dahl has been in Boise running his company, Big Cedar Media, which he started in 2013. Big Cedar produced a Clif Bar-sponsored 20-minute documentary titled, The Long River Home, featuring veterans Aaron Howell, Russell Davies and Lonnie Bedwell, a blind Navy veteran, as they process the residual affects of war down the Grand Canyon, in kayaks. It premiered at the Banff Film Festival and was screened in 43 different countries as a part of the Banff World Tour.
“It’s incredible to go into these festivals to watch the crowd reacting to your video,” Dahl says of the experience. “They just want to sit and listen to a story.
Dahl was river guiding for Boundary Expeditions when he was offered the job at Outlaw, and was happy to return to Big Sky. He calls it “a ticket home.”
Currently, Dahl and Kamman are busy with a variety of both internal and client projects. One Outlaw project they work on together weekly is a series call A Sense of Place, in which a one minute video is created to capture a single moment in Big Sky, the lights, movement and sounds.
“They’re meant to showcase both Montana’s places and businesses, acts and events,” Dahl said. “They’re really just to show the sights and sounds of a place, in time.”
Dahl hopes to grow the video production capabilities at Outlaw, moving toward full-length cinematic productions. With his roots in documentary filmmaking, he is always drawn to the more “emotional, arsty” projects, he says, and hopes there is an opportunity to bring more of that passion to Outlaw as the department expands. “It’s always the art of pulling the true story of the character out on film,” he said.
As for Outlaw, it will add volume and quality to an already thriving and talented department.
“Video continues to be one of Outlaw’s most sought after services,” said Megan Paulson, CEO of Outlaw Partners. “We’re excited Seth has joined the team; his leadership will be a key part of our ability to elevate and scale our production capability for clients.”