By Mira Brody EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – Still images are great, says Seth Dahl, video director of Outlaw Partners, but the story is what emerges once you have movement of light, sound, and movement. The Great Falls native studied photography at Montana State University and transferred to the University of Montana where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
âI love both, active photography, finding that a frame that tells the story is a photojournalist’s quest and one that thrills me beyond anything,â Dahl said. âBut I started to find that I like those frames after and before that single frame. The story that comes out of it with the sound, the audioâ¦ you feel something go off topic.
Dahl joins Chis Kamman in the Outlaw video team, who brought a wealth of experience after working for Big Sky Resort and his own video production company, SkyLab Media House. He has helped Outlaw produce high quality real estate videos, advertisements for clients, internal projects and more.
Dahl clearly remembers the time of his call – it was in 2004 and he was serving in Iraq for the 1-163e Army Infantry Battalion, a National Guard unit based in Missoula. He had been deployed on a mission with an Associated Press photographer and had watched in wonder as she documented something many would never know about home. The stories she told about documenting history and capturing the human spirit in the midst of conflict inspired her to go to school to learn documentary filmmaking and photojournalism upon her return.
For the past five years, Dahl has been at Boise to run his business, Big Cedar Media, which he launched in 2013. Big Cedar has produced a 20-minute Clif Bar-sponsored documentary titled The Long River Home, featuring starring veterans Aaron Howell, Russell Davies and Lonnie Bedwell, a blind Navy veteran, as they deal with the residual effects of the war in the Grand Canyon, by kayak. It premiered at the Banff Film Festival and was screened in 43 different countries as part of the Banff World Tour.
âIt’s amazing to go to these festivals to watch the crowds react to your video,â Dahl said of the experience. âThey just want to sit down and listen to a story.
Dahl was a river guide for Boundary Expeditions when offered the position at Outlaw and was happy to return to Big Sky. He calls it “a return ticket”.
Currently, Dahl and Kamman are busy with a variety of internal and client projects. One Outlaw project they work on together each week is a series called A Sense of Place, in which a one-minute video is created to capture a single moment in Big Sky, the lights, movement, and sound.
âThey are meant to showcase both places and businesses, acts and events of Montana,â Dahl said. “They are really just to show the sights and sounds of a place, in time.”
Dahl hopes to expand Outlaw’s video production capabilities, moving towards full-length film productions. With his roots in documentary filmmaking, he’s always drawn to the more “emotional and artistic” endeavors, he says, and hopes there will be an opportunity to bring more of that passion to Outlaw as the department is developing. âIt’s always the art of getting the true story of the character in a movie,â he said.
As for Outlaw, it will add volume and quality to an already thriving and talented department.
âVideo continues to be one of Outlaw’s most sought-after services,â said Megan Paulson, CEO of Outlaw Partners. âWe are delighted that Seth has joined the team; his leadership will be a key element of our ability to elevate and evolve our production capacity for customers.