Coming soon to a theatre near you: Grand Forks! That’s right, the city has commissioned a videographer with local roots to produce a number of professional videos promoting and celebrating Grand Forks.
The results are six excellent videos that the City plans to use to attract out of town businesses, tourists and potential newcomers.
Nik Green, a former Grand Forks resident who still has roots here, was commissioned by the city to make the videos which would incorporate the new brand and tell the story of the area.
The idea for the videos came from the Economic Development Advisory Committee, which made a recommendation to city council in the fall of 2013.
“Shooting and producing the Grand Forks videos was a passion project that saw my team and I shoot various footage of the area over the course of 10 months,” said Green in a press release. “The end result is six videos that are intended for different applications within the city’s branding and marketing efforts. It’s very important for people to share them on Facebook, Twitter and the like for outsiders to see.”
Green moved to Grand Forks when he was 11 and lived here until he was 27 when he moved to Vancouver to attend film school. He is a former reporter for the Gazette and also opened up Jogas Espresso Café.
His interest in media began with taking photographs around Grand Forks.
“I think it’s a natural transition from photography,” Green said in an interview with the Gazette. “Bill Wilby, then of Contact Photo, got me started with my first camera and I went around and photographed this town to the point of absurdity. I had a shot of every building and every tree. I kind of went from there into amateur videography. I went from there to Vancouver Film School where I learned cinematography properly and production.”
Through his company, Global Authority Media, he has been able to film commercials, which he really enjoys.
“I like the concept of having to sell a product using visuals,” said Green. “It’s different every time. For example, this week we’ve shot for a major car brand, we’ve shot for the City of Grand Forks, we’ve shot for Community Futures. We just had a call from Google to go down to San Diego and shoot for them.”
Green first learned about the city project contract through the grapevine and knew he had to get involved.
“I knew the budget wouldn’t be what we’re used to with Ikea or BMW but it was something I had to do,” he said. “I would’ve felt silly if I watched someone else do it. I thought it had to be done right.”
When he first began the project, Green sat down with several city staff members and councillors to go through what they wanted.
“I wanted to make sure I knew what they were focusing on these days just to be sure I still had my finger of the pulse of the community,” said Green. “Obviously, there’s certain things that are a given, such as the outdoor living. We wanted to really talk about the lifestyle aspect.”
Green said he really enjoyed shooting the project and found that everyone who helped out were tremendously helpful. Of the shots he took, the time lapse photography was one of his favourites.
“It’s incredibly peaceful to shoot a time lapse,” he said. “You’re sitting there forever to make a four second shot in the final edit. You really get a chance to reflect on everything.”
Another popular piece on the videos was a funny one where Nik asks local residents to describe, and spell, borscht with mixed results.
“We tricked people,” Green admitted. “People thought we were just going to use the good components but we used their mess ups where they were trying to figure out what to say. It worked out well. We got genuine (touching) moments but maybe people don’t know as much as they thought. I think it was pretty funny.”
Mayor Brian Taylor said the videos are very well done and encapsulate the city perfectly.
“The whole process took just over one year in order to capture the four seasons that we experience here in Grand Forks,” he said in the press release. “It’s been a major accomplishment for the community and means that we can take authentic footage of the area on the road to try and spark interest in our community. What we are really looking for is growth of the community both from an economic and a social perspective. We really think these videos, once people get a glimpse of them, are going to help us accomplish this.”
The six videos can be viewed at the city website at www.grandforks.ca.