So, I did a thing, and now Dakota Life has an email list! I don't plan to use it often except for special announcements, such as a cool sale, brand spankin' new product releases, or sharing a peek behind the scenes of the Dakota Life process.
If that sounds worth the price of typing in a name and email, join the list! You'll receive a coupon code to the shop just for signing up.
... no, it's not what it sounds like.
At the beginning of August I had the opportunity to fly down to Texas for one awesome week to work on the set of a short film, Unwanted.
Not only were the cast and crew great to work with and get to know (it was my first time working with any of them), but it was a real privilege to be part of bringing this true story to life.
Watch the trailer below, and stay tuned for the official release from Ignite Visuals in October!
My role on this project was the First Assistant Director. During pre-production, I worked with the director, Josh, to come up with a schedule that fit all the scenes into four days of shooting, and didn't conflict with the availability of actors and locations.
Once we got to set, one of my main jobs was keeping tabs on the daily schedules, adjusting anything that changed throughout the shooting days, and making sure we were at least close to getting each scene done on time.
It was a really good learning experience for me, since it was my first time as a 1st AD, I geek out over spreadsheets, so working on the AD team has been my preferred role for a while now, and it was fun to experience a different side of that position this time than previous projects I've worked on.
I hope I get to work with this team again soon on another project! I'm excited for the release of the finished film, it's going to be good.
Are you participating in NANOWRIMO this year?
My problem is always trying to remember what word count I'm supposed to be at on a given day.
So, with that in mind, I present to you, the NANOWRIMO 2019 desktop calendar! Each date has a smaller number beneath, indicating your target word count for that day.
This is a pretty simple design to copy to use for yourself, or if you really want this particular copy, you can download this exact design via Etsy for $1. If you want this design but with a different picture, let me know and I'll see what I can do.
Have fun writing this November!
Congratulations to all the 2019 graduates! You made it! A special congratulations to my little brother, Landon. It may have felt like forever, but you've made it to the next exciting chapter of your life.
The look on her face when she opens that rare piece of real mail... that’s why this campaign is starting.
It’s not too often that my Grandma opens her mailbox and finds anything other than ads or bills. Watching this made me realize just how meaningful a piece of snail mail, even a postcard, can be.
This is too often the case, especially for elderly or disabled who may not have family who can regularly visit and who aren’t often able to get out and about. Opening a piece of real, handwritten mail can become the bright spot in their day.
Thus, the Sending Love Campaign was born. Choose someone you know who fits this description, and be the bright spot in their day by committing to send them one card a week for a month.
Do this and share your Sending Love story! Post a picture (making a card, writing a letter, at the post office, etc) on Instagram using the hashtag #SendingLoveCampaign and tag @dakotalifecraftworks!
Let’s do this!
At the end of April I had the opportunity to be 2nd AD and BTS photographer/videographer on the set of Wheelchair, a pro-life short film.
That week on set reminded me why I enjoy film. It's not the cinematography and the beautiful lighting and the intensive set decoration, although I do enjoy the creative process.
I enjoy film because in that world, I've found a community of like-minded people that I can relate to in more ways than any other group of people I've ever found before. Since my introduction to film in the summer of 2017, I've grown more than ever before in so many ways - in my personal life, in my spiritual walk, in my relationships, in my business skills, and yes - in my video skills as well.
I'm so thankful for such an amazing group of people and I can't wait to see where God leads in each of our futures!
I was never a podcast fan... until this year. But thanks to a few specific friends and a few specific interests changing, I'm now quickly becoming a dedicated listener.
I've been learning how handy it is to have something to listen to while doing work that, while it doesn't require me to be thinking about what I'm doing, also requires me to be looking at the thing I'm working on. I can't watch anything while doing this type of work, so having something to listen to keeps my mind busy and keeps me from getting bored, not to mention maximizing the use of my time.
Another reason I'm beginning to love podcasts is the variety of information I can learn in a day. If I don't have time to read a book, I probably still have time to listen to a podcast. Especially if I do it while I'm driving, working out, or even drawing.
Now, down to the purpose of this post! My current favorite podcasts. After the first one, they will be listed in no particular order.
This was the show that got me interested in podcasts to begin with. A friend introduced me to it while carpooling and I'm hooked! I've listened through the first season and I can't wait for the release of the second season. Hosted by Paul Hastings and edited by Zach Fowler, Compelled is, in their own words, "Real people, telling true stories of God’s compelling love in their lives." They've interviewed an NFL Super Bowl champion, a former abortion clinic owner, and many more. The podcast is informative, engaging, and, well... compelling.
Who Would Build the Roads?
This podcast was hosted by Josh Taylor and Kevin McCreary, and aired through 2018. I've recently been listening through all the episodes and it's been super interesting! They approach politics from a non-partisan position, balancing a view of limited government with biblical principles. It's been fascinating and thought provoking, and I would definitely recommend it!
Prager U is the one-stop-shop for all things conservative. Featuring a variety of speakers and topics, Prager U is consistently an educational listen.
Renewing Your Mind Minute
It's a minute, literally a minute, of recordings from R. C. Sproul covering a variety of topics. One minute every few days is such a small commitment it's easy to keep up with.
The Dave Ramsey Show
Financial advice from the best in the business! Dave Ramsey approaches money from a no-debt, biblical standpoint, encouraging people to live like no one else, so later they can live and give like no one else.
The Ben Shapiro Show
Frequently updated with new episodes about politics, culture, and recently, the problems with Endgame. *braces for lashback*
So, that's my current top favorites list. Have you listened to any of these? Agree or disagree with me on any? Any suggestions from your own favorites list? Comment below!
I am pro-life. That means I will fight for all life. Life of both mother and child. Life of both born and unborn. Life of both young and old. Black and white. Gay and straight. Transgender and cisgender. Male and female. Republican and Democrat. Blue eyed and green eyed. Cat lover and dog lover. Rancher and accountant. All lives matter.
Abortion is murder. Pure and simple. You can argue as much as you'd like about choice, a woman's body, and all that, but science is on the side of life. Science recognizes that a pre-born baby is a life, there is no longer any valid argument against that.
At the moment of conception, a new DNA is formed, and at that moment it is no longer the woman's body. Yes, it is living and growing inside of the woman's body, but it is a new and separate being. We speak about a woman's right to choose, but what about the baby growing inside of her? If it is a girl, what about that little woman's right to life?
Even in the lowest valley, even in the darkest night, if you are a child of God there is someone who loves you more than you could ever hope or dream.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Whew. Where to even begin? The 2019 Christian Worldview Film Festival was a wonderful experience from beginning to end.
I guess I never would have made it there if it weren't for our fantastic carpool crew, though. We left Fargo with four people and ended up in Franklin with seven. There were new people met, great podcasts listened to, and plenty of great discussions about good and bad films, and what makes them such. We carpooled on the way back as well, but part of the group changed which meant we had some very different but still just as interesting conversations.
The speakers were, of course, great. With keynote sessions from speakers such as Stephen Kendrick, Phillip Telfer, Eric Ludy, and others, it could hardly be anything other than impactful. The unintentional theme of many of the sessions was humility, a theme which I think hit home for many of us (at least it did for me).
I still think about the one question Phillip Telfer asked. "Is filmmaking an acceptable act of worship to God or a monument to my name?"
Bill Reeves spoke about how he makes decisions about the kinds of content his company produces. He said, "I'd rather answer that question before I stand before [God] than when I stand before Him."
Stephen Kendrick talked about how to have a unity on a film set, saying that "Unity begins with you being unified with Christ." If that unity doesn't exist in your own life, it sure won't exist on your film set when you're trying to direct a group of people from all walks of life.
All in all, the speakers were one of the top reasons I want to keep going back to CWVFF, whether or not I'm still working in film in a couple of years.
As always, the last three days were filled with film showings. I didn't go to as many showings this year as last year, but I did get the chance to see some very powerful and well made short films, as well as pre-screenings of the newest of the Kendrick brothers' films (Overcomer) and Unplanned.
Unplanned is now in theaters, and I would highly recommend you go see it. Bring your friends! People walked out of that theater at CWVFF with their lives impacted. I know I did. It has the potential to continue doing that for many more people in any camp.
Overcomer was incredible of course. The theme was identity, something that resonated with me (and inspired the last blog post I wrote!). It's very family-friendly with definitely some emotional scenes but also plenty of humor thrown in for a good balance. The movie comes out in August, so make sure to get tickets when it releases!!
One of the other top reasons I love going back to the film festival is the people. Some of my best friends I've met through the festival. And honestly, some of the best connections have been made over the 2 AM conversations in the hotel lobby. Yes, I lost a lot of sleep that week, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Last year, I gave away more business cards that I could count. This year... I think I gave away five or so. I decided to focus on renewing old friendships and making new ones, and in the end I think I got a lot more out of this year than last. Not to say that you can't be one of those people who gives away business cards to every person they see, but just that I had different priorities this year and I think it paid off.
All in all, it was an amazing week and I grew a lot through it. I can't wait for next year!