Where’s the story?

An increasingly popular trend that is taking over the internet and social media is the bombardment of viral content and campaigns. These viral phenomena’s, while ever so beautiful, lack something special. The creators are so focused on producing something action-heavy, blindingly-beautiful, or gut wrenchingly-funny that it almost becomes too much. There are only so many cliff drops, backflips, and barrels that you can see before it all blurs, and their effects dwindle. Audiences are becoming numb. All this focus on virality causes the creator to miss what really matters–the story. In today’s digital age, stories that truly touch the audience live much longer while creating a deeper connection between content and audience. This is where we come in. Meet The Locals Project

In the fall of 2015, two good friends: Scott Proctor, a visual designer out of Boulder, CO, and Salt Lake City based filmmaker Jacob Oster bounced an idea back and forth. See, Scott and Jacob had always wanted to partner up and create something bigger than themselves. Prior ideas included clothing companies and advertising agencies among many others. Their most recent idea was straightforward yet lacked depth. They wanted to go on a ski trip and document their experience.

There are only so many cliff drops, backflips and barrels that you can see before it all blurs, and their effects dwindle.

Jacob Oster

The Evolution of an Idea

During their college years, Scott and Jacob attempted something similar with their marketing buddy, Sam Ewer. Innocent and lacking experience, they figured there was nothing to lose.  Together, the three of them drafted a simple plan to acquire sponsors while developing a strategy for content creation. In a matter of weeks, the project:  “Save Vertical: A College Student’s Guide to Outdoor Adventure” was born. It didn’t take long after the launch to realize that the boys were in way over their head. Surprisingly, through hard work and dedication, they found companies (likely out of desperation) to provide them with beer and products.  In return they provided product placement in their final video as well as in their social media posts. After a successful trip and final product, the sponsors were happy. The boys however, knew they could do better.

Round Two

Flash forward 2 years and here we are. Jacob and Scotty have a bit more to their name than they did a few years ago. The two have a couple of college degrees and relevant industry experience. Jacob and Scott went back to the drawing board. They wanted to create something a little bit different this time. Better. More substantial. But what? “I got it”, Jacob said, “locals”.

Thinking back on past ski trips, each was similar. Not by the powder, mountain terrain, or amount of vertical skied; but instead, by the valuable locals who called these ski towns home. If you befriend a local, you have the potential to have an entirely different experience than that of a normal tourist. In past trips, it was the locals’ willingness to show epic zones on the mountain, and suggest hidden gems around town that made the trips unforgettable. The knowledge that the locals shared, and the stories they told, allowed the two to appreciate the towns for what they had to offer, beyond the obvious. These locals made a lasting impression, and because of them Scott and Jacob created “The Locals Project”. They envisioned the project as a platform to tell the stories of interesting local athletes and artists in action sports towns around the world.

Guru Dave Snowbird

We spent our first day of the project filming with Guru Dave in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dave skis over 140 days a year at snowbird & provides riders with the most entertaining snow report in the Wasatch range. Here’s a shot of the crew riding up the chairlift with dave on a bluebird pow day. 

Part of the magic in what we do is our teams ability to navigate around the slopes while lugging around heavy and expensive equipment. In this case the entire crew is posted up at the top of Hidden Peak to capture some b-roll . 

Behind the scenes locals project

A New Approach

After contacting Sam to join them, they searched for another filmmaker and photographer to complement their abilities and help create content across multiple platforms. Enter Tommy Pittenger, a filmmaker out of Salt Lake City, and Will Saunders, a photographer out of the University of Oregon. The talented team with different backgrounds and perspectives is committed to creating honest and authentic content while telling interesting stories along the way.

Don’t be intimidated by our fresh perspective on how content should live and interact. Story should be interesting, relatable, inspiring, and more importantly fluid. Fluidity trumps consistency in the sense that we want the content that we produce to be complimented by the platforms that they live on. This is an exciting day and age for storytelling and The Locals Project is excited to re-invent the way that stories live in today’s digital age.

To see how this project unfolds in live time, check us out on Facebook or give us a follow on Instagram. 

We made it a rule before the project that the driver and his front seat passenger must wear an orange mash helmet at all times. If nothing else, keep an eye out for this as we make our way around the world sharing the stories of local athletes and artists.