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What's New
Thank you Minot Daily News 
Thank you to Dan Feldner for a great article and the Minot Daily News for publishing the article on the front page of the paper on Friday, July 31st...

Come on out to the North Dakota State Fair...

You only have two more days to check out NoDak Films and sign up to win some great North Dakota made products...

Click on the 'related link' tab below to view the article...

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Believe in NoDak Films 
Pressing the flesh at the North Dakota State Fair...

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Stories from the North Dakota State Fair… 
You know it’s interesting having a booth at the North Dakota State Fair…

For decades (I’m 30 now) I attended the fair as a fair-goer, passing by booths without much interest, passing the carnies much the same, although I do remember going into the Pride of Dakota booth and sampling North Dakota made products.

This year I am that booth and sometimes I feel like that carnie, except there is more to our offer than just material goods -- I am selling NoDak Films, an opportunity that is easy to explain, hard to convince and great for the state of North Dakota and the people and businesses and towns therein . NoDak Films is the future of moviemaking, but I’m not here to explain that, the website should explain all to everyone. I want to share some ‘Stories from the North Dakota State Fair:’

Story 1:

One of my booth neighbors (a phenomenon I find interesting) is selling a product called ‘Solatube: The Miracle Skylight’ the guy running the booth owns their niche of the franchise with his dad; young guy. Well, the other day three kids approach his booth. The first kid asks, “What’s that?” He says it’s a skylight. Second kid asks, “What’s that?” He says again it’s a skylight. So he looks at the third kid and says, “It’s a skylight.” The kid looks at him and says, “No, my name is Brandon.”

Story 2:

I’m realizing that as a general rule, people are skeptical as they pass by booths and listen to a 100 different pitches on a 100 different offerings. Again, I feel differently because my business is North Dakota and serves North Dakotans exclusively. One of my lead-ins is “Are you from North Dakota?” After which I can narrow our relationship down to where I grew up or people I know and a dialogue ensues. One particular couple walked by and I lead, “Are you from North Dakota?” – He looked at me and said “no” and then he said, “Well I am.” I asked from where and he said Bottineau. Then I told him about my best friend Darin Messmore who played hockey for MSU-Bottineau. The guy said, “I played for them too.” He continued walking while his wife stuck around and looked at the poster board I had made that listed our CURRENT CONTRIBUTORS. I said, “so you aren’t from North Dakota, where are you from.” She looked at me and said,

“I’m from North Dakota.”
“I graduated from Minot High!” I said.
“So did I.”

She left with a couple stickers and my business card. Re-cap: The couple passed by, he said they were not from North Dakota, then he was from Bottineau, then she was from Minot.

Story 3:

The booth next to mine is ‘Amazing Grace Mission’ – a couple of old timers man the booth; great guys. The part of their booth that faces the aisle has two items on it: A small wood panel with 3 doors marked: ‘SEE 3 THINGS GOD HAS NEVER SEEN (OPEN THE DOORS).’ And a wood box with a hole in the top that says, ‘SEE WHY JESUS DIED (LOOK IN BOX).’ My young nephew was at their booth the other day with my sister and he wanted to look in the box so my sister held him, he peered in and then my sister asked, “So who did Jesus die for?” He looks at her and says, “a hole.”

Story 4:

People can be jerks. A guy walked by my booth with his wife and he looked like a jerk – the swagger and the malevolent stare give these kind of people away. As he passed, I asked him if he was from North Dakota. He said yes and I said I am too followed by my next line, “I started a company called NoDak Films to make movies in North Dakota.” He motioned his hand towards me as one does to shoo away a fly and he said ‘no need’ in a real jerk tone. Now some 5 or 10 feet from me and walking away I yelled; “That’s to bad sir, you’re going to hear about us soon.”

Hear about us...

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We are up and running at the North Dakota State Fair Commercial Building III 
NoDak Films is at the North Dakota State Fair, come and say hi...

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A different route this time... 
My NoDak Films “tour” began on July 16th @ Maple River Winery. Greg Kempel is an individual and business contributor to NoDak Films and had no problem donating his space for the event…

There was a small turnout, but a turnout nonetheless…

I stuck around Fargo for the Fargo Street Fair, walked the streets, handed out a few business cards and stickers, played a few shows under my alter ego (Nate West – www.nabruralfolk.com) did a couple interviews and slowly began to learn what is required from a business not many have heard of or about…

I grew up in a small farming town called Plaza, about 50 miles SW of Minot, but since I moved to Minot from Plaza to attend high school and then to Fargo to attend college, my route didn’t deviate much:

I-94 from Fargo to Bismarck, with a layover now and then in Bismarck to hang out with friends, then Route 83 to Minot to visit my mother. Depending on whom I visit, I’ll turn on Route 23 and head into Plaza to visit my sister and brother-in-law who live and farm there. Or stay on Route 23; turn up Route 8 until Highway 2 and head towards Ray where my dad is the pastor.

This is been my route for the better part of 12 years (not including my 11 years in Plaza and 4 years in Minot as a kid).

I consider myself a proud North Dakotan with a California address – my wife is getting her PhD, which keeps us (our 3 kids included) in California for the time being. Since I moved from North Dakota, I have lived and worked in New York City and San Francisco and Bakersfield, CA and Minneapolis. As I talk with more and more people, I get to tell them about NoDak Films and the fact we want to make great movies that advertise the state and all that good stuff, but I also tell them that North Dakota is in my soul and although NoDak Films is my way home, it’s also an opportunity for my kids to get North Dakota in their soul’s. So this leads me to the day I left Fargo.

I had a great interview with a great guy named Stephen Wilson who is the managing editor for a new magazine called Fargo Business Magazine. Not only did he interview me, but also he and his wife Sarah put me up in their house for 4 days. Before I left Fargo I decided I was not going to drive I-94. I decided to drive south through Wahpeton, then West on Route 11 and 13 towards Mantador to pick up an item for my booth at the North Dakota State Fair (Commercial Building III, booth #2014 July 24-August 1) then on my to Oakes for an interview with the Oakes Times and through Ellendale to sit with the Dickey County Leader, past Ashley to look at a property for sale (the Ashley Tribune was to busy to sit down with me for a minute), then up Route 3 past Napoleon for a burger, ending unfortunately at I-94 on my way to Bismarck for a show.

I was almost 2 hours behind schedule by the time I arrived in Bismarck because I had such a good time in Oakes and Ellendale and Ashley. It started with a nice interview with Jennifer Johnson, a Minot High grad who works for the Wahpeton Daily News, then off to Mantador to pick up the item. Then I pulled into Oakes, right off Main and walked into a building without a lobby, a few desks scattered throughout the room. Near the back, dead center a woman stood fanning herself. Told her who I was, told her I was looking for Moe even though I knew she was Moe. We sat down at her desk and I spent a minute or two talking about NoDak Films. She didn’t seem interested, wasn’t writing anything down, at one point told me she didn’t have the authority to make a contribution. Then I told Moe a little about myself, where I was from and when the small farm town drops from the mouth of some guy who looks like a city slicker, it’s easier to relate. Moe reached into her desk, grabbed a pen, looked me square in the eyes and said, “It’s your lucky day, the Oakes Times is gonna write a story about NoDak Films.” We then got on the subject of CSI and Forensic Files and Moe reminisced rather fondly on the days she was a part time cop in Oakes and went on her first high speed chase. The minute I left Oakes I was nearly 45 minutes behind schedule.

Next up…(Ellendale and beyond)

Click on the 'related link' tab below to view the Wahpeton Daily News article

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The nodakfilms.com Tour 

Come check out Nate West...

The nodakfilms.com tour

7/15 -- Acadia Cafe -- Minneapolis 7pm
7/16 -- Red Raven -- Fargo 7pm
7/17 -- Zandbroz -- Fargo 7pm
7/18 -- TBA
7/19 -- TBA
7/20 -- Riverside Cafe -- Bismarck 7pm*
7/21 -- TBA
7/22 -- Ebeneezers -- Minot 9pm
7/23 -- Blue Rider -- Minot 8pm

*(w/ Luke Graner)


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The consumer is the producer.... 
'The consumer is the producer'

Heard that on the radio the other day and it sounded good...

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'Product Placement brought to you with love, not money' -- an article 
So I was reading the local newspaper and found an article about the upcoming Pixar/Disney (not sure of the order) film 'Up'. Let me begin by quoting the first paragraph of the article:

"The latest 'Night at the Museum' movie has an advertisement for the Smithsonian Institution in the film's title. 'Angels and Demons' places Tom Hanks behind the wheel of a new Fiat. Capt. Kirk from 'Star Trek' uses his Nokia phone while speeding down a 23rd Century road, and drinks Jack Daniels at the local bar. The product placement included within 'Up' has a more local flavor."

The sad part is that the first three movies mentioned are chapters in a franchise meant to exhaust moviegoers into repetition. What's nice about Pixar, try to disregard the DISNEY insignia, is they are also a franchise, but the franchise begins from the name of the company and then trickles down into amazing original movies, apparently with a "more local flavor".

That's where I am now after reading an article about a Creamery in Oakland, CA named Fentons: "...the 114 year old ice cream parlor and restaurant - not only gets name-dropped by the Pixar movie's over-eager Wilderness Explorer...but later figures into the plot."

Beautiful! Pixar employees eat there, even the director and producer of the movie bring their kids there so why the surprise in including a local main stay in a good movie. My point exactly, the filmmakers said they wanted something specific that sounded authentic: "If you live in [Oakland] you'll get it, but it sounds like a real enough place that broader audiences will understand what this...is about." This should not be an anomaly, a surprising good that comes out of the current sequel–after–cartoon–after–book series–after-“opening weekend”-numbers–kind–of–remake-films being fed to us by the 'industry'.

I think films should incorporate the 80/20 rule (for starters). In New York, at least when I lived there briefly a few years ago, there was this 80/20 rule that said, in effect, developers can get a property tax exemption if they set aside 20% of their housing units for affordable housing (80/20)—housing that is targeted to hard working New Yorkers.

Why not apply the same methodology to movies. States and countries are offering tax breaks to come film there. Why not institute a policy that says, in effect, moviemakers can get a tax break if they set aside 20% of product placement for the local, regional, and state businesses in a particular state or country where filming takes place.


As is the case with NoDak Films. Make great movies in your home state that not only product places local businesses, but includes local actors, music in the soundtrack, towns, artists, technicians and land. States can begin funding there own moviemakers rather than offering breaks to the bloated budgets of Hollywood.

Kudos however to Pixar and Fentons and local product placement.

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North Dakota State Fair Commercial III Building Booth 2014 -- see you this summer! 

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Summer Plans...North Dakota State Fair Booth (July 24-August 1).... 
So NoDak FIlms will be at this summer's North Dakota State Fair July 24-August 1...
Commercial Building III. If you need more convincing, please stop by the booth and ask questions, pick up a business card or promotional sticker...

That's what I know now...

In the coming months I want to expand that reach to include other events (From July 15-July 23) where NoDak Films can showcase and inform the North Dakota public about our mission.

If anyone out there knows of any events, in any North Dakota town or city, please let me know:



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