Deer Run Media owners Gavin Fields, Jordan Berger, Daniel Russell and Houston Settle may be young, but they are busy capturing Chattanooga in a unique way through filmmaking.
The four-man team is moving Deer Run Media's office from its home on Lookout Mountain to Main Street's Crabtree building on Chattanooga's Southside. The team will share a building with Elliott Davenport's Wings Group, which the media team is working with on commercials for some of Davenport's hunting properties.
"My dad sent me an article about how Chattanooga keeps growing," said Deer Run Media Conceptual Director Gavin Fields, who began filming with his friends three years ago and launched the business this past fall. "Chattanooga is one of the best cities to start a business."
For the holidays, the Deer Run Media team worked on a project for a global communications business -- Adtram -- by going to different locations and filming their travel experiences. Fields visited Pennsylvania, while Berger cruised to the Caribbean, Settle visited his fiancee in Spain and Russell visited family in Nashville.
Settle's fiancee waiting on her visa, which could take up to a year. So, before the holidays, it had been eight months since they had seen each other in person. He showed up in Spain to surprise her at her 23rd birthday party and for Christmas.
"Our relationship would have not been able to survive without the help of modern technology," said Deer Run Media Art Director Houston Settle. "Adtram is a company that helps make that technology available. While I'm here, I'm shooting things that will tell the story of my fiancee and I and how technology has played such a huge role in our long-distance relationship."
Adtram makes network devices and wireless routers that it sells to AT&T and networking companies.
"Adtram talks about staying connected through wireless options," said Deer Run Media Creative Director Jordan Berger. "The whole [Deer Run Media] video shows the world being connected."
The team has created films in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Paris, France. This summer the team will film in Texas too.
Through all the Deer Run Media projects, Settle said his goal is to make sure an emotionally compelling story is being told through visually captivating images.
"Every person has a story to tell and at Deer Run Media, we're always trying to unearth what those stories are," he said. "Developing relationships with the people [in our films] is very important to all of us."
Settle is most excited about Deer Run Media's present video project capturing the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy in action in the classroom, in sports and in extracurricular activities through film. The video will be shown at "The Odyssey," a CGLA fundraiser Feb. 9 at the Chattanooga Convention Center in front of local philanthropists and business owners.
"The students and teachers we've met have been an inspiration and we're so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of its growth," Settle said. "Personally, I'd love for the Deer Run crew to do some film workshops at the school to help show that there are opportunities out there in the world of video production."
Music and Sound Director Daniel Russell said the CGLA project is the team's pressing.
"With CGLA, I take on a universal sound that uses the piano and strings," he said. "I'm trying to be inspirational about it. It will definitely be a challenge and I will dig deep for it."
Looking back, Fields enjoyed working on a film with his team titled "The Surface" that Deer Run Media presented in France at a film festival. It is a 12-15 minute short absurd, abstract film about two brothers on a boat in a body of water rowing for eternity.
He also relished the opportunity to create a documentary on Jackson Wingfield, watching him train and filming him in the Ironman Chattanooga. Wingfield trained for six hours a day and the the film captures his transformation before the race.
Fields and the Deer Run Media team have also completed commercials for Clumpies Ice Cream, Ruby Falls and Wild River fishing bags.
The company also filmed local Americana indie folk musician Kip Bradley playing his guitar on the bluff of Lookout Mountain. A helicopter comes and picks him up out of nowhere, and Deer Run Media's team filmed it 100 feet above the mountain in the helicopter.
"We try to put a cinematic twist on everything," said Berger. "Film making is our true passion. We hope to be a part of the Chattanooga film festivals."
Email Katie Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org.