When to DIY

Last summer, when I was trying to get the cost of building my home down, I told my builder I could paint myself therefore saving thousands.

I’ve now spent the last three weeks painting. My shoulders are sore, I have a bruise on my shin from repeatedly hitting the ladder, and I’m wondering what happened to July. A friend asked me if it was worth it.

Yes and No.

I’m glad I saved the money, have some pride in the work I accomplished, and learned a lot along the way.

But I also wonder how much better it would look had a professional done it. How much money my time invested cost me, and how many nights I will spend with my ice pack on my neck.

People sometimes ask me if they can just do videos for themselves
–  and my answer is always “Maybe”.

It depends on your knowledge or desire to learn, how much time you want to invest, and what you are trying to accomplish.

If you do DIY I hope that our tips are helpful. And when you or someone you know decides it’s time to call in the professionals I hope you will give us a call or referral.

The Interview

Danie, Amanda, and some of their favorite people attended the Stillwater Rotary Club’s dueling pianos fundraiser, “Shout It Out Stillwater” event last month.
Amanda looked around the room and asked Danie, “How many people in this room do you think we have interviewed?”
A friend noted the use of the word interviewed instead of filmed.

Yes, at Lead Sheep Productions, we do many types of videos, but Amanda’s gift and focus is always on the interview. How we help our clients be comfortable on camera and share their story, their passion, and their message to their audience.

Danie’s gift is visual, making sure what you see during the interview is not only technically correct but helps tell the story.

We work very collaboratively. Both adding, helping, and inspiring each other on shoot day. But we also know and respect our respective gifts.

What are the gifts you and your team bring to your business, non-profit, or family?
How do you use this collaboration to serve?
And how are you sharing this with your audience?

And how many people had we interviewed in that room?
Dozens! And there are so many more to talk to.


In late April a new “friend” popped up in my Snapchat.
“My AI”

AI or Artificial Intelligence has been a topic for many years.
How could it change our everyday lives?
Will it replace people in different industries?
Will it gain consciousness and take over the world?

I admit seeing my new “friend” that I cannot delete and comes with a warning from Snapchat about the data it is collecting was unnerving.  I have not interacted with it.

However, the truth is I have been using AI in my work for years.

My editing software will help me color correct. Getting close and then allowing me to dial into the right settings. Google helps me create closed captions.
Again, giving me a start that I then correct.
It still needs the human touch.

And while I don’t know where AI is taking us, in both exciting and scary ways.
I know this.

Here at Lead Sheep Productions, we will be adapting to what serves our clients best, helping them navigate this technology while promoting connection and authenticity. And staying true to our core values of connection, creativity, preservation, exceeding expectations, and fun!

What’s the Story

Does anyone else struggle with what to write in your newsletter?
The last two months we have been busy, good busy, but what day is it?
I just realized it was almost April and I needed to write a newsletter quickly. But I am suffering from writer’s block staring at that blinking cursor.

Then I thought “What I would recommend to my clients?”
“What’s the story?”
Story engages, entertains, and gives your audience a peek behind the scenes, so here are some of my favorite stories from the first quarter of 2023.

January Weather
In January we helped document the World Snow Sculpting Championships in Stillwater, MN. We put a GoPro camera on top of Water Street Inn. And it rained, snowed, and sleeted. When I came back to check on the camera it had ice over the lens! Yikes, but the video of it forming was actually pretty cool. See it here.

Our First Road Trip
In February we got to do our first road trip to Oklahoma for two personal histories. 1798 miles, 28 hours in a rental car stuffed with camera gear, we filmed two amazing clients and had countless laughs.

A video producer, an insurance agent, and a pony walk into an office.
It’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s just a day in this crazy amazing career we have chosen. And yes, we made it happen when our client wanted to film a fun commercial to let people know she can insure their farm or ranch. And, thankfully, Glitter the Pony was a very professional actor.
See it here.

The Best Compliment

The end goal of any project is to have a video, that is what people pay us to do.

But just having a video is not our goal. We want our clients to have an amazing experience making the video with us.

We recently filmed a personal history with a client who was a little apprehensive. After almost two hours of filming, she smiled and said, “That was fun!”.

This is the best compliment we can receive.
When people are having fun and enjoying themselves it shows in the final product.

So whether you are filming with us or doing your own clip on social media, remember…

You can hear when someone is smiling.

#2 Try it!
Whatever you’re thinking of saying give it a try.
You can always edit it out or delete it.

#3 Show Your Personality
Think of the videos you like, is it just the content
or is it connecting with the person?

New 2023 Packages

2023 Packages (with options)


You can use video to connect with your audience in so many ways. And each video can be created with many options, from photos to close captioning to hair and make-up. Combining that with Amanda’s top strength of Individualization and creating one-size-fits-all all packages feels impossible.

However, we have noticed trends in our client’s needs and projects we love to work on, so we combined them into packages that will still be very customizable.


Website videos for small businesses:

Everything a small business needs for three custom videos for their website. These can be about you, your services, product demos, client testimonials, etc.


Gala videos for Non-profits:

A fundraising video to show your donors all the fantastic work your non-profit does. The video can be shown at an event and posted to your website. We also include a thank you video to send to donors after your event.


Couple personal histories with photobooks:

We will interview each person and the couple together about their lifetime of memories. Creating a chaptered documentary and a photobook directing the family to the chapter they want to watch.


Want to know more about a package? Have a project in mind and would like us to put something together just for you.
Let us know!

The perfect gift for mom and dad

Looking for that perfect gift for a parent or grandparent?
How about a Lead Sheep Productions Personal History?

So, how does it work?
You pick the amount for the gift and send us a few family photos. Then we create a custom DVD with cover art, and that is the “gift card”! You present it to your loved one. We’ll set up a time to meet with them and get started. We walk them through the process, from deciding what stories to share to adding photos, filming day, and the final edit.

Each video is presented in chapters so it’s easy to find the stories you want to watch. We also have photobooks that can direct you to the chapter with the corresponding stories.

People who have received this gift and have worked with us tell us how much they truly cherish the experience. And it’s also a gift for you and future generations to have these stories preserved.

Have Questions? Let’s Talk!

Reaching Big Goals

On September 11, 2022 Amanda reached a BIG goal, making it to all 50 states!  Realizing she had already made it to 28 states in 2016 she started actively trying to get to the rest. The rules for being in a state are that airports or just crossing the border doesn’t count, you actually have to “see” the state.

This has been a fun goal, but it has also been a challenge. To not buy or participate in some things because you are saving for a trip, to get the most out of a place you might not have ever thought to visit, and it can be easy to give up on those things you just want to do for fun.

But it was so worth it!

The sense of accomplishment, the things you get to see and experience, the people you meet, what you learn about the world and yourself.

There is something special about finishing this goal on Sept.11th. You may have seen the Facebook post going around about how the 2,996 people got up that morning not knowing it would be their last and we should never take tomorrow for granted.

Life is happening now. The stories you will share are being lived now!

What is your BIG goal?

We got that b-roll


This month we filmed for the New Richmond Area Community Foundation. Their video needed to show some of the good work they do for the community, which meant a day of running around town getting B-roll.

According to storyninetyfour.com, B-roll is “secondary footage used to provide context and visual interest”. We sometimes refer to it as non-interview footage. For example, instead of seeing a talking head telling us about how you work with your clients, we hear your audio but see B-roll of you working with a client.

Not only does it make your video more interesting, but there’s also context you can convey quickly with B-roll that would take too long to explain. The B-roll can also be non-specific and set the feel of your video. We call this “Danie B-roll”, while Amanda tends to like the more literal show and tell B-roll. We find a combination of both is best. What B-roll would help show your story?

Time Travel

Last month, my mother, sister, and I traveled to Madison, WI, for a celebration of life for a dear family friend. Wende was the daughter of my grandmother’s best friend, Sue. They grew up next door to each other and remained friends through love (she introduced my grandparents), divorce, kids, and grandkids. Though they were not blood, 75+ years have made us all family.

As we walked in the door, Sue’s oldest son Sean saw my mother for the first time in many years and loudly proclaimed, ” you, you hit me with a golf club, right here on the mouth, it bled and bled,” and my mother proceeded to defend herself and how the accident had happened… back in the late 60s.

These two people, now around sixty, were instantly 7-8 years old again. They were both back on that summer day, reliving the moment of the golf club incident. And so were the rest of us enjoying the story.

A good story can help you travel back in time. Relive a moment, understand it from a different perspective, and connect us to one another for decades and generations.

What story instantly brings you back to that moment?