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CLN Exclusive: Behind the Scenes of YETI’s Short Film Creation

A few months back, Cowboy Lifestyle Network had the opportunity to do some PHENOMENAL write-ups for a company that’s known for its insulated coolers, that company is none other than YETI. So far, we’ve been able to do inside interviews with some of their ambassadors as well as take an inside look at one of the largest companies in the insulated cooler industry. If you are a fan of YETI’s Short Films just like I am, then you need to make sure you keep reading, because I had the opportunity to interview one of the guys that make those films possible. Without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to Scott Ballew, the Head of Content for YETI.

CLN: Can you give our audience a brief introduction to yourself?

Scott: I started my career in LA when I was about 22, as a PA on feature films and TV shows. That somehow morphed into producing commercials for 10 years, which is how I got connected with YETI. I produced their first broadcast spot in 2014 or so, featuring David Mangum. It was right around when they were about to introduce the stainless steel Ramblers and blow up as a company. Their humble goal at the time was to produce one short film per week, and they asked me if I wanted to be the guy to do it. So, I moved to Austin!

CLN: How do the topics/stories get picked for the short films?

Scott: A lot of the time they will be on people or stories that I come across that are worth exploring. There are also a lot of directors and production partners we use a lot and trust who will pitch us ideas. I’d say at this point half come from internal sources, and half come externally.

CLN: Can you describe the production/creative process once a topic has been chosen?

Scott: Not really. I’d say it’s become a very instinctual and nuanced process that all revolves around telling the best story possible.

CLN: Can you give our audience a little more insight into the importance of telling these stories through video?

Scott: Stories are what connects everyone, and how we make sense of the world – and our own stories. With a video they just make it a little easier and enjoyable to digest. With beautiful cinematography, compelling music, and interesting characters – it’s a much more pleasant way to explore human nature than reading the news.

CLN: Do you have a certain video/short film that you’ve worked on that has really stood out to you and/or made an impact on your life?

Scott: My three favorites are The Long Time, Anchor Point, and the Terry Allen episode of Midnight Hour with Ryan Bingham. I love all of the outdoor films and doing those activities myself, but music is my number one passion and these three really celebrate people who have carved out a unique way of living that inspired me.

CLN: Do you have any closing thoughts about your involvement with YETI and your role in producing YETI’s short films that you’d like our audience to know?

Scott: I’ve been very lucky to be along for the ride. More important than the films for me has been the chance to travel to remote places of the world I would have never otherwise gone, and meet interesting people I would have never otherwise met. The finished film is usually just the byproduct of a life changing adventure or new relationship.

I would personally like to thank the team at YETI for all the great stories they keep pushing out. If you’re curious about my personal favorite YETI Short Film, check it out below and let me know what yours is in the comments!

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at krysta@clngo.com.

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