The Making of a Film Production Company: Warm Springs Productions
Agnieszka Spieszny 01.26.12
Keep an eye on Warm Springs Productions and the TV series this film production house makes in the coming years. The company swept away three awards at the Golden Moose Awards presented by Outdoor Channel this year. This makes yet another addition to the recognition WSP has received in only its fourth year in business.
Most recently WSP won “Best Overall Series,” for Benelli Presents Duck Commander and “Best Graphics” and “Best Sound Design” for Buck Commander Protected By Under Armour at the 2012 Golden Moose Awards presented at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first year the company was in business (2008), they took five of the 10 golden moose awards they were nominated for.
I spoke to Warm Springs Productions President Chris Richardson about the Montana company’s exponential growth since its founding in 2008.
“We had visions of success but, growing this quickly has been a unique experience,” said Richardson. WSP started out at a four-person operation in a tiny office that went on to produce 78 episodes for seven television series last year as a full production house that does everything in-house; the pre-production, graphics, sound, post-production, filming, and so on.
Bridger Pierce, the Director of Operations & Senior Producer of Outdoor Programming was also on hand to discuss the company’s successes. He was excited about the talented people at the company that make success possible. “I think Chris and Marc [Pierce, CEO] have done a great job of hiring within the outdoor industry and from outside of it,” Pierce said. “It’s through that bringing together of a great crew that Warm Springs was able to continue raising the ceiling on outdoor television.”
Watch the season three promo of Duck Commander below
After fifty to sixty days of filming, 700 hours of footage and two to three weeks editing time per episode, WSP finally had 12 episodes of Duck Commander to present to the Outdoor Channel. In that time the crew really bonded with the Robertson family, the stars of the series.
“We spent hundreds of days in Monroe and it’s hard not to just become part of their family,” said Richardson. “They make you feel at home even if you’re manning the swamps with them for 40 days in a row…. I call them my second family when I’m down there.”
Both Richardson and Pierce recall the unruly time schedule of filming – cameramen had to get up before the hunters, around 3 o’clock in the morning, and they couldn’t sleep until filming was over; often times after 11 p.m. But the challenges were worth it.
“We would shoot long hours,” Pierce said, “but the reality is that we’ve got such a great staff who are creative minded and really want to put the best product on TV and so every single one of them isn’t satisfied until we accomplish that.”
And to accomplish that it took 700 hours of footage, most of which ended up on the editing floor, to produce 12 episodes of Benelli Presents Duck Commander. In that time, one camera fell into the swamp and every day the crew faced the challenges of pouring rain, ice-cold waters, humidity, keeping batteries charged and the many Louisiana mosquitos that breed in its swamps.
And while WSP can’t reveal everything they’re working on before its officially announced, look for projects WSP is working on right now with the Discovery Science channel, the History Channel and the shows that are already in production like Buck Commander and Making Monsters set to air soon.