Fascinating fact #1: Oregon is the number one producer of filberts in the country.
Fascinating fact #2: They are no longer called Filberts. It is all Hazelnuts, all the time.
Learned both of these of the course of the last few months on assignment with our good friends at Harvest PR for the Oregon Hazelnut Commission. Turns out the Willamette Valley is ideal for growing hazelnuts, and now priced at roughly a penny a nut, it is an industry that is growing, literally. This was the first time I had ever seen a hazelnut harvest and it is like watching machines dance between rows of trees. It is all synchronized and very dusty which left us with nothing to do but try and cut in.
We were blessed with wonderful fall weather and gorgeous orange light which made for some lovely footage. Shooting both video and stills for a project can be tricky because sometimes Christopher and I find ourselves sharing people and space and light. And anyone who know me, knows this first-born doesn't like to share. There is also the brain shift of moving from shooting stills to directing video and with that the challenge of asking your talent (who in their days off are actually farmers) to do that thing...just one more time. Luckily, pretty much everyone we worked with believed in the industry pretty passionately and were game to play with us. You can see some of the fruits of our labor at the OHC's Facebook Page and Blog.
Check out the final video below and tell me if it doesn't make you tear up...just a little. (And why, yes, that is photographer Frank DiMarco doing the video voiceover, sounding so folksy and cosy and wise. How astute of you to notice.)