The Deer Run Media team is made up of four founders and another employee. The team takes turns directing projects, rotating who is taking the lead on each one. This is a locally filmed scene from the Associated General Contractors of America project. (Photo: Deer Run Media)

Chattanooga video production company Deer Run Media recently traveled the country to create a period piece, and now the team has plans to show a rough cut of a feature documentary and start work on a short film soon.

“We do a lot of documentary work, a lot of corporate work, but we want to stick to narrative storytelling, which is more like making a movie or film, ” Deer Run‘s Director of Operations Jordan Berger said. “That’s what our main focus is.”

One of the company’s most recent projects celebrated the Associated General Contractors of America’s centennial anniversary. With the period piece, the team aimed to depict the organization’s “strong legacy,” they said. 

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They recreated significant historic moments as an anthem to all of the country’s construction workers. 

The team filmed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Monument Valley, Utah and shot two scenes in Chattanooga. They filmed the 1918 scene at the Read House and had help from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum when depicting the laying of the country’s first train tracks.

“Our concepts are pretty grand,” Berger said. “I think the main challenge with this was to reign in our concept…

The 1900s railroad scene was made with the help of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. (Photo: Deer Run Media)

“We knew we wanted to…tell all those stories of the buildings of this country,” he said. “Their association is of all the major contractor firms in the country. All the…iconic American buildings were built by their firms.”

Chattanooga was the perfect location for a couple of the scenes, and the community’s support of the company helped make the local scenes some of the team’s favorites, they said.

The team shot on location in Utah. (Photo: Deer Run Media)

Associated General Contractors of America Director of Multimedia Communications Andrew Burke said the organization wanted to make a video that commemorated the group’s history and the broader tale of construction in the United States. 

They came to Deer Run Media with a relatively blank canvas, he said. All they knew they wanted was a video that would make their members feel like they are part of a vibrant history and that the association will remain dedicated to future generations.

“We encouraged Deer Run to be as creative as they wanted, and it really paid off,” he said in a prepared statement. “This video has really helped us articulate and celebrate the significance of this occasion.”

“Wide Open”
The Deer Run team is finishing up a feature documentary they’ve been working on as time has permitted for the past two years.

“It’s been a passion project that’s had to take a back seat to a lot of our client work so we’re excited to have that wrapped up,” Berger said. 

On June 28 at the firm’s 1428 William Street office, they are having a small screening of the film, which is called “Wide Open,” and documents the Baja 1000, an intense off-road race.

“While we really want to focus on narrative [storytelling,] documentaries are also very fun as well,” Berger said.

The June 28 event will be at 8 p.m. and is a screening/critique, during which guests will be asked to fill out a small questionnaire on what is and what’s not working for them.

“Lake Winnipesaukee”
Soon, the team is moving into production of their first short film in four years. It’s called “Lake Winnipesaukee.” They are shooting the narrative, which Berger wrote and will direct, on 16 mm film.

“It’s about a funeral that takes place across the street from an amusement park,” he said. “There’s this conflicting, kind of juxtaposition, of life and death and joy and sorrow. There are some funny elements to it.”

Updated at 10:38 a.m. June 11 to correct a factual error. The short film is called “Lake Winnipesaukee” not “Winnie” as originally reported.

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