Jordan Ebert is interviewed by Mike Austin in a clip from this Dan Hagenow video released Monday after Farm Technology Days 2017 wrapped up.
Kewaunee County broke new ground in hosting Wisconsin Technology Days 2017, which was held last week at Ebert Enterprises LLC outside Algoma. One of its innovations was a series of promotional videos that helped put Dan Hagenow Video Creation LLC on the map.
Hagenow is a former advertising representative who says he caught the bug in a video production class at Zion Lutheran School of Wayside in Greenleaf.
“I had my mom film some basketball games, because I was into sports, and then I made a highlight reel,” he said. “I had a blast, I loved it, and it kind of became a passion-slash-side hobby at that point.”
Eventually he found himself studying at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which led to an internship in video production, he invested in better equipment, and then things really got serious: “I had a friend who got married, and she said, ‘Dan, I know you do video, would you do my wedding for me?’”
He posted the results on Facebook, and from that first wedding video he was able to book nine weddings the following summer. By last summer he had branched out to creating commercial videos for businesses, as well, in addition to his work as an account executive for USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.
Last September he came to a crossroads when he realized his side business had grown to the point where he had two full-time jobs. It was a choice between his so-called steady job and his burgeoning business.
The rest is history.
“It’s been nothing short of a blast, nothing short of a journey so far,” Hagenow said.
Kristy Pagel and Terrilynn Hastreiter from the Farm Technology Days publicity committee saw a promotional video he did for a Sunday on the Farm event, and they contacted him to propose a series of three videos – one introducing Kewaunee County, one introducing the Ebert family, and one listing “top 10 reasons to come to Farm Technology Days in Kewaunee County” – which were released about two months apart during the ramp-up to the event.
The middle video, which spotlighted the Eberts, their farm, and especially their love for daughter and sister Britney, who died suddenly a year ago, went viral. More than 370,000 people have viewed the four-minute vignette.
“Dan was so wonderful,” said Renee Ebert, who is featured prominently in the video with her husband, Randy. “I was having trouble getting the words out, and he was so patient, and the way he edited the footage it all came together.”
As much fun as the Farm Tech Days assignment was, Hagenow admits his biggest thrill to date was doing a video for Service Motor Company with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
“To think that I filmed a Packers player in my first year of business, it’s just incredible to think of that,” he said. “I was telling myself, ‘It’s just another video shoot, relax,’ and then I saw him actually walking up, I thought, ‘Oh man, this is about to get real.’”
He also got to make a promotional video for the World Dairy Expo in Madison, and his Facebook page is filled with examples of his work.
“It’s humbling to look back and think about where it’s gone,” Hagenow said.
Hagenow, 25, recently bought the farmstead where he grew up in Reedsville and said his long-term goal is to convert one or more of the buildings there into studios.