Latest News, WVPA Sharing

WV outdoorsmen’s videos to focus on Appalachian adventures


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If they have their way, a motivated group of West Virginians will give the rest of the country a good long look at outdoor recreation in the Appalachian Mountains.

Producers for Appalachian Range hope to paint a more attractive picture of the region by creating cinematic videos that focus on outdoor recreation all along the spine of the Appalachians, from Florida to Canada. The group’s first video is scheduled for release in mid-February.
(Submitted photo)

They call their endeavor “Appalachian Range.” Through video, still photography and the written word, they hope to acquaint people with a part of the country they believe has been too long overshadowed.

“We’re tired of hearing all the negatives associated with our area,” said David Miller, the group’s founder. “We want a positive lens for people to look through to see our communities and our people.”

To do that, Miller said he and his associates will “take a cinematic approach” to telling stories about adventure-seeking in the Appalachians “from Georgia all the way to Canada.”

They plan to do that by producing content that, at least at first, will be available on the Internet and on DVDs.

“Our productions will be available individually for sale or rental on Vimeo, and once we have a full season’s worth, we’ll make collections of them available on DVD,” Miller said. “We will have three areas of emphasis — hunting, fishing and what we call ‘exploring.’”

The first two are self-explanatory; the third will include hiking, backpacking, camping, kayaking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking and other adventure sports.

Teams of hunters, anglers and adventurers will create Appalachian Range’s content. Miller said the teams aren’t yet fully formed, but they’re getting there.

“So far, we have 15 on the hunting team, six on the fishing team and about five on the exploring team,” he explained. “We have some very skilled and talented outdoors enthusiasts on those teams.”

The individual teams are composed of people who are skilled at their individual disciplines and enjoy making video records of their adventures. Miller said two prerequisites for team membership are owning one’s own video equipment and being skilled in its use.

“We’ve said from the beginning that if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right,” he said. “One of the videographers who works with us is a West Virginia University student who works on the crew of the Duck Dynasty folks’ Buck Commander show. The girl who does our final editing is a Milton native who now works for Country Music Television.”

Miller said the group’s first video, about a hunter’s four-year hunt for a specific trophy buck, should be ready for release by mid-February. The videography in the video’s trailer features elegant “golden hour” lighting, unusual camera angles, drone footage and atmospheric music.

“We take a cinematic approach,” Miller said. “A lot of outdoors-oriented video relies heavily on ‘kill shots’ or shots of big fish being caught. We want our stories to be deeper than that. We want to document the journey as well as the final result. We want people to see the stories, but we also want them to see them along with the context of the Appalachian landscape and the Appalachian people.”

Some of the stories on the group’s to-do list include hiking and camping in West Virginia’s Spruce Knob and Dolly Sods areas, a bear hunt in New Brunswick, striped bass fishing in Tennessee, smallmouth bass fishing on West Virginia’s New and South Branch rivers, and bowhunting for deer in West Virginia’s four archery-only counties.

The idea for the group, Miller said, was born two years ago when he and some of his friends started thinking about the video footage they’d been taking.

“We talked about the need for exposure of the East in outdoor programming,” he recalled. “Most outdoor programming seems to be oriented toward the West, Alaska and Canada. Our region always seems to be overshadowed. We figured we could bring light and life to the region.

“We want to use the outdoors as a unifying bond. We want our messages to be positive. We want to encourage people to go outdoors for all the good reasons — to reflect and to find themselves, and to connect on deeper levels with friends, family and the outdoor community as a whole.”

They’re starting by broadening their presence on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and through their website,

“We feel there is an untapped niche,” Miller said. “Ours is the first comprehensive effort to capture the flavor of the Appalachian region.”

See more from the Charleston Gazette-Mail

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address