Humboldt: The Brand

Inside the county's new Facebookin', YouTubin' strategy to market itself

| February 11, 2010

Eureka, California is the city where I'm from
but if you ask me what I'm reppin' then I'll tell you The Hum.

-- Never Die, Humboldt County hip-hop duo

 

The poster announces a "Red Carpet World Premiere." Love, Humboldt short films, it says, Saturday night at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. A comely redhead in lace offers up a wicker basket brimming with local delicacies: a round of Cypress Grove Chevre, Lost Coast Brewery's Raspberry Brown ale, Winnett Vineyards' Willow Creek Red (glass included), a brick of creamy Havarti from Loleta Cheese. Stargazer lilies peek out from behind waxy apples and an intensely red tomato. In the back of the basket, a crusty baguette. The whole cornucopia rests on a ruffly clown collar of fresh lettuce.

It makes you wonder: What the hell is this? Art or advertisement? Movie premiere or lunch buffet? First and foremost, it's advertising, though make no mistake: there are grand artistic ambitions here too. The 16 short films premiering this weekend at the Arcata Theatre Lounge -- documentary-style shorts that mix natural beauty with product placement -- mark the launch of an experimental (and expensive) campaign promoting some of the area's finest products under an umbrella brand, a brand called "Humboldt."

Funded jointly by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the county's Headwaters Fund, the North Coast Small Business Development Center and the participating businesses themselves -- to the tune of almost $170,000 -- the Humboldt branding project has its sights set on the sea of consumers beyond the Redwood Curtain. The idea, as we understand it, is to publicize not just specific local products but an overarching image, a romanticized Humboldt mystique characterized by pristine landscapes, eco-conscious citizens and quality, hand-crafted wares. Couple these idyllic visions to our county name in the minds of consumers and voilá -- the rising tide will lift all Humboldt-made boats.

This is textbook marketing strategy -- even Exxon Mobil puts pretty nature imagery in its commercials -- but ad campaigns this ambitious have historically been the purview of major corporations with multi-million-dollar budgets for glossy print ads and flashy TV commercials. The Humboldt branding effort, on the other hand, was organized through the county's Office of Economic Development with an initial budget of less than $100,000 (most of it public money) and a success strategy dependent on the Internet's social media frontier.

That budget may be small potatoes in the ad world, but it's a fortune for small-town economic development. When the Journal first wrote about the project last summer ("Rebranding Humboldt," June 25, 2009), many got the impression (perhaps justified by the scant facts released at the time) that the county had just dropped 100 grand for some YouTube videos. Forty-four thousand of that cost came from the Headwaters Fund, the county's always-controversial public coffer for economic development. Local video producers wondered why they didn't get the gig, especially once they heard that the county had hired a cinematographer from L.A. The economic development office was inundated with angry phone calls. County supervisors fielded calls demanding an explanation. A few people even filed Public Records Act requests for documentation on the project's procurement process.

The scope of the endeavor, it turns out, goes well beyond YouTube. Last week, in anticipation of the "red carpet premiere," the Journal met with county Economic Development Coordinator Jacqueline Debets, Economic Development Specialist Angie Schwab and local PR agent Ann Johnson Stromberg for a sneak peek at the marketing campaign and an explanation of what it's really all about. Yes, there are videos that will show on YouTube and, with any luck, be linked to Facebook and Twitter. There's also a set of logos (they read "Made in Humboldt California"), a massive supply of stock photos and surplus video footage, a Web site and an array of marketing materials designed by the HSU Communications Department, all of which will be made available, for free, to local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Will this become the county's new model for economic growth? Or will these snazzy cyber tools get buried in the digital babel of movie downloads, porn and barfing baby videos?

"All advertising is a leap of faith," Debets said. Particularly when you're trying to harness new trends like Twitter and Facebook. "But that's where people who are 25 are living today, and we've got to recognize that marketing is changing very quickly."

 

 

One other person was at the meeting last week -- Clint Victorine, owner of Eel River Organic Beef. He's a big believer in the Humboldt branding project. "The county in general has just been phenomenal to me," he said. Recently his company landed a deal with Whole Foods Markets' Southern Pacific region, encompassing health food stores in southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. Ten of the region's largest stores started carrying Eel River grass-fed beef this month; within two years all 50 stores in the region will carry it. And at each of the meat counters, a flat-screen monitor will run a video in a loop, showcasing the lush pastures and (happy?) healthy, free-range cattle that go into the product.

Knowing where your food comes from is "the biggest thing goin' in 2010," Victorine said. "Everyone wants to meet me and see me." The one-minute video will allow consumers from Las Vegas to Honolulu to do just that.

Victorine gives credit for this Whole Foods coup to a 2007 study, financed by the Headwaters Fund and a community development block grant, that looked at ways to promote the local grass-fed beef industry. With the locavore and organic food movements building steam, economic development officials saw in Eel River Organic Beef and Humboldt Grassfed Beef ideal candidates for market expansion. "It's a product that can meet everybody's criteria with one label -- healthy, humane, free-range, grass-fed, local, organic," Victorine said of his product. (Consumers as far away as San Diego consider his beef local since it comes from California, he explained.)

Now that his cattle have a hoof in the door, Victorine is hoping to keep it open for other Humboldt products. He was among a handful of local business owners who, with the guidance of the economic development office, came up with the branding project idea in the first place. The county had recently identified several "targets of opportunity" -- industry clusters that showed potential for growth, one of which was specialty agriculture, including beef, dairy, seafood and flowers. Throw in beer and wine and you can see how this came to be called "the pursuit of happiness" cluster.

In meetings with Debets and Schwab, owners of these businesses said they were already getting mileage out of the Humboldt name. Distributors and consumers who had been here were covetous, Debets said, of our "clean air and water, cool lifestyle, biking, kayaking and surfing after work, [living] closer to the land... ." The business owners said, "'If you could brand that, roll it up and solidify it, that would be useful for us selling more products,'" Debets recalled.

What these entrepreneurs had learned over the years was that the county will essentially sell itself if people can experience it. Our remote location, however, makes that a big "if." Victorine, for example, worked long and hard to get representatives from Whole Foods up here. Once here, though, they were amazed by the evergreen cow pastures, quality food products and majestic scenery, he said.

"Small businesses here have the advantage of the relaxed lifestyle and local beauty but the disadvantage of being far from large markets," agreed Mary Keehn, owner of Cypress Grove Chevre. Her company's flagship product, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, has already spread our county name to distant culinary corners. (Reportedly, legendary British comedian/amateur oenophile John Cleese declared during a local performance, "I've never been to a county named after a cheese before.")

After Victorine gave the Whole Foods bigwigs a tour of the North Coast, he wined and dined them at the Ingomar Club with all-local products. They were impressed, especially by Coast Seafood's Humboldt Bay oysters and Humboldt Creamery ice cream, which Victorine said the company may someday carry. Trader Joe's has also expressed interest, Debets Victorine added.

The Humboldt branding project is based on the hypothesis that, through the boundary-crumbling powers of the Internet, outsiders can take a tour of Humboldt County virtually anywhere, anytime. Participating businesses can embed videos on their Web sites, send DVDs to corporate purchasing managers and band together through the color-coordinated marketing guidelines of the Humboldt brand, which include "dos and don'ts" for logo reproduction (no stretching or rotating it) as well as suggested themes and keywords with which pepper ad copy ("genuine," "abundance," "eco-friendly" and "pristine," to name just a few).

 

 

Let's go ahead and acknowledge the glassy-eyed elephant in the room: John Cleese's epicurean social circles notwithstanding, Humboldt County already has a far-reaching reputation, and it's for one thing and one thing only: "[T]he best marijuana in the world," said local rapper José Recendiz, aka KYZ-J. His groups Never Die and Lower Class Alcoholics frequently encounter this reputation on the road. "Everywhere we go, that's what we get," he said. "Either you haven't heard of [Humboldt], or that's what you've heard of."

It's a double-edged sword. He and his crews don't shy away from the topic (a Never Die track called "Sweet Sticky," for example, proclaims, "I'm a stoner, kinda like my mother and my brother/I got a mic in one hand and a joint in the other"). But Recendiz said he gets tired of being pigeonholed. "As a musician you hope to get any kind of recognition you possibly can, but a true artist wants to be recognized for his art."

He designed a T-shirt logo that he hopes can augment Humboldt's prestige. The image, based on hip-hop legends Run DMC's trademark logo, reads "REP HUM" in white block letters sandwiched between horizontal red stripes. He has other ideas, too. "The second round of shirts we're doing will be fishing boats and logging trucks with 'REP HUM' in the clouds," Recendiz said, "just going to opposite side, like maybe some kids locked up in a tree trying to save it. These are all things people not from here never see or hear about."

True enough. But is our reputation for quality cannabis necessarily bad? Most experts acknowledge that the economic heft of marijuana and its ancillary industries has become the major driver of the local economy, with annual county-wide revenues from weed alone estimated as high as half a billion dollars ("When Weed is Legal," April 7, 2009). While the county's Economic Development Division labors to manufacture brand recognition, they're studiously ignoring the existing reputation that has developed organically, so to speak. Marijuana and Humboldt are synonymous in most circles, which helps the name practically sell itself.

In 2002, 24-year-old Angel Young had "Humboldt" embroidered in plain black letters on the front of a few sweatshirts, which she then peddled from a rented kiosk at the Bayshore Mall. They went like discount dime-bags. She soon commissioned new designs, added hats and T-shirts to her clothing line and moved into a real storefront. Now located in a prime 3,000 square-foot mall location, with plans to open an Arcata branch, the Humboldt Clothing Company carries a large line of merchandise with dozens of local-themed designs.

"We're definitely the most desired brand around here," Young recently told the Journal. "We dress probably half this county." While she and husband Rob Ensign don't limit their designs to weed references, they don't shy away from them either. The attire they sell ranges from sequined pot leaf ball caps to T-shirts with giant sequoias and reggae lion hoodies. Clothes featuring the company logo -- the word "Humboldt" with a redwood as the "L" -- are hot sellers.

Debets said that, contrary to initial reports, it's not the goal of the Humboldt branding project to change or usurp the county's existing notoriety. The marijuana culture isn't going anywhere anytime soon, she acknowledged. "But this stuff is there too, right?" she said, referring to the legal side of specialty agriculture. Cannabis may be legalized sooner rather than later, and the county as a whole should be ready for that, Debets said. "In the meantime, there are legitimate businesses making up an altogether bigger part of the economy. We've got tons of work to do."

 

 

The Humboldt branding project has yielded 16 short films, shot in the spring and fall of last year. Ten were commissioned by individual businesses or co-ops including the Humboldt Wine Association, Sun Valley Floral Farms and Eel River Organic Beef. (This is what's showing at Whole Foods' meat counters.) These videos, called "Humboldt Made," are each about a minute long and serve as cinematic business profiles featuring interviews with the owners and some truly gorgeous cinematography -- ripe grape clusters hanging heavy on the vine, cattle at Table Bluff overlooking the Pacific and (relevant or not) waves crashing against rocks at Moonstone Beach.

The other six videos have an artsier, more high-concept conceit. Roughly five minutes apiece, they track a single, simple story arc (essentially girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and get married). Shot with a local cast at picturesque locales from Benbow to Ferndale to Trinidad, this series pulls out all the film-school stops, from slow-motion to time lapse. Cumulatively titled "Love, Humboldt" -- with individual titles like "The Kiss," "The Picnic" and "The Wedding" -- this serialized tale has no dialog, just pretty imagery and a mellow folk soundtrack. In each vignette, whether it's artists with easels on Moonstone Beach, young women enjoying a carriage ride through Old Town Eureka or a night-club dance sequence at Lost Coast Brewery, local food and beverage products make conspicuous cameos.

This portion of the project cost about $23,000, including a $10,000 Headwaters grant, according to Humboldt County Film and Digital Media Commissioner Mary Cruse. The footage has a handsome polish, lending even familiar landscapes an exotic beauty. "I wanted it to be cinematic, not an advertisement," Cruse told the Journal on Friday. That's a curious ambition given the project's stated purpose. But Cruse believes the high production value will benefit not only the featured producers but local filmmakers too.

That may sound like cold comfort to the videographers who weren't hired for the project. Chuck Edwards, owner of Stroop Effects Studios, feels the county didn't adequately reach out to local talent during the bidding and procurement process. "It wasn't done the way things are done in the real world," Edwards said. Not all local producers were called (he doesn't remember getting a call himself). Those who were called were asked for their hourly rate, he said. "Nobody really had a full understanding of what the project was," Edwards said. "I was disappointed in the process. It seemed clandestine."

Rick St. Charles, who co-owns Circle Sound Productions with his wife, Lisa Monet, said he and his son Matt were contacted and attended some preliminary meetings. "Matt and I said we would be delighted to participate and [were] willing to forgo our usual upfront deposit," provided the county would sign a contract guaranteeing payment, which is standard procedure, St. Charles said. "Mary [Cruse] said she couldn't do that because the grant money hadn't actually come through yet. We asked why she couldn't wait until it did to ask people to start work [and] she said she wanted to start immediately to take advantage of the weather."

Angie Schwab, the county economic development specialist who managed the project, defended the procurement process, saying she called "almost every [local] videographer in the phone book and ... listed in Google search." Each was informed about the scope of the project, she insisted, before being asked for their hourly rate. The Humboldt Film Commission won the bid, she said, because "They offered the most for the lowest cost."

St. Charles said he doesn't hold a grudge, and Edwards admits it's possible that he received a call and simply forgot. As for the complaint that some members of the crew weren't local, Debets reasoned that those who weren't actually living here at the time were at least HSU alumni and therefore "Humboldt made" themselves. The bottom line, she said, was that they were the most qualified.

 

 

In a nod to the Web's democratic nature, Saturday's premiere will include screenings of five entries in the "I Love Humboldt" video contest, for which members of the public were invited to submit their own 30-second YouTube clips extolling our local virtues. (Log onto KHUM.com Feb. 10 or 11 to vote for your favorite. The winner gets $300 and a Flip video camera.) The "Made in Humboldt" shorts and all six chapters of "Love, Humboldt" also will be shown at the event, with appetizers and libations provided free of charge. Admission is free, too (doors at 6; show at 7 p.m.).

After the premiere, videos will be released weekly at a new Web site, www.HumboldtMade.com, into July. Debets said videos for other businesses may be produced in the future, as long as grant money can be secured. Owners of businesses in other clusters, like niche manufacturing and forest products, have expressed interest in this approach. "That's phase two," Debets said.

Of course, the Internet is not just democratic; it's also capricious. Viral videos are difficult to manufacture. Is it crazy to spend tens of thousands of dollars on YouTube videos? Maybe. Then again, you could be reading this story on your cell phone or iPad. Maybe it would be crazier not to.

 Humboldt: The Brand

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Comments (20)

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The number one business in Arcata is laundering drug money.

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Posted by Joe Schmo on 02/11/2010 at 9:03 AM

It's a major statement about Humboldt when the $170K gets blown on out-of-town help. This is how things are run today. All of our local talent is always ignored when it comes to good gigs or steady jobs. We end up with either a good-ol-boy who has no clue how to do his job or someone from out of the area that doesn't understand Humboldt. How sad that many local artists are desperately trying to make a go without selling dope and the local economic development funds are being sent away from Humboldt. I have seen it even recently in many cases where a local with excellent qualifications does not get a job because A) They aren't part of the local Good Ol' Boy Network, or B) A non-local had shiny business cards and a flashy website. As one person I spoke to recently said, "Humboldt is weird, it's like a swirling fishbowl. On the outside is all this stuff spinning around in some kind of fantasy, and it's all spinning around a tiny vortex of truth in the center."

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Posted by anon on 02/11/2010 at 9:09 AM

Mr. Burns: Who is the filmmaker and where is he or she from?

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Posted by Janna Shaw on 02/11/2010 at 1:07 PM

The director of Love, Humboldt is Maria Matteoli, a Humboldt native/current resident. Kenneth Thomas, a Eureka high grad, filmed the Humboldt Made business profiles. I don't know where he currently lives. The director of photography is Andy Rydzewski, originally from Massachusetts though he got his masters from the HSU film department. He now lives in SoCal, except during Oyster Fest weekend when he becomes a human shellfish repository.

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Posted by ryan on 02/11/2010 at 1:58 PM

does it matter where these filmmakers came from when these people are trying to export local goods anyway. how can it be justified to tell someone they shouldn't be buying cheese from wisconsin, but be willing to ship humboldt cheese across the country?

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Posted by Jen on 02/12/2010 at 1:32 AM

I just wanted to respond to "anon," that as the director, producer and editor of Love, Humboldt and Humboldt Made, I am as local as they come. Born and raised here, and a graduate of St. Bernard's Schools in Eureka, with a BA from H.S.U., I am a seventh-generation Humboldt County native. Coincidentally, I am not a part of the Good Ole Boys, being neither a boy, nor old (well, at least not technically at 33). There were additionally 40 other locals who all reside in Humboldt who make up the cast and crew of these films. Unfortunately, Mr. Burns, while he did interview me, and tell me "the videos are beautiful," forgot to mention myself or the dozens of locals who worked on this project. Also to clarify, the film project had a budget of $25,500 which got divided up many, many ways, and no one got rich on this project. People worked on it because they are passionate about the beauty of Humboldt, its stunning grandeur, its magnificent people, oh, and yeah, its world class products. I am proud to be from here, and I feel very fortunate I was able to work on this project.

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Posted by Maria Matteoli on 02/12/2010 at 5:52 AM

Both Maria Matteoli and Mary Cruse should be commended and thanked for their various valiant attempts to engage and embellish the local artistic community of filmmakers/videographers. They are true to the vision of celebrating everything great and wonderful about Humboldt county, including the involvement of local talent, organizations and businesses. Anyone who would think otherwise is either jealous or simply mis-informed. I am happy that both of these genereous women were involved in this project, and wish them both much success.

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Posted by Pablol on 02/12/2010 at 10:54 AM

I was among the throng of well-wishers and free-foodies last evening at the ‘world premier’ of the FilmHumboldt (aka, the Humboldt Film Commission) Love Humboldt film campaign. The room was abuzz with anticipation; and I was hopeful that, after all the hubbub created by the process with which Ms. Debets, Ms. Schwab, and Ms. Cruse pursued this project, that at end of the day, it would have all been worth it. I would like to let the public know that I do not begrudge the process by which our company, Stroop Effect Studios, was eliminated from consideration for the project, and that my comments are couched within the framework of the Ms. Cruse’s stated purpose, to bring new business to Humboldt County. To that end, I believe the small vignettes espousing the virtues and commercial viability of our Grass Fed Beef brand, Cypress Grove Chevre, Humboldt County Wines, and Breweries, certainly on the right track. Telling a compelling story within a short period of time is not easy, so I give hearty ‘well done’ to the filmmakers. The success of the other part of Ms. Cruse’s campaign will be according to the public’s embrace of her concept; which I, as a male of the species, admittedly didn’t get. This multi-segmented ‘…to be continued” storyline, which enjoyed success in the 1980’s for a certain national coffee brand, is not aimed at my specific demographic, so I’m not supposed to get it. Female consumers will drive this marketing bus, and I eagerly await the results, and hope the best for all concerned as we help other small businesses succeed by all means possible.

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Posted by Chuck Edwards on 02/14/2010 at 8:57 AM

Around five thirty last night I walked up to the rolled out red carpet for their Love, Humboldt Event and was quickly told it was for VIP’s. Oh, I said. Where do the commoners go? Over there and he pointed to the other door. Door with No Carpet.
.I moved to the place of No Carpet. The line behind me, the pedestrian line, continued to grow.
A stretch limo pulled up. Folks getting out of the limo were greeted with paparazzi style volley of camera flashes. The limo left and still we waited in line. No longer was the nicely dressed in black man with a clip board saying the line was for VIPS it was for people who had RSVPed.
The second batch of limo folks appears and again the cameras flashes exploded. Once inside I find a wall to lean on and a friend of mine comes to say hello. She had RSVPed and was told there were only a few spaces left on the RSVP list. Based on rumor which is what I am calling the information I gathered from RSVPers and VIPers and commoners and a girl with a camera, this is what I think they did. 200 to 300 RSVP spaces. 100 or 200 commoners were allowed in after those whose names were on the clip boards.
Inside a young woman with the camera told me she was told to take a lot of pictures so that when the limo drove up it would be like Hollywood. My suspicion is the lack of information about RSVPing was intentional to draw a crowd, an opening night sort of crowd. The organizers wanted a Hollywood effect. Excitement! Glamor! Glitz! A cheering crowd! All manufactured by leaving off the RSVP request in their many media invitations.
I have a question, if you are branding Humboldt a place perfect within itself with fresh air, lovely rivers and mystic enriching fog, why try to induce the flavor of its exact opposite, Hollywood? Hollywood known for its paved movie lots, pricy stores, bad air, crowed freeways?

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Posted by Kelly on 02/14/2010 at 2:16 PM

You might check on the "happy" status of Victorine's cattle located on the Fish and Game ranch across 101 from Arcata Redwood. Many have huge patches of lice, larger than a dinner plate, on their bodies. Dead cows on the property,too. I know cows die, but too many die on the Fay Slough property. I hunt the area that looks right into his hidden little herd. He should be ashamed of his product and Fish and Game has received many calls about the animals. You should call, too. I think I will keep producing convential beef, and eating it, too. I would rather the animals live healthy prior to slaughter.

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Posted by disgusted rancher on 02/14/2010 at 9:07 PM

Dilettantes stole &170,000.00 from Humboldt County! I find this whole branding of Humboldt concept to be lacking in focus. It was unclear what the whole evening was really trying to achieve. All previous info about the whole thing was vague. There was a contest - the only part that really allowed totally locally produced films. There were a few more videos that looked like the editor mistook the "color saturation" knob for a "more cool" knob. There was a lot of self congratulation from the recipients of all that money. They brought in a guy (who went to HSU, but is really an LA guy) to shoot 'Love, Humboldt' and their other well budgeted yet totally boring videos, and they look like student films lacking any compelling elements other than a bunch of people drinking on the beach & dressed in old fashioned clothes. What did that 170,000.00 really go to? The "Made In Humboldt" logo? I think the whole thing was a grant writer's scam. A few business' got some badly colored HD video, and the dilettantes that threw the party got to feel like they are artists - through proximity. What does the average resident of Humboldt get out of this? I hoped at least for entertainment, but instead got cold meatballs and no place to sit while viewing amateur videos about drinking wine and eating cheese. The HSU film festival does more to promote local talent with much less budget, and an all inclusive spirit.

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Posted by anonymous on 02/16/2010 at 4:27 PM

I've attended many locally made films and festivals, and I've never heard of any of the names involved in shooting/directing these branding films. Granted I'm an enthusiast not a film maker myself, so maybe they are well known to those who produce local video. I was excited to see what local film (well video) makers came up with in the 30 sec "I Love Humboldt" video contest. I noticed that Montel VanderHorck and Andy Rydzewski, who were the insiders that got the gig for this branding thing, also entered the 30 second "I Love Humboldt" short film contest on KHUM's web site. By popular vote neither made it to the finals (top 5). Neither should have even entered because it was for "the people" but it's funny that these guys receiving the grant money meant for much better local film makers, did the worst in a public contest - receiving 3% and 1% of the votes respectively. Did the film commission just go with the cheapest bid or what? The results: http://poll.pollcode.com/GZ5_result?v

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Posted by FilmLover101 on 02/16/2010 at 5:09 PM

The Humboldt Film Commission has gone bye-bye, and has been replaced by self serving vultures. Mary Cruse used the non-profit status of the Film Commission to underbid all the truly credible, and actually "local" video producers around the area to get this project. Yes some are really living here - but not good enough to support themselves in the open market. She hired only family and close friends to produce, rather amateurishly I might add, these videos. "Director" Maria Matteoli is Mary Cruse' half sister, and Maria's brother Mario got to do the music, good friends from LA Andy Rydzewski and Kennith Thomas ran cameras (Directors of Photography) and another close friend, but locally failed videographer, Montel Vanderhorck got to "produce" and "write" on the project - all getting paid well. For what? http://www.youtube.com/user/mariamatteoli Maria's youtube page has some of these sad works, but cleverly disabled rating and comments because she knows in the real world what she has made is weak. To anyone wanting to spend money to market your business - do not trust amateurs with good looking credentials. Use the truly local professionals even if it means spending a little more. None of the videos produced with this large budget will accomplish anything as far as marketing goes. Just search "Love, Humboldt" on youtube and watch with your own eyes. Judge for yourself. We got trouble! Right here in Humboldt County.

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Posted by OldGuardComission on 02/17/2010 at 6:11 PM

I thought the movie was a waste of time and money. Perhaps they should have just donated the money to a good cause. I dont care if youre 7th generation or not, maybe you should try the glamour of Hollywood.

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Posted by local woman on 02/18/2010 at 12:02 PM

Judging from the comments posted here, Humboldt's biggest export is bitterness and bitchy comments. It's easy to judge and spread unfounded and untrue rumors. But I guess we all have our own talents...

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Posted by local guy on 02/18/2010 at 5:14 PM

Bitter, no, Frightened. Here is a quote their web page: "It’s a fact: There just aren’t enough Humboldt products in most stores. Many of our family famers and small businesses simply can’t make enough to ship out of the area." Typo belongs to them as well.
http://www.humboldtmade.com/when-in-humboldt Show me the competence. Please.

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Posted by Sad on 02/18/2010 at 9:54 PM

I saw the videos, though nicely done in some respects, I found most surprising and upsetting the absence of non-white performers. Where were the African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Hispanics? If they were there, I obviously missed them. "Humboldt Love" could easy serve double duty as an Aryan nation recruitment ad.

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Posted by Cracker Love? on 02/20/2010 at 10:00 AM

I agree, there is a reason film and video production industry is dominated by men, women should never be allowed behind the camera. She calls herself a director. HA!

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Posted by LOCAL VIDEO DUDE on 02/22/2010 at 11:15 PM

I am a totally awesome local film maker who got shafted and didn't get hired to film this project. My definition of local is someone who is stuck in humboldt because they are car-less and don't have money for bus fair. Also locals must be bitter and hyper-critical of anyone who ever achieves success, escpesialy successful people who say they are local; by my above definition, successful people can not be locals.
These movies suck because they are racist and sexist; I mean, a female "local" directed them, but why couldn't they have hired more non-whites. well the lead male looked ethnic, but the waiters and servants were all white! how unrealistic is that? White people in humboldt? WTF??? why couldn't non-white actors have received the hundreds of thousands of dollars the other hollywood actors received. These hollywood actors, who call themselves locals, have been spreading rumors that they were unpaid and that they donated hours and hours of their life energy in exchange for experience and their names in the credits; all LIES!!! the millions spent on this film would have been better spent on local charities, like my grow room operation and my homeboy's trip to burning man this year. also, the business owners who call themselves locals are evil liars who dare to make profits and who try to sell things! they even try to market to people and business outside of our county! this will bring in revenues and create more local people with jobs and assets, thus by my above definition, people who are no longer locals! in conclusion, these good ole boys hollywood millionaire insiders should stop working so hard and producing quality products, cause they suck and I am rad! also, i am very brave and i am using a fake name here on the internet. p.s. i didn't enjoy the free food either; it was room temperature!!!

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Posted by anonymous awesome truly local filmmaker on 02/28/2010 at 2:31 PM

Complete waste of money. Looked more like an advertisement for romance novels than a vehicle intended to promote tourism and sell products. Typical economic development endeavor for Humboldt County: Find the craziest, washed-out hippie with an axe to grind, appoint them to local office, and wonder why everything sucks.

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Posted by John West on 03/23/2010 at 4:08 AM
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