Jennifer Isenhart and Tom Hadzor’s Wide Eye Productions bring home the gold with its labor of love: Idaho, the Movie.
By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Photography by Copper Chadwick
Jennifer Isenhart grew up “running through the halls of various Northwest television stations” while her parents worked as film and television producers in the Seattle area. Today you might find Jennifer’s daughters, Gwendolyn and Harper, doing their homework at the headquarters of Wide Eye Productions in downtown Boise, while Jennifer and her husband Tom Hadzor produce films and operate their own production company. Established in 1995, Wide Eye Productions is a full service HD production facility, offering script writing, photography (with a newly acquired RED camera), editing, and motion graphics design services all the way through to final digital delivery.
Wide Eye recently took a break from their work as hired guns to produce their own project, Idaho, the Movie; a scenic landscape film about Idaho. Written and narrated by Tim Woodward, the film is a one-hour television documentary featuring the well-known and hidden treasures of Idaho in stunning high definition video. “It feels really good to produce something beautiful and meaningful for those of us who live in Idaho and appreciate all the beauty that exists in this state,” shares Isenhart.
Idaho, the Movie was nominated for three regional Emmy Awards – photography, editing, and documentary; and took home the Emmy for Best Documentary – Cultural (Tom Hadzor, director/photographer; Jennifer Isenhart, producer; Bill Krumm, photographer/ editor; Kevin Eslinger, photographer; Lana Tidwell, assistant producer). Isenhart is proud of her dedicated, hardworking, and talented team, and is honored to work with Tom, Kevin, Bill and Lana, and her amazing cast of interns. She also points out Wide Eye’s sales and marketing representative, Kirk Montgomery was instrumental to the project’s success. “If there were an Emmy for sales, Kirk would have taken it, hands down.”
“Idaho, the Movie was a labor of love,” says Isenhart. “We had no idea if the program would be a financial success and we didn’t care. We did it because we wanted to. Luckily for us, it paid off.”
Isenhart shares some advice with aspiring filmmakers. “Being an independent filmmaker means owning your own business. Take business and marketing classes in college. General business operations and sales/marketing can be two of the biggest challenges for creatives who want to own their own business. If you think making a film is difficult, you should try selling it, promoting it, distributing it – all that is required to make a film profitable.”
Isenhart also counsels, “Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Somehow a lot of creatives miss that point.”
Along with her production work, Isenhart is also president of Idaho Media Professionals. Isenhart says she likes the networking aspect of the organization and the camaraderie. “It’s good to keep in touch with others in the business, share knowledge and hopefully, together, we can all elevate the level of production work in Idaho.”
Isenhart and Wide Eye Productions continue to raise the bar on media production in Idaho. “I love doing the independent programming and the corporate and commercial projects we produce. We have great clients who give us room to be creative. I’m very fortunate. I’m living my dream of doing the work I love in the place where I want to live – Boise.”