Behind the Trees

If you live in Oregon, then you are familiar with the abundance of trees. But what if these trees had a mind of their own? What would they say if they had the ability to converse with one another? Director Alex Crowson, with a love for nature-documentaries, depicts an image of what this would look like. The Life of Trees is a “mockumentary,” as Crowson calls it, following one year in the life of two trees planted in the Pacific Northwest. Segmented into four episodes, he combines comedy and nature. Each episode takes place during one of the four seasons, beginning in autumn and ending in the summer. The show’s producers, Ry Bashman-Mintz and Stephen Hogan, do everything from editing to assigning music. The show’s lead actors, Nico Hewitt and Peter Frengs, make the show fun and exciting for all audiences in the roles of the two trees.

After being a part of Duck TV last term, Crowson seemed to know the drill. He was the director of photography on the show “Franken Affairs.” Though he has not had any real acting or producing experience, he has done an excellent job directing The Life of Trees. In preparation for writing the show, Crowson outlined his ideas for the entire series, making sure he knew exactly where he wanted to go with the show. “Ideas began with really boring, normal things, like trees in the park,” Crowson explained. Such ideas sparked into a great and humorous show.

Just like any show or production, there are challenges. Crowson says that his biggest challenge is time. Time plays a key role in producing shows, especially if there is a deadline. Luckily, Crowson’s relentless and hard-working team is able to shoot, edit, and finalize in one to two days. Crowson stated that he would not be able to meet the deadlines without the efficiency of his team.

After the first two episodes, Crowson confidently says the he is extremely pleased with how well the show is being received. He says that it is a lot of fun to sit down and enjoy the show with everyone who is involved. Crowson states, “The Life of Trees is meant to explore the relationship between trees and human communities around them. Also, it’s just fun.” All of the hard work being put into this show has definitely paid off. Crowson is excited for the finale, and hopes that everyone will be looking forward to seeing everything the trees have been through and how it culminates in the last minutes of the last episode: “Summer.”


Written by Andrea Rodriguez

Edited by Erin Coates

3 responses

  1. The staff at the rural Indian health clinic where I work eagerly await new episodes. Several have asked for DVD’s to take home to their families. Great stuff.

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