Former CCCC student hunting through a lens
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Chris Douglas is a multi-faceted producer, hosting, shooting and sponsoring his show and brand "Carolina ... (more)
By Matt Monarca, The Sanford Herald
SANFORD - Chris Douglas, Sanford born and raised, is now a producer with his own company, Ballistic Productions. Ballistic Productions has begun airing a show titled "Carolina All Out," which highlights the natural resources, stories and history of sportsmen in North Carolina.
Douglas grew up hunting and fishing in Sanford and the surrounding areas, and fell in love with the culture of the sport. He dreamed about how he could make a living doing what he loved to do, and eventually he found a way through film.
"At Central Carolina Community College, they had a radio program for a long time and they were just cranking up the TV side of things," Douglas said. "I thought the program was the best there ever was at that time ... I went through the radio and television programs and then picked up an internship in Knoxville, Tennessee."
During the internship, Douglas worked on the Heartland series that aired five-minute documentaries about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which gave him the experience he needed to join the field.
"I came back home and worked for a few production houses in Raleigh and Southern Pines shooting everything from weddings to furniture, anything that I could to work and to also learn," said Douglas.
In 2000, Douglas had an opportunity to mix his passion for production with the outdoors to work on a show called "Outdoor Excursions." He began traveling across the U.S., in Canada and Mexico. The experience also helped him build a network of connections in the industry.
Douglas' portfolio kept building to include work on a show called "Whitetail Adventures," which won national awards. Douglas worked under Tom Miranda, a notable outdoorsmen, which gave him the opportunity to shoot footage internationally. Later, with tutelage from Gregg Ritz of WildComm, Douglas learned how to sell sponsorships to keep productions alive.
One of his final gigs before starting "Carolina All Out" was being Tom Miranda's personal camera man.
"I put the time in and went on the road with him as he was trying to finish the Super Slam, which is the taking of all 29 North American big game animals. It's adventure in itself just getting to the places to find these animals," Douglas said. "It was all with a bow up close and personal. It was the first time it had been done with professional video equipment and I was there for seven of the 29."
Douglas decided it was time to retire his camera for such large adventures and began searching for a new avenue to use his skills.
"Doing the mountain hunts are really tough on you. To get to these places is a lot of pressure on the guys and the equipment we have to carry is a lot. I have knees that are shot, a back I have problems with. It's just the nature of the beast," Douglas said.
Thus, the idea for "Carolina All Out" spawned.
"I always wanted to do something for North Carolina. I love it, it is what shaped me, gave me the opportunities, where I learned to hunt. We only had one show back in the day called 'The Southern Sportsman' produced in Raleigh at WRAL with Frank White and it has been long gone and there has been that void," Douglas said. "North Carolina has a great history in fishing and hunting and we have great resources here. We have great deer, the largest bears, great turkey populations, our salt water is second to none, we have lakes, rivers, the whole deal. We have the destinations for outdoorsmen. I wanted to push and promote that. I took the production skills I have and started the whole 'Carolina All Out' deal."
The show aims to promote what North Carolina has to offer in natural resources, from its beaches, Piedmont and mountains. While showing off fishing locations or bear hunts, Douglas also aims to educate the public on the history of sportsmen in North Carolina.
"I think this is my opportunity to tell the story that no one is telling about the sportsmen," said Douglas.
Douglas plans to expand "Carolina All Out" to become a one-stop resource for sportsmen across the state to provide information on game and fish location and weather reports from professionals.
If the project can maintain itself in North Carolina, expansion to include other states is something Douglas hopes to do.
"If a guy from Mississippi or somewhere else wants to come to North Carolina they can just click on 'Carolina All Out' and find the best lakes to fish, what is biting at this time of year and see video clips of guys doing their thing and become a one-stop shop for everyone. That would be a great goal," Douglas said. "We have 11 states that we have targeted if the equation works here. If it works here, we will know we could franchise it out."
"Carolina All Out" began re-running its original 11 episodes on June 30 and will continue to finish a 26-episode run.
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