• Ashley Whimpey

From Dreams To Clipboards

If we were to meet in person, it would most definitely come up that I grew up in a small town. One way or another, it always seems to pop into the conversation. At the time of my departure, the population in that town was just about to creep over 5,000 total.


Despite the small footprint of my town, I had plenty of access to big dreams. I spent a lot of hours with my parents watching The Amazing Race, Survivor and the entire Food Network (Alton Brown, eat your heart out.) The draw for me wasn’t just the action on the screen, but the HOW behind it all. Even to this day I can hardly focus on a challenge in an episode of Survivor because all I can think about is who built the structure, where is it really located on the island, how did they source the supplies and the builders, what has been recycled from other challenges… and on and on.


This line of inquiry is part of what set up my story to a one-way ticket out of that small town, and into the city. Fast forward a few more years, and I had graduated with a degree in doing all those things I’d been wondering about and finally getting my hands dirty.


In the shadow of some of the incredible events I’ve been part of at One Line Agency, this one might not seem as shiny as the rest. For me, however, it’s basically a dream come true kind of light.


I had seen Carla Hall on Food Network before and had heard about her plenty through the grapevine from the other chefs we had worked with. This time, however, I was going to be the director and the hands on the camera. I was going to be the producer. A title I had longed to hold since those early years of life annoying my mother with questions about what

everyone-but-the-host must be doing.


My partner and I (who would be the entire crew for the day) rolled up on a sunny morning to the temporary residence of Carla Hall with so much excitement I didn’t even need that third cup of coffee (not that I didn’t drink it… who would waste good coffee?)


The first few moments felt surreal: unpacking our equipment, opening lenses and lights, saying quick “hellos” while we surveyed the scene for where exactly we wanted to lay everything out. Suddenly I came to, and realized I was there, living a moment I had described a hundred times over, “I want to be the one standing there looking through the monitor, holding a clipboard with the shotlist, and calling out to the crew what we needed next.”


Granted, it wasn’t a full crew and the clipboard was actually a folder binder, but the element was there.

My body felt electric for the next several hours. I had been part of this project since the start when we outlined the storyboard with the client. I had poured over a shotlist and transitions, and ultimately it was me who got to be on the scene and relay the idea and vision to the talent. It was an absolute privilege and a chance of a lifetime not only to meet Carla Hall, but to create a video for a platform with nearly 8,000 promised viewers AND start a new chapter of my career doing something I’d only dreamt of before, production.