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Ironton HGTV video online: Goal is to have network help renovate town

After several weeks of shooting footage of local business owners and editing footage, Ironton’s entry for the HGTV Home Town Takeover is online.

It was shot by videographers Brad Bear, of Bear Media, and Jeff Ford, of Millimeter Creative.

“It was off and on over two and half weeks,” Bear said. “We had two dedicated days of shooting and then the rest of it was, in our spare time, picking up shots and editing it for about 30 hours.”

For their contest, HGTV is looking for a town with a population of less than 40,000 that has great architecture and a Main Street that needs a facelift. Bear and Ford feel that Ironton is the perfect place for this with things like many long-time businesses and the Ro-Na Theater, which has become a center for community events.

“Obviously, the first-tier goal is to make Ironton a contender for the show,” Bear said. “But, at the same time, the other part of it was to show people are doing interesting things, people are taking charge of their corner of town and kind of running with ideas. They are feeling empowered and hopefully, the video can get that message across and more people will start to do things as well.”

Bear said they avoided talking to the “usual suspects” like politicians and economic development people to focus more on what people are doing in the way of changing and updating the look and businesses of Ironton.

“This wasn’t about any of that. We did include the mayor (Sam Cramblit), but that was to show we do have the support of the city,” Bear said. “But beyond that, it is the story of the people living in the city and proving that it is a good place for HGTV doing their show, because we have all these great things in play.”

The video, which is posted on YouTube under the title “HGTV Home Town Takeover Ironton, Ohio Submission Video,” is just under six minutes long. It features drone shots of the city, pictures of the Ro-Na before the Friends of Ironton spent years renovating it and how it looks now and footage of local business people in their stores.

“Everything we did in the video is by design,” Bear said, adding the reason they pulled out all the stops in producing the video and crafting the story was that they wanted it to look like something HGTV would produce themselves. “We had to show the producers they could shoot their show in our town and match their brand. We really crafted it to match the tone and visual of their existing show.”

They also wanted to show that Ironton has things that the HGTV viewers would find interesting and that are projects like the Ro-Na and the riverfront that would be good visuals for the show.

The video premiered on Feb. 8 and has gotten over 15,000 views, 367 likes and seven dislikes.

Bear said he does like a lot of the comments that they have gotten on YouTube and Facebook.

“There are people fondly remembering Ironton if they don’t live here anymore. And some people are shocked because they haven’t been downtown in a while,” Bear said.

The video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL8ecfCnAw4