October 1, 2014 michaelhanson

Chainsaws and the Commodity of Storytelling

You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.” – Margaret Atwood

 The power of information is a force to be reckoned with in a modern cultural landscape of rapid-paced advertising, mass-media conglomerate bigwigs hiding behind multi-million dollar mansions and slick cars, and the notion that information can be wielded as a dangerous weapon in the Information Age. I often get the metaphysical heebie-jeebies when I picture myself treading blackened water in the proverbial ocean of information and the sheer power it harnesses as a commodity in modern society.

Often as I’m sitting out by the ocean, feeling the gust of each wave pass, while dawn’s early light surfaces at the sharp edge of the horizon, I never forget the simplicity of the moment. And as I try to convey the feeling to friends, family and loved ones, It can often be lost in translation. I think great storytellers are the ones who can achieve the translation of the human aspect of the story. What makes every story resonate, is the contribution to society and humankind as a whole that the heart of the story conveys. It is achieved by an almost zen-like simplicity in transferring the essence of the moment, into words. As storytellers at Michael Hanson TV, we make films out of our passion to contribute to the ether of human stories, and our films serve as a poignant reminder that great businesses are run by great people, not just the glossy information they can sometimes convey on a surface level. These people share their stories.

arborist inked

Michael Hanson TV has just released it’s latest film, ARBORIST, which entails the work of dedicated long-term Arborist Michael Spence and his company Frontier Tree Services. The imagery in the opening scenes of ARBORIST create a world in which we do not often see up close; the steady hands that control the chainsaw, the spray of fine dust when the timber faces the saw, the concentration and courageous balance that arborist’s undertake in such a dangerous occupation.


Mr. Spence’s passion for all things trees and the outdoors began as a child, in which he would scale the tree houses and build in trees when he was a young boy. Images in the film resonate; A modern day Tarzan swings from a rope to reach that one tricky branch. In slow-motion wood-chips cascade through the light through a chipping machine. The crew smiles and laughs together. Mr. Spence shakes hands with a happy customer.

arborist on a tree

Our film, ARBORIST, shows the commitment, care and utmost professionalism Mr. Spence has undertaken to ensure the safety of himself and his workers after an almost deadly chainsaw mishap that occurred three years ago in which he had over 100 stitches in the back of his hand to reconstruct it. What the film effectively maintains is the passion behind Mr. Spence’s work, and the relationship he has established between himself, his crew and the customers that enlist his tree-lopping services. Most importantly, he is striving to make a larger, deeper impact on the industry as a whole, ensuring that other companies follow suit in regards to safety measures. With our film, we want to create a ripple effect in which our films can educate, inform and serve as reminders that people like Mr. Spence give back to society in a positive way.

tree planting

In an age of devil-may-care excess and material obsession, we too often forget about giving back, being kind to one another and the simple art of sharing stories. Michael Hanson TV prides itself on the ability to find human connections and share them through the lens of cinematic visual storytelling. “Arborist” is a film which details the dangerous and often masculine job of tree-lopping. But what it truly delivers is a deeper, more symbiotic ideology in which men convey responsibility and pride for the work, care for those around them and their customers. In a world dominated by headlines featuring men hiding behind the guise of aggressive masculinity, but not showing traits of true manliness, this film shows one man, being true to himself, his company and the job he attends each day.


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