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Sky’s the limit for Flyover Productions

NL documentarian opens video and photography company

NORTH LIBERTY– Richard Redfern takes media to new heights in North Liberty with a new business, Flyover Productions, a drone videography and photography start up.
A native of Iowa City, Redfern grew up with a desire to join the media industry.
“I got into photography at a pretty young age,” Redfern recalled. “I knew that whether it was film or it was television, I wanted to be involved with that.”
After graduating from West High School, Redfern attended school at the University of Miami in Florida. While at the University, Redfern double-majored in communications and history. On the outside, the two subjects appear to have no relation, but Redfern would argue it is a matter of how you look at them.
“In documentaries, the two go hand in hand. I try to find out their story, their history,” he said.
Once graduated and moved back into the Corridor, Redfern began producing content full-time for Mediacom in August of 2014. The position gave him the opportunity to produce stories on high school and college sports and documentaries, as well as Newsleader, a program based on interviews with nonprofit or governmental leaders.
In early 2017, Redfern decided to take his creativity and producing experience to a new level by launching his company, Flyover Productions. “It’s been a whirlwind, but I’m really happy with it,” he said.
His first major project as a business owner was his documentary on Sarah Reckmeyer, the band director at Ottawa Township High School in Illinois.
The documentary, entitled “Sarah Reckmeyer: A Life in Music,” follows Reckmeyer as she prepares for her final concert on May 19, 2016, before leaving the world of high school music. Throughout her career, Reckmeyer helped lead the school band to 20 straight Illinois High School Association band championships. When Redfern first approached Reckmeyer, it took quite some time for her to respond.
“Sarah is such a private person,” Redfern explained, “She took the time to really consider whether or not to do the project.”
The documentary starts at the beginning stages of Reckmeyer’s career in Mount Morris, Ill., where she grew up the daughter of two music teachers. Throughout her 27-year career, she influenced and changed the lives of many students.
In addition to the concert preparation, the documentary displays interviews with some of the former students greatly affected by the care Reckmeyer showed during their time in her class. “Sarah Reckmeyer: A Life in Music” truly shows the power of music.
“I thought it was an important story,” Redfern said. “I thought it was a good story, a good story about someone who really enacted a lot of positive change on the lives she touched.”
This first documentary of Flyover Productions won best short documentary at the Illinois International Film Festival and earned a nomination for a Midamerican Regional Emmy. The documentary can be watched anytime on Youtube.
Redfern is preparing for even more success with his next project. Yet to be titled, the next documentary being produced by Flyover Productions will be based on the 2017 tornado that struck Ottawa, Ill. and many surrounding towns, like Naplate. The project depicts the recovery process as much as it will show the actual events.
“The recovery of events like this is not measured in days, or weeks, or even months,” he said. “It’s measured in years. There are some really good people that are trying to do the best they can given the circumstance they found themselves in.”
While this will not be an action-packed documentary, it will display the real life process of moving on after a natural disaster. Many questions are still being asked as the Ottawa area pushes forward. The area received no federal aid and many are still negotiating with insurance. Utilizing his skills as a certified drone operator, Redfern took aerial footage of the area to give the documentary watchers more of a true idea of the damage the tornado left in its wake.
As Flyover Productions grows, Redfern has big goals for the company.
“I’d like to see Flyover Productions be the number one stop for all corridor business’s corporate solutions,” he said. “Whether that be for aerial footage or not, we provide a wide suite of commercial tools, specifically for real estate and other area businesses.”
Visit flyoverproductionsllc.com for more information.