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"Kiss the Ground" (2020) - Sam Gall's Production Diary (2015-2020)

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

"Kiss the Ground" (2020) Feature Documentary - Sept 22 Netflix Premiere

I’m so excited to be able to share with you all “Kiss the Ground” (2020), by Big Picture Ranch (Directors Josh Tickell & Rebecca Harrell Tickell, Narrated by Woody Harrelson) that premieres TODAY (Sept. 22, also my birthday which is pretty cool) on Netflix and various VOD platforms. I worked on this film from 2015-2018. It’s been in the works for over 7 years with an incredible crew of people who helped bring it together. I worked on the film as production coordinator, w/additional cinematography and helped out with post production. It’s been an amazing and informative journey to be a part of. I’ve learned so much, met the most wonderful people and got to tell an important story for the world.

So, in small celebration, I wanted to share my “Behind the Scenes Production Diary” of photos and videos of my experience on “Kiss the Ground” from 2015-2018. Check it out below:

"Kiss the Ground" (2020)

Director: Josh Tickell & Rebecca Harrell Tickell

Company: Big Picture Ranch

Narrator: Woody Harrelson

Cinematographer: Simon Balderas

Writer: Johnny O'Hara, Josh Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell

Producer: Josh Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell, Alexa Coughlin, Darius Fisher

Editor: Anthony Ellison, Darius Fisher, Sean P. Keenan, Moment Lu, Ryan A. Nichols

Additional Cinematography: Miles Kelly, Jose Babcock, Sam Gall

Production Coordinator: Sam Gall

Starring: Ian Somerholder, Rosario Dawson, Rylan Engelhart, Doniga Markegard, Gabe Brown, Ray Archuletta, David Arquette, Amy Smart, Gisele Bundchen, Jason Mraz and more!




Official Trailer:

SAM GALL'S BEHIND THE SCENES "Kiss the Ground" (2020):




"Kiss the Ground" - NOVEMBER 9, 2015:

My first day out on a shoot as production coordinator on "Kiss the Ground" for an interview with soil scientist Dr. Christine Jones with Josh Tickell and Simon Balderas. We also had some time for a little location scouting in the video below.

"Kiss the Ground" - JANUARY 29, 2016:

Miles Kelly and I got to take the RED Epic out for some drought sign shots in Ojai, CA. It was Miles' first day at Big Picture Ranch.

"Kiss the Ground" - FEBRUARY 11, 2016:

Miles Kelly and I taking the RED Epic up the 5 freeway to shoot BROLL drought signs.

"Kiss the Ground" - MARCH 11, 2016:

That time I got to go to the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim and felt very cool with this lanard. We got to interview André Leu and I was scheduled to drive him from the hotel (after the interview) back to the Convention Center at Anaheim so he could give his speech on the panel he was scheduled to do... Well, it was just him and I in the car and getting ready to head back for his speech and it started raining. Being as we were in Anaheim the Disney park shut down and EVERYONE began to leave in their cars and we were almost slowed down to a halt. I was panicking looking for any way around the traffic but Leu was calm even though he was the one with the panel to talk at. We SOMEHOW made it with 4 minutes to spare and as André Leu got out the car I apologized for the ride as he turned around and said jokingly, "It was the scenic route!" and walked calmly off to his convention panel. Thank you, André Leu, for being so kind to me in a moment of stress! I will never forget it!

Josh Tickell & Simon Balderas

André Leu

"Kiss the Ground" - APRIL 13, 2016:

Some early archival footage work I was doing on "Kiss the Ground" at Big Picture Ranch.

"Kiss the Ground" - APRIL 21, 2016:

Set out to shoot some sunset timelapses in Ojai, CA with the RED Epic w/Miles Kelly & Jordan Horn.

"Kiss the Ground" - APRIL 22, 2016:

Getting some B-Roll in my beautiful hometown of Ojai, CA for "Kiss the Ground" with Miles Kelly and Jordan Zweig.

"Kiss the Ground" - APRIL 27, 2016:

Thanks to Josh Tickell for letting me test out all the new gear we got and help build it. Canon C300 Mark II. I also built that camera rack on the left for the Ranch. That may have actually been my first assignment when I was an intern haha.

"Kiss the Ground" - APRIL 29, 2016:

When Big Picture Ranch got a DJI Inspire 1 Pro and Sean P. Keenan (Lead Editor) and I got to build and test it out :)

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 2, 2016:

Interviewing Joe Del Bosque in Firebaugh, CA for the big drought section of the film. Fun shoot.

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 3, 2016:

Shooting and reviewing footage later with Josh Tickell, Simon Balderas and Miles Kelly. Doing some crazy DIT daisy chains back there with my laptop. Interviewed Michelle Sneed.

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 4, 2016:

More of the drought shoot up in Porterville, CA with director Josh Tickell, cinematographer Simon Balderas and cam op Miles Kelly.

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 5, 2016:

Drone shoot with Donna Johnson showing us some places to fly the camera.

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 6, 2016:

Donna Johnson interview. Our last subject before we wrapped the drought section shoot.

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 26, 2016:

Filming interviews with the scientists at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in Boulder, CO w/Josh Tickell, Jose Babcock and Miles Kelly. It was the first day I met Jose Babcock.

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 27, 2016:

Our last day at NOAA headquarters of doing interviews for "Kiss the Ground".

"Kiss the Ground" - JUNE 15, 2016:

Interview with Ryland Engelhart in Venice, CA. Josh Tickell, Simon Balderas, Miles Kelly.

"Kiss the Ground" - JUNE 29, 2016:

David Bronner's soap in the hizzouse! One of the nicest human beings!

"Kiss the Ground" - JULY 6, 2016:

A late night of editing before we screen a cut to investors/producers with Moment Lu, Miles Kelly, Sean P. Keenan and Josh Tickell.

"Kiss the Ground" - JULY 8, 2016:

Screening an early cut of "Kiss the Ground" to our team for notes and feedback.

"Kiss the Ground" - AUGUST 23, 2016:

Cutting and reviewing with editor Sean P. Keenan and writer Johnny O'Hara.

"Kiss the Ground" - AUGUST 26, 2016:

Miles Kelly and I filming a fundraising event for "Kiss the Ground" with Ryan Engelhart and the Kiss the Ground team.

"Kiss the Ground" - AUGUST 27, 2016:

Filming more for the drought section and tilling section of the film for "Kiss the Ground" with Josh Tickell, Simon Balderas and Joe Marine (helping out for a day from Micah Van Hove's 'Shadow of a Gun' 2018 film that I produced).

Joe Marine behind the scenes photos by Sam Gall

"Kiss the Ground" - SEPTEMBER 6, 2016:

More editing and more editing for "Kiss the Ground" with Ryan A. Nichols and Sean P. Keenan.

"Kiss the Ground" - SEPTEMBER 8, 2016:

More camera builds, setups and testing before we (Josh Tickell, Miles Kelly, Rebecca Harrell Tickell) filmed with Connor Jones for "Kiss the Ground" in which that was the day we got that beautiful shot of him holding the soil that the New York Times page shared which you can read here:

"Kiss the Ground" - FEBRUARY 25, 2017:

Working with cinematographer Daniel Rink for a day, Miles Kelly and our sound beast Jason Martinez. Helped Ryan Engelhart direct an interview for our Brazil section of "Kiss the Ground" as Josh Tickell was out today.

"Kiss the Ground" - MAY 7, 2017:

One of my favorite film shoots of all time. Filming with the Markegards and Simon Balderas was beautiful and meditative. It was just us out on their beautiful land. I felt like I was in the wild west filming them as they raced their horses and Simon and I caught them with some beautiful aerial shots. I'll never forget looking over to Simon while flying the DJI Inspire 1 Pro drone (2 man operated) and said to him, "Dude, we're filming a western right. This is gorgeous."

"Kiss the Ground" - JULY 20, 2017:

Assistant editing on "Kiss the Ground". Lots of archival work.

"Kiss the Ground" - SEPTEMBER 6, 2017:

Fun shoot camera operating with Simon Balderas and Jason Martinez on sound! This was the day I lost a contact in one eye and had to drive to and from LA and operate B-Camera for an interview and didn't tell anyone until after! It was worth it. Interview made the cut. Think Simon wasn't feeling well that day too or something.

"Kiss the Ground" - SEPTEMBER 27, 2017:

Filming with Pashon Murray at Detroit Dirt in Michigan with Simon Balderas. It was just us two for a couple days in detroit with me acting as temp director / my usual role as production coordinator and Simon operating camera. Josh couldn't make it to the shoot for this one. Ran into an old friend from Ojai at the Ford factory in Detroit! Very random! Overall, incredible shoot. Pashon Murray was a joy to work with and we got an exclusive tour of the Detroit Zoo.

"Kiss the Ground" - OCTOBER 23, 2017:

Arriving in Elk City, Oklahoma with Josh Tickell, Simon Balderas, Jose Babcock and Finian Makepeace to film the soil shoot with Gabe Brown and Ray Archuletta.

"Kiss the Ground" - OCTOBER 24, 2017:

Continuing with the soil shoot with Ray Archuletta and Gabe Brown. The RED Epic was having issues connecting to power so we came up with a crazy power system which you can see in the last photo for Oct 24 below.

"Kiss the Ground" - OCTOBER 25, 2017:

Filming Ray Archuletta for the soil shoot as he teaches a class. Filming more with Ray and Gabe Brown later that day. With Simon Balderas, Jose Babcock, Josh Tickell.

"Kiss the Ground" - OCTOBER 27, 2017:

Last day with Ray Archuletta and Gabe Brown. Filming with Josh Tickell, Simon Balderas and Jose Babcock.

"Kiss the Ground" - NOVEMBER 14, 2017:

At the "Kiss the Ground" book launch with Rosario Dawson, Ian Somerholder, Amy Smart and Francis Fisher. I helped with setting up for the interviews, the stage, cameras and live editing for the livestream with the help of Simon Balderas, Jason Martinez, Alexa Coughlin, Jose Babcock and Josh Tickell. Rebecca Harrell Tickell was our host for the night!

"Kiss the Ground" - MARCH 6, 2018:

Last shoot I did for "Kiss the Ground". I think this was to film the fire aftermath from the Thomas Fire. Simon and I shot on the DJI Inspire 1 Pro and RED Raven back in the hills of Ojai, CA in the river bottom. Alexa Coughlin, Rebecca Harrell Tickell, Josh Tickell, Athena & Jedi Tickell.

"Kiss the Ground" Sept 21, 2020 West Wind Drive-In Premiere | Rebecca Tickell, Ian Somerholder:

Big Picture Ranch crew at "Kiss the Ground" Drive-In premiere Sept 21. 2020


- Sam Gall

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