That’s right. The most prestigious achievement of my filmmaking career thus far and I am only allowed 5 words to commemorate it with.
I could spend days writing out all the reasons I didn’t choose other options; but following the theme of being concise, I think I will stick to just telling you my reasons for these five.
“I’m from an onion farm.”
I know, I know - “That’s what you chose for your big speech?”
And the answer is, proudly, yes. Let me tell you why.
For my entire career, my goal with filmmaking has been to create a platform from where other people's voices could be heard - people from marginalized communities, from rural communities, from low-income areas.
It is common to see the lifestyles of those from communities like mine be represented on such stages by other people - celebrity hosts, news broadcasters, giant foundations; my goal is to change that representation... to let it come from the source.
This is why, after many hours of trying to decide what I could say that would encompass all of that, I feel like the best option I have is to go back to my roots, to my story - the story I don't frequently hear coming across stages such as The Webby Awards.
These five words define so much for me and for those who would/could be watching...
- Growing up on a farm, now a filmmaker, already hints at the incredible journey I have had to take to get where I am. Filmmakers can come from the most unexpected of places - even from farms.
- In the workforce, especially in this industry, it is easy for people from communities such as mine to feel as though they were dealt a more difficult pathway to their dreams... that there are a greater amount of obstacles they might have to overcome to achieve those dreams as compared to someone who grew up in an area where film opportunities were more readily available.
As a child in my community, I remember wondering why areas like mine didn’t have the same access to art as a big city. I remember the incredible amount of hope and joy it brought me when something as simple as the Missoula’s Children’s Theatre would take the time to swing our town’s direction to teach us about the magical world that is the stage.
And the fact is that I know I am not the only one.
My hope is that with these 5 words I could bring a little more inspiration to those people, those students, those children who also dream bigger than what their communities can provide - because I was one of them at one point. That my 5 words would say, "Yes, it may appear that you have been dealt the more difficult hand... But that difficult hand is going to grow you as an artist, and one day you will realize that whatever that "farm" is that you grew up on/in/around/next to, whatever that situation was... that is YOUR story. You own it. And it can take you further than you could possibly imagine if you learn to embrace it.
My name is Luke Grigg.
I started a production company in 2017 named after a plot of land next to my childhood home.
Because my roots are important. And yours are too.
I'm from an onion farm… on the outskirts of a tiny town called Quincy.
So tell me, from where are you?