Years and years of early morning violin lessons, countless hours of practice, and thousands of dollars in instruments. The secret is out: it had nothing to do with music. This is the story of the Dutton family, from Provo, Utah.
This was a story that took a year to build. Along the way, I got the idea from a lot of different people that the Duttons are a family you wish lived next door–although, the siblings (with their families) might take up an entire cul-de-sac. Imagine the block parties, though.
One of the things I really liked about shooting their performances was the energy and vibe you saw and felt on stage. The footage you see in the story was actually shot in two locations. One is in Branson, MO, where they spend about eight months of the year. The other theater is in Mesa, AZ, where they spend the winter months. I’ve seen packed houses in both places. People gravitate to uplifting stuff, and their shows are not only entertaining for your whole family, but you walk out of their theaters happy and smiling. Not too many of those shows around these days it seems.
Their roots actually began in a small, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it town in southwest Utah called Hurricane. That’s where Dean (the dad) met Sheila (the mom) way back when on the summer before he left for a teaching job at the University of Iowa. They married and eventually settled up north in Provo, Utah, where he taught at Brigham Young University.
With the little time we had in the story, we touched briefly on Provo–that all the Dutton kids graduated from Timpview High School there. This, in itself, was a pretty amazing feat, given that at that time they were touring quite a bit. Sheila said that the teachers there were pretty patient and cooperative along the way.
(You know, I believe everyone needs one of these family pictures done at each family get-together.)
One of the sections in the video talked about Amy’s family (shown here above.) One of the sound bites we had to take out of the final draft was Amy talking about some of the congregations that had contacted them about Josiah’s leukemia. One of those congregations was called “The Cowboy Church.” The congregation said they were praying for Josiah every week. You could see Amy start to get a little emotional on-screen, and we won’t mention that the camera guy shooting the interview was getting a little emotional himself.
The picture above was taken during one of the crowd favorites. Pay close attention to each person’s right hand and left hand. The left hand is holding up their fiddle, but their right hand is playing a DIFFERENT fiddle of the person to their left. It’s pretty cool to see.
On a lot of these videos we do, we have gotten into the habit of trying to throw in a creative hashtag at the end. The idea for “#itsabouttime” came from Kat Thornburgh, the KSL producer that’s stuck with having to go through my stories. She’s a good sport. A talented, good sport.
Last year we did a story on another family that plays in Branson–the Brett family. These two families–the Duttons and Bretts–worked together as ecclesiastical leaders in that area for many years. You can find the story on the Bretts by looking for the blog post called “The Dreamer”.
You can also view the 30-minute documentary KSL put together on many families with shows in Branson by clicking here:
There were a lot of sound bites and stories in the interviews that we just didn’t have a chance to get to. We hope to get out a podcast here soon that will showcase some of them.