Couple Spins Disaster into Video Licensing Gold

By Mike Skogmo on March 20, 2013

Sometimes even a ‘fail’ video can turn into a winner. Since inking a licensing agreement with Jukin Media in 2009, a Michigan couple has seen a steady stream of sizable paydays for their once-regrettable home video.

In January 2009, the married couple had their video camera rolling as they attempted to cut down a 70’ tall American elm tree near their home in Brighton, Michigan. 

The video begins as the wife is filming her husband saw through the base of the gigantic tree’s trunk. With no ropes or chords in place to guide the tree’s fall, it’s immediately clear that something bad might happen.

As the tree begins to tip, a desperate cry of, “it’s going the wrong way,” can be heard from behind the camera as the enormous piece of timber crashes down on the house instead of landing safely in the front yard. 

Luckily, the tree only destroyed the home’s covered porch and left most of the house intact.

At the time, the video was little more than a harsh reminder of a very bad day, a lapse in judgment that ended up costing the family thousands of dollars in home repairs.

Fast-forward four years and the video conjures up entirely different feelings for its owners.

Having been featured on nearly a dozen TV shows and a national advertising campaign since striking a deal with Jukin Media, the video has raised enough money to repair the smashed porch ten times over.

The now famous video’s journey nearly culminated this February 2013 as it was slated to appear in a Super Bowl commercial for All State.

While their clip didn’t make it onto the big game this time around, there’s always next year.

If there’s one lesson to be learned from this video’s journey, it might be don’t underestimate the power of a good fail video…that, and use cables next time you chop down a tree.