USA – 7 Q’s with Brotherhood Outdoors’ Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen
Tune in to Sportsman Channel Sundays at 11 a.m. ET to watch Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen, hosts of “Brotherhood Outdoors”. While they are gearing up for filming for their 2015 season with a brand new lineup of hunts and stories to share, they took time out to answer a few Q&A to give more insight in their life as America’s outdoor couple.
- Daniel Lee, you’ve been in the MLB, you started your own music label and recorded two albums and now have taken on outdoor TV as a TV host and now producer as well (with production company, Backstage & Backroads). What would you tell someone starting out in outdoor TV?
There are many reasons to get into outdoor TV – but there are two main reasons NOT to get into outdoor TV: because you have money to burn and/or want to see yourself on TV. Don’t create something mediocre – take the time to create something brilliant and special. One of the best reasons for getting into outdoor TV is when you have a story that is worth telling. Do it only when you understand production, and do it only when you are really good at hunting or fishing.
- Daniel Lee, what piece of advice were you given regarding outdoor TV that was gold? How about advice that turned out to be wrong?
The best advice given to me was to just be myself and do what I do best; don’t try to emulate other hosts or other shows. It was identical to my music career as far as advice given to me – don’t act like Garth Brooks because there is already a Garth. So don’t act like Michael Waddell because Michael Waddell already does the best version of that. It is silly when you read it, but you don’t know how many people try to be someone they are not. Eventually, it comes through on camera.
- You both produce “Brotherhood Outdoors” with your production company, Backstage & Backroads. Are the songs used in your productions originals from Daniel Lee? What sort of process do you go through to choosing music for an episode?
DL – We still use a few of the old tracks from the albums, but we now subscribe to a number of online music sites that have some great music beds for the shows. It’s hard to beat the prices compared to what it would cost to go back into the studio and recreate all that. Music beds are crucial to the quality of the show, and our team has figured that out. We have a different approach than a lot of the other producers and editors out there, and I think it’s working for us.
- Julie, how did you get started in outdoor TV? Was it what you expected? Why or why not?
I actually got started in the hunting industry back in 2002 as Pro Staff for Scentlok. Back then, there weren’t any other girls doing that type of thing (except for Brenda Valentine). I filmed some of my hunts, but it was uncharted territory in those days. I didn’t know anything about how to film a hunt or how to edit any footage. It was more for my personal enjoyment.
When I began working with Daniel Lee on Backstage & Backroads it was an instant fit. We had known each other for a long time through the hunting industry. I had a background in filming & photography, so I was able to work behind the camera for him in the beginning. It was more work than what I had expected, but the format of that show was pretty simple now that I look back. We were willing to work hard to set ourselves apart from others in the industry, which is what it takes to have longevity in this field.
- Julie, some of your fans might not know this, but you have your pilot’s license. When did you get your pilot’s license and what was the ambition behind it?
When I lived in California, many of my friends had private planes. I remember thinking that I felt too vulnerable up there with no way of saving the day should anything bad happen… I like to take control of the situation when the need arises, so I signed myself up for classes. Initially I just wanted to know the basics, but then I grew to love the freedom of flying.
I earned my private pilots license when I was 24, and then I began training in aerobatics. I flew a lot in old military style planes, and I loved all of it.
Now I just don’t have the time to keep up with it as much. But I guarantee that I could land a plane if I needed to!
- How many days a year do you hunt together?
Julie: We always hunt together if we have that option and we make a very good team! I think last year we hunted more than 200 days together. We also work together full-time. Our offices are connected, our calendars are linked, and we collaborate on everything from production details, photography, hunt locations to what’s for lunch!
Needless to say, we are rarely apart. We had a solid friendship from the beginning, and we have a mutual respect for the others opinions.
- And you are newlyweds! What is it you think audiences expect from an outdoor TV couple in 2014?
DL: I think viewers are tired of seeing competition between the couples. It’s just a worn out record that can come across as not being authentic. Sometimes it seems couples are trying to “force” the issue and one of them isn’t really “into” it. The viewer can tell when it’s not authentic, so couples need to really look at themselves before taking this on.
Julie: We are newlyweds! The morning before we were married we even went fishing together in the Florida Keys.
You won’t see us competing against each other or saying that the other can’t hunt as well. We focus on lifting each other up and making them feel good. I know that Daniel Lee is probably a better outdoorsman than I am, but he also knows that I have a creative brain that can be useful in the field.
We aren’t pretending to be anything different than how we always are.