(Updated 1:51 p.m. to correct misspelled names and biographical information)

As we mentioned back in June, Environment Minnesota is hosting a video contest to promote its solar power campaign (full disclosure – the contest is funded by RE-AMP, which also funds Midwest Energy News). The group recently announced the finalists, and it appears there’s a ringer in the bunch:

YouTube video

This entry, title “The Man with the Golden Sun,” baffled the contest organizers, as it clearly cost much more to produce than the $1,500 first prize. So they contacted the producers.

The video, it turns out, was produced by a team of more than 50 people, led by Steve and Lisa Fait. Lisa Fait works for a solar company in San Francisco, while her husband, Steve (a native Minnesotan), spent ten years working for a variety of film studios, including Industrial Light and Magic (yes, THAT Industrial Light and Magic). Steve currently works at Splice, a Minneapolis production company.

The Faits are living on different coasts (here in Minnesota, we consider the Mississippi River to be one of the coasts) until Lisa can find the right job opportunity to rejoin her husband. Meanwhile, the solar film contest provided them with an opportunity to combine both their passions.

Lisa explains:

Environment Minnesota’s film contest allowed us to pool our passions and hopefully will contribute towards bringing my career to Minnesota. When Steve brought the contest to the attention of the Splice team, they contributed funds, expertise and equipment towards the project. Then the word spread and before we knew it, Steve had a talented, magical crew who out of love of their craft and support of the Minnesota solar cause, volunteered to help bring the film to fruition.

“They didn’t enter the competition for the $1500 they could win, but rather because they truly believed in our cause,” explains Environment Minnesota’s Ken Bradley.

There are eight finalists in all, you can vote here.

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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