Monday, April 25, 2011

You're Invited to Matt’s Big Birthday Pumpkin Bash this October 8th


In honor of Matt Roloff’s 50th Birthday,
Roloff Farms is having a one day celebration on
Saturday October 8th.
Everyone is invited to come to the Pumpkin Patch and help him mark this big milestone.

We’re calling it
“Matt’s Big Birthday Pumpkin Bash”.

In addition to all the on-going 2011 Pumpkin Season Festivities... Oct 8th 2011… will offer
Free parking, Yummy cake, and Cool Prizes given away throughout the day.
Matt will be out and about to catch up with as many of you as possible.
Watch for updates on what's happening because Matt’s Team keeps thinking up new things to do to make it his best birthday ever.

Check in here, or go to www.facebook.com/roloffworld

Mark Your Calendars
October 8, 2011 --- 10am - Dusk
See You There!


We are planning a live video stream too for those who
are not able to make it to the farm.
Stay tuned to learn the details!
Don’t Miss the Fun!

The Official 2011 Roloff Farms Pumpkin Season is Open
every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Starting Saturday October 1st - Sunday Oct 30th







Friday, April 22, 2011

Matt Answered Some Questions

Before Facebook or the Roloff World Blog, Matt created a forum on his website to provide a place where fans of Little People Big World could gather and where he could have a conduit to talk and interact with them. He remains loyal to his forum and to the equally loyal fans there. They compiled some interesting questions for him and the moderator called him up to get some answers. Below is the transcription of the interview he did with her. Subscribe to RoloffWorld or at least be sure to keep your eyes peeled because in upcoming posts we are going to dig in deeper on a few of his answers.

1. I was wondering about your latest dirt project, filling in an 80 acre swampland near the farm to create a pumpkin field.......how is it that the DEQ allowed the filling in of a wetland? Did you have to jump through any hoops to be able to do that? Or are the laws less strict in Oregon concerning wetlands?

Matt's Answer:

Well first off, our project is not a ‘wetland’. It's just a very soggy flat field. There is a huge difference. A wetland has a very, very specific protected status. What we're working on is simply a very flat farm field. Which means it doesn't drain well. You can only farm it about two months out of the year because it absorbs so much water from the rain and the neighboring properties and all the water just kind of sits there. So by putting in a "belly" you raise the ground up about 4-6 feet in the middle and then you taper it off on the sides and create ditches so that you basically can extend your farming season from maybe 2 months to maybe 5 months out of the year. This also allows you to grow additional variety of crops. So you're actually improving this farm field.

As for jumping through hoops, there were about 8 or 9 agencies involved and every one of them had to approve our project. It was what we call a type II permit application. Agencies such as the county, ODOT, clean water service, conservation, DEQ, Sewer line , Gas line etc etc. They All had to give us their blessing.

Matt


2. How are you enjoying your time away from cameras? Do you think the family will ever be interested in doing another series similar to LPBW?

Matt's Answer:

We are enjoying it immensely. However, it's never a black and white thing. People think you either love the cameras around or you hate them. But the truth is, it's very much a love hate relationship. It’s sometimes very gray. We have good days and bad days like any job, sometimes you like going to work some days you don’t.

Even though we've done a few projects with cameras, such as the little documentary about the dirt project, they've been around on a limited basis which is very different than having them there almost 24/7 for such a long period of time like we have in the past.

The types of projects we’re exploring now will have a much different “invasive” factor if we proceed. Even the LPBW proposals that we’re currently evaluating are being structured in a much different way, more like an 8-5 type of responsibility.

Matt


3. We know you are still finishing up the final editing for the pumpkin movie. When will you release it for public viewing? How do you plan to release it? Youtube? iTunes?

Matt's Answer:

I'm very pleased to announce that the pumpkin movie is officially finished as of about a week ago. The movie score, credits corrections, etc. have all been added and everything is now complete. I'm not overly proud of the movie. It was my first attempt and there's a million things I would do differently. In fact I am already working on other projects and hope to take my experiences and greatly improve the final results, I am a very quick learner.

I will be trying to enter the Pumpkin movie into some film festivals. However, with film festivals they usually like to be the first to show it before you play it to a broad audience so I need to go through that process for the next 6 months to a year and then I will release it probably on like iTunes or maybe Youtube. When this happens we will definitely let our fans know. I’m excited to show you all and I think you’re all going to like it.

Matt


4. Is there anything we don't know about you that you think most people would find surprising or out of character?

Matt's Answer:

Hmmm, I don't know if I've covered this before but I don't like mushrooms and onions. When I was young and in the hospital they used to shove mushrooms down my throat and force me to eat them. So ever since then I've just had a real distaste for them. Mushrooms are offensive to me. I don't even want them in the same room. Of course Amy loves them and loves to cook with them.

Other than that, I think people for the most part have a good sense of me. But there are people who are surprised to know how much experience I have in the software field and how successful I was in software because that wasn't ever really covered on the show. So that's one thing people (who only know us from TV) may be surprised about with me.

Matt


5. Matt do you have any lost episodes hiding anywhere? We'd loved to see them.

Matt's Answer:


Yes, I'm sure that there are. But I don't know whether the timing will work out to show them or if the content is too old now to be good. Last season there was quite a bit of content that was picked over and never used but, there's always a ton of other stuff that doesn't air or doesn't fit in to the storyline and therefor gets cut.

Matt

6. Can you tell us a little about the author of www.roloffworld.blogspot.com? Why did you agree to let her write it when you could have easily just promoted this forum more?

Matt's Answer:


Dallah is a friend (never been employed by us), who works in Hillsboro who has been encouraging me for several years to try and do a blog. She helped me get up and going with my Facebook and her company works with us on our t-shirt and stuff. She convinced me that there is a difference between what she does on the blog, what you do on the forum and what I do with my facebook. Her blog is more for story telling and the forum is more for this type of conversation. So we’re giving it a whirl.

Matt


7. Matt your favorite poster (Cute) is asking "When" or "IF" your family are ever going to be able to post on your board freely? That includes Sven, woohoo hey Sven. As well as Pop and Honey.

Matt's Answer:


Well technically we were free for about 6 weeks, based on our contractual obligations. But now, maybe not so much. However as social networking has taken hold. TLC has gotten a lot better over the years with allowing us to speak more freely to and with our fans. Mostly everyone in the family pretty much leaves it up to me to keep our fans informed of what's going on with the family because I have the facebook, the forum and whatnot. Amy keeps her facebook updated as well.

What people don't realize is, it's can be a very slippery slope when we get involved so personally and directly like we do. Someone may ask a question and we answer it. But then someone else asks another, but we miss it for whatever reason, and don't answer it. Then that person may get angry or feel slighted and get their feeling hurt. Or people may interpret your words differently than you intended. Try as we might, we just can't answer everyone's question and what we say is not going to please everyone. But we do appreciate our fans and wish we had more time to devote to everyone.

Matt


8. Have you ever really given us your honest opinion of what you think of those "silly bloggers"? Let's not pull any punches either. Also, have you ever been contacted by or have you tried to contact that blog writer who seems to be so critical of your family?

Matt's Answer:

It seems that most of the blogs or blogging about the show has faded away. As far as the “Silly” bloggers used to go, I only referred to them as that because often anonymous people would conjure up the silliest (stupidest) stuff and they would write it like it was true. Some people make assumptions and then would write about it so much that they start to actually believe it themselves. We learned to laugh at it when it was brought to our attention and take it in stride, but mostly we learned to ignore it. Worrying about what a few people say is far too time consuming.

It takes all kinds to make the world go-around and we tried to appreciate everybody's opinion. TLC certainly told us many times that the “crazier the chatter” the more interesting we are for filming.

I think that Amy and I have always been up to an interview with any news source on the internet or not, we done hundreds of interviews. The only requirement that (and this was recommended by TLC since day 1) we don’t conduct interviews with anonymous sources. The reason for that should go without saying, it’s just common sense.

Matt


9. Do you think that WE are a bunch of whack jobs?! (Thanks to Northern Neighbour for the suggestion.) Seriously though, do we scare you?

Matt's Answer:

No! I don't think that at all. I wish I could get on there more. The few times I did go on I was a little confused as to where I should jump in because there didn't seem to be any one topic people were talking about.

I'm not so much of a chit chatter. I more or less like to contribute to certain subjects. So, if there is ever a subject matter you guys are discussing and you'd like my input, definitely let me know and I will see what I can do about weighing in on it.

Matt

10. If you were a tree, what kind would you be? And why?

Matt's Answer:


An Oak tree because there's so much you can do with it. You can build a tree house. You can build a swing. You can climb them. They can stand alone or in groups. They're very versatile. They've got great wood.

Matt


11. Would you be able to share any details about your stalker issues?

Matt's Answer:

I'll give a little bit of detail, but it will be covered soon in greater detail over at www.roloffworld.blogspot.com. We have multiple stalkers and we take them all extremely serious. The FBI is involved and multiple agencies. Don't get me wrong, we don't call the police for every little thing we get, but there are just some things that go beyond the norm and need to be taken seriously and addressed. But we do have about 5 open cases right now.

Matt

12. Since some of us don't stalk, I mean, keep up with you and the family on facebook (lol), can you tell us a little about what Jeremy, Zach, Molly and Amy have been up to lately?

Matt's Answer:


Amy has been working her charity very hard and continues to work on that. She's also been busy with her speaking engagements.

Jeremy is preparing to likely transfer to Brookes in the fall. I don't know if it's 100% yet because he still has to work out his living arrangements but it looks promising. Honestly it won’t be easy having him move so far away, he’s a big part of the farm and the work that goes on here. I’m trying not to be selfish, but it is hard.

Zach is still going very strong at the indoor soccer club where he works. He also carries a full load, like Jeremy, at the local community college. He's so involved with his work that he has yet to talk about transferring over to a 4 year college. He just may stay at the community college an additional year before he makes a decision about where he wants to go. He would, however, eventually like to go to a campus that has a girl's soccer team where he could take some sports management courses and possibly coach a women's soccer team.

Molly continues to get straight A's and is looking at various colleges. Everything from local stuff to Stanford to Pepperdine. She's definitely on the fast track to college and will most likely spend a lot of time touring some campuses this coming summer.

Jacob has struggled this last year. He's a very, very smart guy, and always had good grades, but this past year he seems to have lost interest in school. His grades are to the point to where he will very likely not continue in private school. The school has a very strict grade point average standard that has to be met consistently, and if you don't make that average, you no longer qualify to be enrolled. Amy and I are frustrated with the schools lack of flexibility or concern and encouragement for Jacob so close to his eighth grade graduation. It would be very disappointing if Jacob could not continue, but it actually may wind up being for the best. It may be exactly what he needs, AND what we need to yank him out of his rut so he can move on and thrive. We are pleased that as of today his grades are on the rise.

Matt

13. Do auto airbags pose a big safety issue to little people? If so, what can be done to minimize the problem. Can you have the airbags disabled? I thought of this when I saw the episode where the twins rented a car to tour around Germany. You probably can't get around the airbag issue with a rental car can you?

Matt's Answer:


Little people do have a right to turn airbags off. But it's more about the type of Little Person you are. For instance, some are more frail and an airbag could pose a problem. But for someone like Amy, myself or Zach, we could withstand an airbag deploying.

Lot's of Little People have been in auto accidents with airbags and have been ok. It's more about sitting the proper distance away from the airbags and having your peddles professionally installed. You don't want to be sitting right up on the airbags/steering wheel. This is why it's important to have your peddles installed professionally. If they are too short then you tend to sit closer to the steering wheel and that's not good.

But in the end there is a right to disconnect them. I personally don't recommend that but everyone has to make that choice for themselves.

Matt

14. You mentioned possibly buying a train for the farm's pumpkin season. Are there any other projects or new attractions planned for this next season? As any progress been made on the Ark? Will people be able to tour through it in the future?

Matt's Answer:

You won't be able to walk through the Ark because it's just not big enough. It's just there as something to look at. We also have a few other projects that we're looking at doing such as a haunted hayride/house type thing. But we're not sure yet if we're going to do it. We have a few other things in mind but we'll just have to wait and see which ones make sense when we discuss and plan things over the summer. Which is usually the time when we work on projects for the Fall.

Matt

15. Still 2 more years until he's 16 but do you and Jacob have any thoughts yet about a car for him? I thought he'd get the Camaro, but you recently said it was sold. Any plans on restoring an older car like you did for Molly?

Matt's Answer:


Well, right now Jacob needs to get his grades up first and foremost. So there are no discussions about cars right now. But at some point we'll get him a car that's appropriate for him. He talks about maybe wanting and old Volkswagen Rabbit or something. But right now we are shifting his attention away from any notion of getting a car and on to how he needs to get his grades back up to where they were a year ago.

Matt

16. You have inspired so many people with your story, who has inspired you? Do you have any notable heroes or mentors in your life?

Matt's Answer:


Years ago I read a book about a private detective names JJ Arms who had no hands, and that was very inspiring to me. Tom Sawyer was also inspiring. And my father too. He was hard working and has great integrity. That's always been very inspiring to me.

Matt


17. What is your favorite Jelly Belly© jelly bean flavor?

Matt's Answer:


The red. Or the black.

Matt


18. Matt what has Sven been up to lately and when was the last time you guys hung out?

Matt's Answer:


I actually talked to Sven about two days ago. It was a brief thing. But he and I have been working together on this dirt project. He's helped me come up with some of the 3D models and the signage for that project. He's even done the research on the history of the property. And he'd be involved in the haunted hayride/house project.

Matt


19. You recently mentioned possibly taping more shows for TLC. What exactly does that mean? Were they interested in more LPBW shows or different ones with you guys altogether?

Matt's Answer:


About possibly doing more LPBW episodes. I actually have a conference call coming up in about 20 minutes with TLC. We haven't made any decisions yet, but we listen to the ideas being bounced around. Having said that, we will never go back to having cameras in our house 24/7 as we did before. It was just way too stressful on us. A project that has the cameras around on a very limited basis is way different than having them there all the time.

Matt


20. Matt who's you favorite poster?

Matt's Answer:


I wouldn't wanna pick. I wouldn't want to alienate anyone. That's not fair.

Matt

21. When do you take a break from doing all that you do to have time to yourself, and, with the family?

Matt's Answer:


Well, I try to take Sundays off. And Amy and I go out to dinner together when we can. We try to spend time with Jacob. Like going to the movies or the mall and helping him with his homework and we like Friday nights on the couch watching TV. We try to take time for the whole family and for ourselves.

Matt


22. Could you really leave your beautiful house and land that you've worked so hard on to move to Arizona?

Matt's Answer:


No. Absolutely not. What we may do is have an investment house down there and maybe during the really rainy months we could go spend some time down there. There's also some business opportunities that I'm entertaining down there. With an investment house I could also rent it out during the off season. The housing market down there is very depressed. So it may be a great time to take advantage of the market right now.

There are a few places that were set up for me to look at down there, and I was actually supposed to go there straight from here, but there are more pressing things at home, so I’ll do it later.

Matt


23. WHERE THE $%^# IS MY ENCHILADA RECIPE??????

Matt's Answer:


Hehe, Amy's working on a cookbook and I'm sure it's almost done. She's working on proposals for publishers right now and has some really good contacts. I'm pretty sure that enchilada recipe will be a prime recipe in that book. So, hang on and wait for that. It’ll be worth it!

Matt

Here is a link to the interview on his website forum: http://mattroloff.com/talk/sho
wthread.php?t=6051


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

About the "Free Stuff"

Statesmen Team with Sponsors at Roloff Farms luncheon and
Zach Roloff in Basketball Jersey w/ Impact Advertising Specialties on back
Thanks for all of the great subject suggestions. It was very interesting to read through and see what other people had on their mind about the Roloff’s and LPBW. Even though it will take me a while to cover your ideas so far, keep them coming because I get inspired from the different viewpoints.

The subject I decided to tackle first was about “Free Stuff”. Out of the many emails received there were a few that talked about this subject in some way or another. In one, it was suggested that the Roloff’s were rolling in the dough as “Highly Paid Reality TV Stars” and then asking companies for free this and free that. This perception bothered me for a multitude of reasons, mainly of course being that it’s simply not true. I thought it was a strong statement from someone who does not have a clear understanding of both sides of this coin. Have companies provided products and services in exchange for showing those products and services on Little People Big World? Yes. Was it free? Not necessarily.

I know because my company was a sponsor of the Statesmen team going to compete in Ireland at the World Dwarf Games. In addition to our sponsorship, we negotiated a trade out agreement. A ‘trade-out’, is a widely used business agreement in television, a formal agreement between the network and the company wanting to trade their products. Part of the terms I brought to our trade agreement was that our logo was on Zach’s jersey and that we would be the exclusive provider of all uniforms and customized products for the team and the event. We provided all of the initial team products at our expense, but other items were purchased from us. It was win win. They got a company who could navigate a complicated nine sponsor logo customization project and we got exposure on a hit television show. Another of the Statesmen sponsors was Viking Pools who I met during a luncheon at the farm. We talked about and admired the pool they provided in a previous season. The pool was the trade, but a big chunk of the prep work and all of the finished patio was not, for example. This worked out great for Viking because it was a multi-episode project and they really exploited their LPBW affiliation on their website and with social media, and still do. One of the biggest projects undertaken at the farm was the house remodel. It may surprise at least one of you to know that other than the Pella windows, driveway pavers, geo-thermal heat system and a few other branded products, the bulk of the massive remodel was all Roloff.

The parameters of a trade out agreement are set by the network, the production company and the talent. Discovery/TLC had the final approval for all trade outs on LPBW. Discovery/TLC had to consider their advertisers, and whether the company is a conflict, or is better suited to buy ad time. For the production company they consider how the storytelling will be impacted, specifically the shooting and editing logistics and if the ‘viewer value’ supersede any added costs to the production that may be incurred. For the Roloff’s, they had to determine if it fit who they were, because in the end, it becomes an endorsement and it should work organically into their story being told. And a biggy not to be ignored is the cost associated with the trade, because as I said, free is not necessarily free and actually many times their costs exceeded that of the trade.

In season one there was a learning experience when a producer had a miscommunication with some vendors at a local street market who had invested in sprucing up their booths and signage in hopes of being on television. Although it was not a formal trade out situation, Matt emphasized that it became very important to him and Amy not to leave any “dead bodies” in this process. It was important for them to make sure supporters and trading partners had a realistic expectation of their return. Especially with the smaller trades that could be gobbled up by the bigger story. There are hundreds of hours of video being filmed to produce one 30 minute show, after editing the storyline together, their product, service or location may only get a few seconds of air time in addition to their name in the end credits. Nevertheless there were many companies who wanted to be apart of LPBW, far too many to have ever had on the show especially without causing a editing room revolt. And I don’t say that lightly, I really mean it. The Statesmen sponsorship episodes probably put more than a few gray hairs on the heads of LPBW camera operators and editors in having to deal with so many different companies at one time. It was a unique situation that probably still gives them nightmares, but it was great fun for us!

One thing is clear when speaking to the Roloff’s on this subject, they are very appreciative to all the individuals and companies that provided goods and services during the production of LPBW. Matt expressed that they are sincerely grateful to each and every one of them.