Chad Godfrey’s trek to document the life of Andrew Drumm took him from Oklahoma to California.
And with his finished product, Godfrey is now up for a National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy Award in the “Historical Documentary” category.
Godfrey wrote, produced and edited “The Andrew Drumm Legacy: A Cattleman’s Promise to Children,” a 42-minute documentary on the life and legacy of Andrew Drumm, the namesake of the now 101-year-old Drumm Farm Center for Children in Independence. The film debuted in October of 2019 and was commissioned by Drumm Farm for its 100th anniversary.
“My vision was to tell a fairly unknown story of Andrew Drumm’s life, particularly the earlier years of his life, from his gold rush and cattleman years and as a livestock baron of Kansas City,” said Godfrey, owner of Summit Video Services in downtown Lee’s Summit. “That part of his life, as far as how it got connected with Drumm Farm, was not well known. The challenge was to tell the story of his early life and how it impacted the latter part of his life, which was dedicated to Drumm Farm and the nurturing of indigent boys, some of them newsboys.”
During filming of the Drumm Farm documentary, Godfrey was a guest on the Lee's Summit Town Hall podcast.
Godfrey traveled to Cherokee, Okla. and Half Moon Bay, Calif., in search of information about Drumm. He found a monument “in the middle of nowhere” in Oklahoma honoring the spot where Drumm’s ranch once stood. In California, Godfrey interviewed a man that once called Drumm Farm home as a child, Richard Rhodes. Rhodes is most well-known as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” In 1990, he wrote of his Drumm Farm experiences in “A Hole in the World.”
Godfrey’s Emmy-nominated documentary also includes former Drumm Farm residents Ray Blackman and Dave Caldwell.
“It was so important to tell their stories of growing up there and how informative their life experiences are to today,” Godfrey said of the year-long project. “This was a dynamic project right up until the last week of editing. I’ve always been into storytelling, so, the biggest challenge was to take all this media and tell this one story that’s cohesive but also engaging.”
Godfrey received word Oct. 22 of the Emmy status and is one of three documentary finalists. The full documentary can be viewed on Drumm Farm’s YouTube channel here.