Hillbilly Weatherman is a viral hit

Last modified: 3/5/2015 7:40:26 AM
A few weeks ago, Adam Evans of Francestown was home with his two young boys, waiting out a snow day and messing around with his camera equipment to fill the day. Evans and his sons, Addison, 11, and Aric, 8, wanted to try out the “green screen” technique, and a news report playing on TV and the accumulating snow outside provided the perfect inspiration: a weather report.

It was Addison that first said it, recalled Evans during a telephone interview Wednesday. “He said, ‘Pop, you could be the Hillbilly Weatherman!’”

So Evans got out his suspenders and a fishing hat that he usually dons during hunting season, got in front of the green screen he had set up in his attic, and after a quick review of the weather report, put together the first of a series of videos as just that — the Hillbilly Weatherman. Blunt and irreverent, Evans delivers the daily weather in colorful — some might say “blue” — terms. His first videos gathered a few hundred hits on YouTube, then a few thousand, which quickly turned into each of his videos getting tens of thousands of hits each, with millions of views overall.

“Never for a minute,” answered Evans promptly when asked if he anticipated the videos’ popularity. Evans has had other YouTube videos in the past, having gotten interested in filming and editing about six months ago when he started to film his bow hunts — videos that got a small number of hits. But there’s something about the Hillbilly Weatherman that has taken off.

It’s not much of a character, said Evans, who describes himself as very much a northern hillbilly. “Everyone that grew up with me, who watches these videos, they’ll say I’m not putting on an act,” said Evans. “What you see is what you get with me. When you see me on there, that’s me. I think most of us talk that way. I think I’m just saying what most people are thinking.”

VIDEO: Hillbilly Weatherman in action (warning: some explicit language): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnZW16aY9qADPpnv8Ke2ALA

His set up is far from polished, said Evans. His studio, as it were, consists of a piece of green cloth thumbtacked to a 2-by-4 in the unfinished attic of in the Evans’ simple hunting house in Francestown; the green screen is duck-taped to the wall. When Evans is doing his weather reports, he pulls up the seven-day forecast on his laptop and perches it on a box underneath his camera in his line of sight, and then proceeds to do his reports off the cuff. The more he tried to script them, the less he liked the result, said Evans, so now, he just lets the natural frustration of the frigid winter temperatures and steadily piling snow flow.

Even with keeping the videos short, averaging under two and a half minutes each, between filming, producing and editing, Evans is still spending between two and three hours a day on his daily weather reports. “If I get four hours of sleep a night, I’m doing pretty good,” he commented.

But the rolling popularity of the videos has already started to present some opportunities for Evans, he said. He was invited this week to WMUR to do one of his reports in front of their green screen, and will be the subject of an upcoming segment on New Hampshire Chronicle. There have been offers to make his YouTube channel profitable by adding advertising to his videos, and an offer of a mobile weather app that would give users a daily audio weather update from the Hillbilly Weatherman.

His sons are thrilled with the success, he said. “They absolutely love it. They just think it’s really neat.”

Evans said that although swearing and off-color language are staples of the Hillbilly Weatherman reports, he’s not concerned about that being a bad influence on his children. “We raise gentlemen in this house. They’re good boys,” he said. “This is the real world. They’re going to see it, they’re going to hear it.”

Evans said he’s liked doing his videos on a daily basis, especially as he gets messages from new fans who tell him they get a lift and a laugh from his reports. So expect to see more of the Hillbilly Weatherman.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.


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