AUBURN — Rob Little saw the posting on an industry job board: DIY Network’s reality show, “Maine Cabin Masters,” was looking for a Maine-based shooter/producer for season three.

He interviewed, and he was in.

Little is about six weeks into the 10-month shoot, currently juggling four building sites, and still lining up other projects for his company, Sublime House Media, including working with kids in downtown Lewiston on their short documentaries.

“Maine Cabin Masters” stars a crew of central Maine builders who transform crumbling camps into showstoppers in the woods. A six-person film crew will travel out with the Colorado-based production company to shoot about 100 days this season.

“I fill in all the gaps the other 200 days. It’s just me,” said Little, 28. “I’m getting my legs under me, I don’t want to miss anything.”

Little started Sublime House Media several years ago to focus on filmmaking that could have a positive impact. Last year, he shot a special for the Yoga Journal. He has filmed two educational videos with Healthy Androscoggin, one for new Mainers on working with doctors, the other for doctors on working with new Mainers.

This summer, with the help of a grant through L/A Arts and equipment donated by Bates College, Sublime will hold three workshops for Tree Street Youth filmmakers.

“(It’s about) how to use video as a means of empowerment,” he said.

Little grew up locally, graduated from Edward Little High School and attended Bates. While still in college, he spent two months in Borneo filming a documentary about orangutans’ struggles and losing habitat to the palm oil industry. 

That documentary attracted the attention of National Geographic, and as a junior Little interned there, working on the series “Untamed Americas” and “Great Migrations” in Washington, D.C.

“After hours, I worked down in the equipment room because I was obsessed with the equipment and they didn’t have any interns, so I would go down there and I convinced them to let me coil their cables, so I coiled every single cable, and eventually I worked my way into getting to work with some of that equipment,” Little said.

He turned down a National Geographic internship that had a little more, well, teeth.

“I originally got an offer to go down to Argentina and hide in a blind to video cougars, but I was a little nervous about shooting bad footage for National Geographic and then getting on a black list, which, in retrospect, that doesn’t really happen,” Little said. “I wanted to learn more before I started shooting for them.”

Now, for the next 8 1/2 months, he is laying in wait, watching carpenters make their next moves.

“It’s really cool,” Little said. “It’s a lot of driving because it’s all over Maine, but it’s been fun to see.”

He is at campsites and following the builders on the two construction-related field trips they take each episode.

“I produced one where we went to a blacksmith, which was based out of Auburn,” he said. “That’s nice because I can use my local connections and throw a bone to some people.”

Little is not a big reality TV watcher and does not have cable, but he does have ideas. He would like to see Sublime House Media produce at least one of its own reality TV shows within the next five years.

As for being inspired to pick up a hammer in his off-hours?

“I’m definitely filing their tricks away,” Little said. “They have so many cool problem-solving tricks. They go in and they need to make everything up to code, but none of these places are up to code, so it’s cool to see how they’re achieving that.

“Every profession has a wealth of knowledge and I feel like people forget that about the trades. Video in a lot of ways is a trade. You’re making a product and there’s lots of tools involved.”

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Rob Little sits at his desk in the Sublime House Media office in Auburn. Little is the Maine-based shooter/producer for the new season of DIY Network’s “Maine Cabin Masters.” (Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal)


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