As the creator and co-executive producer of the History Channel show Chasing Tail, Pete Vandall ‘03 didn’t have to look far for his material, which focuses on his own extended family members, working-class cousins who hunt deer in the wealthy suburbs of Connecticut, where deer abound and the hunting season extends for five months.
While staying with his grandparents, Vandall came home one evening to find seven dead deer hanging from an apple tree near the house. His bow-hunting cousins had descended and when he realized that their hobby was not only intriguing but also hilarious, it seemed made for TV.
Vandall spent seven days a week for six months tagging along with the hunters to get the footage he needed for Chasing Tail, which was originally developed as a thesis film for his graduate work at The School for Visual Arts. They were up at 4 a.m., climbing trees, waiting for deer, and looking for new locations, which on occasion required his cousins in full camouflage to knock on the door of an ornate mansion to ask permission to hunt on private land. “They are just blue-collar guys, doing what they love in a white-collar world,” says Vandall.
— Bethany Vaccaro, ’06
Editor’s note/correction: This story ran in the fall 2013 issue of QuadAngles, erroneously accompanied by a photograph of Matthew Jacobs ’77.