Doing this show is one of the highlights of my year! We have such a great time making them and it’s always fun to “get the band back together” to do so. You see, the host Chris Martine and my co-producer Tim Kramer both used to live near me in Upstate New York, but have since moved to different parts of the country. This was the first episode where we all arrived from different parts of the country. It’s always “interesting” flying with TV gear, and this time I had to go it alone. Luckily, it all arrived along with me (not always the case when you have to check some of it). Soon we were on a journey across the deserts of New Mexico to shoot not just one, but TWO episodes of Plants are cool, too!
This episode involves giant hawk moths that fly for miles each night in search of flower nectar — and are thus critically important as pollinators of desert wildflowers. We met up with Krissa Skogen (Chicago Botanic Garden) in New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument and found plant romance happening by the light of the full moon!
Shooting in the desert heat (105-110 F during the day) really was a challenge! The camera got so hot, being black, that it sometimes overheated, giving a temperature warning in the viewfinder! Luckily, a few minutes of down time in the shade gets it back running again. I used the SONY EX1 for this, as doing this kind of run and gun shooting (all handheld) is best with that camera instead of the Canon C100. Its always important to use the right tool for the job!
Oh yeah, did I mention we had to look out for scorpions and rattle snakes all the while we were working as well! That’s a new experience for this country boy from Northern New York!
This episode was the first one that Tim and I did a collaborative edit on and it worked out great! We are both using FCPX and once the file structures are the same on our hard drives, then its just a matter of swapping the project file over the internet to see the edit the other guy was working on! I been so busy lately that Tim did most of the editorial cutting on this one, getting the story down and I did the clean-up/polishing to it. Which included audio sweetening, color correction, graphic creation etc…
Its a long video, so grab a beverage and prepare to get edu-ma-cated!! :)