Plants are cool, too! (NEW EPISODE)
It was back on the road this summer to shoot a couple more episodes of our plant show! This time we went to the central part of Pennsylvania. These are always so much fun to make. It’s a chance for myself, fellow producer Tim Kramer and host/producer Chris Martine to get back together. We all used to live in the same area when we started this series, but now Chris and Tim have moved away. Getting to see them and make these programs is like getting the “band” back together again!
Here is Chris’s explanation of what this video is about from YouTube:
“Many off-roaders think conservationists are all “tree-huggers”… and many conservationists think off-roaders are all “tree-killers.” But somewhere in between there is a sweet spot where forests are appreciated and cared for. In the case of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA), that sweet spot might even help to reinvigorate a local economy.”
We met some fantastic people making this one including a kindred spirit in Lance Schwartz who makes his own videos for ATV Rider magazine! He is in the video and was loads of help, and fast became a good friend!
Animals may get all the love on TV but……Plants are cool, too!
William H. Miner documentary preview
I’m happy to present a “coming soon” preview trailer for my next documentary called “Heart’s Delight: The William H. Miner Story”. I’ve been working on this off and on for almost 3 years now! It’s a passion project of mine and I’m finally done with all the interviews and am entering the writing/editing phase. It’s a massive undertaking as William Miner had a very complicated and “rich” life!
More to come for sure but for now, please check out this short clip. Narration by my friend Greg O’Brien.
“Divine Discontent: Charles Proteus Steinmetz” documentary EMMY nominated!
This is a documentary I produced with Bruce Carlin. We tried for 7 years to get funding and finally managed to secure a grant to get it made. Our good friends at wmht, the PBS affiliate in the Albany area was the presenting station for it to the PBS system. It is now airing across the country! We decided (and at the suggestion of Dan Swinton of wmht) to put it in for a NY regional EMMY award. That’s a tough market as it includes all of NY City and NJ! So we are up against MSG, Yankeeograpy docs etc… It was announced last week that it has been nominated in the BEST DOCUMENTARY category! Winners will be announced on May 2nd.
Here is the promo for it:
And here is the open to the show and a round table discussion we shot at Mt. Lake PBS with Thom Hallock for Mountain Lake Journal. The narrator is none other than Kate Mulgrew who is best known as Captain Janeway on STAR TREK VOYAGER and as Red in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. She was a delight to work with and added so much to the finished production.
The entire documentary can be viewed here:
Short film “The Country Life”
This is a collection of clips for a documentary I am making on William Miner of Chazy, NY. He was a philanthropist from the turn of the century who made his fortune in the railroad industry. He developed a state of the art farm in the early 1900’s that still is functioning today. It will be a historical documentary on his life that should be completed in late 2015. These clips were shot with the Canon C100 and recorded on a Ninja 2 recorder. Shot mostly with the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 IS lens. I love that lens for getting telephoto shots! It’s tack sharp and very fast and clear at f2.8.
This is a slower paced short, to match the feeling of a lovely country farm in the heat of summer. Pour a glass of cold iced tea and enjoy!
Plants are cool, too! Episode 4-New Mexico
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!! 🙂
Rediscovering the Light: Restoring New York’s Capitol
Here is the TV promo I made to promote the Public Television special I’ve been working on with Joanne Durfee at WMHT in Troy/Albany NY. She’s been the Producer/Writer and I’ve been the shooter/editor. We hope to have the show ready to air by late June 2013. It will probably air on all the PBS stations in NYS. This half hour show will highlight the completion of phase four on the restoration project to bring the Capitol back to it’s original splendor. It really is an AMAZING building that one should visit if in the Albany NY area.
Plants are cool, too! Episode 2: Fossilized Forests!
This episode of Plants are cool, too! brings us all the way out to Idaho in the summer of 2012. We were visiting the Clarkia Fossil Bowl, one of the most unique and rare fossil deposits in the world. In 1972, the land owner was expanding his dirt bike race track when he uncovered some fossils, a fish and some plant/leaf ones. The Professors at the University of Idaho thought the fish was “Ok”, but the leaf ones were what really amazed them. They weren’t compression fossils like you normally see, they were the actual leaves, preserved in the mud, from 15 million years ago!
It was the perfect place for the next episode of our internet show! We worked with Dr. David Tank and his grad students Hannah Marx and Simon Uribe-Convers of the University of Idaho for 4 great days of shooting. While there we met some remarkable people such as Dr. Bill Rember who showed how he can actually “lift” the leaf off the rock and hold it in his hands. I shot it and co-produced along with Tim Kramer and Host Chris Martine. Tim helped rough in the edit and I did the graphics and added all the b-roll footage. It was a real team effort and one I’m real proud of!
An amazing story like this couldn’t be told in 3 minutes so block out 15 minutes sometime and check it out! Its further proof that, well….Plants ARE cool, too!
America’s Team TV Show preview
This is a promo for “America’s Team: Being a US Air Force Thunderbird”. It’s a show about the US Air Demonstration team, and the first ever female pilot to fly with them. The program ran on US Public Television stations nationwide in 2007-2008, and even worldwide. In Japan they made a Blu-ray disc of it for retail sale!
I shot most of it with a Sony FX1, then I edited down over 60 hours of footage to a one hour program! All in cockpit aerials were done by SSgt Josh Gray, the teams videographer.