A DOCUMENTARY PROJECT
Vancouver Island is home to some of the largest areas of old-growth forests on the planet. Old-growth refers to peak ecosystems that have been allowed to age with minimum human impact for thousands of years. These forests are so rich in life and biodiversity that a square meter of soil can hold up to 200 million invertebrates! These enormous trees used to cover most of the continent of North America, but a long history of unsustainable logging and forest mismanagement has caused the old-growth acreage to dwindle closer and closer to extinction.
We are Jacob, Rebecca & Mary and over the past year we’ve been working on a documentary project about these incredible forests and their current situation. We aim to make two feature length documentaries and several short films about these ecosystems as well as the microcosms of life and environment we experience while on Vancouver Island. This will be our third and final trip for the project which will allow us to capture the island during all times of the year to show a complete and engaging picture of the present moment.
your help we will be able to finally make this project a reality and
work together to help protect these natural wonders. Support from
people like you is critical to the completion of these films and we
are incredibly grateful for the opportunity we have to move forward
THE STORY SO FAR
McLaughlin Ridge near Port Alberni, now logged. Photo by Rebecca Billings
We began filming in March of 2013 and returned in July of the same year. During these initial trips we visited many of the protected and unprotected areas and also spoke to many key people involved in the old-growth protection movement. We spent a great deal of time and footage focusing on the natural land and the images to capture the feeling of being on the island itself.
For this final return trip, we plan to:
Spend at least two weeks in new unprotected areas
- Capture more images of the log’s journey as it is turned into products for human use
- Continuing to film interviews with those inovolved
- Focus on related issues, such as the dangers that the island’s industrial salmon farms pose to the old-growth ecosystems
- Capture more behind the scenes work, including the project process and discussions with those we meet along the way
WHAT WE NEED TO FINISH THESE FILMS
As students and economical human beings, we like to make sure that we keep the budget for these films as close to zero as possible. This helps us minimize both our costs and our footprint. Since this is our third and final trip to the island, we have a pretty good idea of the best and most cost-efficient ways to use our budget.
If you help make this project a reality, here is where your funds will go:
$2,611.61 will go to travel from Ithaca New York to Vancouver and then taking the ferry to Vancouver Island.
- $1,155 will go to the rental car we need in order to traverse some of the more worn and dangerous roads.
- $2,835 will go to film equipment, including rainproof camera gear, memory cards and batteries.
- $1,100 will go to proper gear, safety precautions and guides
- $350 will go towards food to keep us alive and healthy.
- $192 will go to upkeep and management of the film's website.
- The remainder of the funds will be used for fulfilling perks.
Jacob was raised in Orlando, FL and has since lived elsewhere. He spends his time outdoors, watching reflections, creating art, enjoying life and helping others do the same. He is a Documentary Studies and Environmental Studies student at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.
Adam is an Environmental Studies student at Ithaca College. He enjoys spending time outdoors and both living and loving every moment. He hopes to spread awareness of all the cool things life has to offer and would like to help others do the same.
Mary grew up in a quaint Massachusetts town, and developed a passion for the outdoors and sustainable community development through her travels and time as a student in Ithaca, New York. She is currently an Environmental Studies major at Ithaca College, with a minor in Communications Studies.
Rebecca is a recent graduate of Ithaca College where she studied political science, women's studies, and philosophy. She constantly looks for ways to challenge her understanding of the world around her through work within feminist and environmental communities, and through interacting creatively and critically with her surroundings.
We recognize that it may be a bit odd for filmmakers from the east coast to make a film about a topic all the way on the other side of the continent, especially one heavily entangled in deep issues like humans' historic and modern relationships with the environment, colonization, national politics, and the question of our place on this planet. We are doing this in order to show what is happening on Vancouver Island from a perspective of observers, not necessarily a perspective of folks who are directly involved.
This is a huge and incredibly complex issue with a long history. There are many key characters with their own stories, including First Nations groups, island locals, environmentalists, environmental organizations, and timber company giants, like Island Timberlands and TimberWest. It is not our aim in these films to speak for any individual or group, or to place our words and intentions over theirs. We are committed to respecting the lives and livelihoods of all involved and intend to do nothing more than present what we observe and record.
If it were possible to make this documentary project completely objective, we would do so, but editing a film is a personal process, so subjectivity can slip through. We are making these documentaries for their sole purpose - to document. Time is speeding by, same as it ever was, and we want to show what's happening in this part of the world right now. In this way, people who may be unfamiliar, ill-informed, curious, or anything else, can learn about these old-growth forests in their current state, and what is happening to them right now.
Some of our incentives:
Thank you all so much for your interest in the project and helping to get these documentaries made. It would be super difficult for us to make these films in a necessary timely manner without your help and we are incredibly, incredibly grateful for your support. We are thankful to be working and moving forward with a kind and caring community and look forward to connecting with everyone. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Check out the 'Gallery' tab at the top of the page for clips and videos from the films!