It's been three months since we traveled to Vancouver Island to begin documenting the thousand-year-old ecosystems that reside there, whose existence are threatened by the logging industry. We spent 17 days getting some incredible footage of these forests during the rainy west-coast winter and now it's time to return to see them in their full summer bloom.
Vancouver Island is home to some of the last remaining old-growth forests on the continent. The enormous trees that exist within these ecosystems used to cover most of North America before being cut down for industrial and agricultural purposes. Unfortunately, these forests still confront similar threats today from numerous logging companies in the area.
Our names are Jacob and Rebecca, and we're Environmental and Documentary students from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. In order to protect the final 27% of remaining old-growth, we flew out to Vancouver Island in British Columbia in March to begin making two documentaries about its unique and imperiled ecosystems.
Here is an article published in the Vancouver Observer about the initial trip we took in March, 2013 to the Island, for the first part of the shoot:
In July, we are going back again to finish gathering the footage we need to finish both films.
The first film will be a traditional investigative documentary detailing the ecological community's current circumstances. For this film we will continue interviewing a variety of individuals, including representatives from logging companies, local environmentalists and citizens, and experts in relevant fields. By gathering a variety of opinions we hope to paint a clear picture of the current situation facing these forests, as well as present a wide range of views on the subject and its potential impact on global sustainability.
The second film will be a non-verbal piece showing these ecosystems and their enormous trees in their natural beauty, as well as the precarious nature of their existence. By non-verbal, we mean that the film will be made up entirely of images and soundscapes, rather than interviews and narration. These images will be used to bring the viewer through a variety of themes and vibrations that resonate throughout the forests in order to bring forth understanding and connection, as well as give weight to the current events.
Thus, the films act as companion pieces to each other.
Here's an example of the nonverbal film we put together using footage from our initial trip. We encourage you to turn on High Definition, raise the audio and maximize the screen size:
With your help, we'll be able to fly back to Vancouver Island this July in order to capture the remaining footage we need to complete the two films! This includes covering Vancouver Island's unprotected forests, its parks and mills, and conducting a variety of interviews with people from all sides of the story.
We will also be able to get the equipment and guidance necessary to film the shots we need and safely traverse through the rain forests. This includes stabilization equipment, field recorder rentals and bear bells.
Everything else, including cameras, equipment, supplies, sustenance and determination, is already accounted for. If we manage to exceed our goal, the extra funds will be put to use in either increasing the quality of the film or a donation towards the protection of these lands.
As a way of showing our gratitude, we've put together a plethora of incentives which you can see on the right side of this page.
If you can't afford to donate, we would be grateful if you would share this project on your Facebook or Twitter, and with friends and family. We have a limited time to raise funds and appreciate all the help we can get!
Do you want handmade, original art work by the filmmakers? A gift card to The Art and Found, a local sustainable clothing store in Ithaca? A beautiful metal leaf made by forgers on Vancouver Island? A terrarium kit to create your own tiny ecosystem? Now is your chance!!
By donating to our project, you are not only helping us create these imperative films, you are doing what you can to contribute to the protection of these endangered ecosystems.
Check out all the incentives we've put together on the side of this page!
These films are not being made for personal gain. We are making them in the hopes of reconnecting people with the planet that they are a living part of - the same planet that is currently on the brink of widespread environmental degradation, destruction and contamination. For us, this film isn't a choice or a career move. It's what all of us feel we need to be doing with our lives at this point in time.
By donating to this project, you are funding more than just a couple of films. You are helping to raise awareness and support for an ever-expanding environmental movement made up of people that want to keep our planet healthy and beautiful. The fact that old-growth forests are being logged, and will potentially continue to be logged until they are extinct speaks for the need of a societal reconsideration of the health and workings of our biosphere. Through the films that you help to complete, we hope to instill this sentiment in others.
“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.” - Aldo Leopold