Thursday, June 9, 2011

The documentary that started it all........

Interviewing and introducing Ed Carlson, Director of Corkscrew Swamp, Audubon Sanctuary
See the end of this blog for more information on Corkscrew Swamp, a truly amazing place

For those of you who haven't seen it you can view 10 minutes of our hour and a half documentary on south Florida that aired on some PBS stations, FEC-TV, national educational channel, at museums and botanical gardens. The Florida Native Plant Society aired it at their board meeting and have used it as a teaching tool.

This was the first documentary in our Creative Native Project series. We had only a few weeks to plan, research and book our locations and interviews because of the grant window and then did ten days of shooting in south Florida. Given the short turn around time we were quite pleased with the results and the response but having several months of research and planning for the Oklahoma project and 21 days of shooting will enable us to produce a really fine documentary.
When Bob first asked me to go out with him as a field producer for some of his clients, I really didn't like it but I did it for him. Then we did "In a Brilliant Light" and "Pentimento" about my art for my traveling museum shows and I got really comfortable being on camera and realized I had a knack for it. Doing the Creative Native Project series is different because I am interviewing other people but I discovered I really enjoy that as well as the opportunity to meet interesting people and go to places that fascinate me. My other love is science and ecology and especially ancient trees and forests so this project is an incredible learning experience as I do the research and a real source of information gathering for my curious mind as I talk with creative individuals.
Next blog I will go to Part Four of the challenges of documentary filmmaking.
I also did an installation that was shown at the Brevard Art Museum in conjunction with our documentary called "Preconceived Notions" because so many people come to Florida with no idea of what the real native flora is and have changed the ecology drastically. The installation was interactive to educate the public about what is native in Florida and to help bring awareness to saving it.
Hard to appreciate this small but it gives you a taste of my large installation.
Working on the installation for Florida in my studio in New Mexico 

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a National Audubon Society sanctuary located in southwest Florida, north of Naples, Florida and east of Bonita Springs, in the United States. The sanctuary was established to protect one of the largest remaining stands of Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) and Pond Cypress (T. ascendens) in North America from extensive logging of the tree that was ongoing throughout the 1940's and 50's. The Corkscrew Cypress Rookery Associationwas formed in 1954 to protect the area. The National Audubon Society accepted responsibility for management and started constructing the first boardwalkthrough the swamp in 1955. In all, nearly 45 square kilometres (17 sq mi) of wetland was purchased or donated (most from or by the owners, Lee Tidewater Cypress Center Co. and Collier Enterprises).
Today, a boardwalk of a little over 3 km (2 miles) length provides walking access through (actually 'over') pine flatwoods, wet prairie, Pond cypress, Bald cypress, and marsh ecosystems within the sanctuary.
The sanctuary visitor center is a Living Machine demonstration site.
The sanctuary is an important breeding area for the endangered Wood Stork, and other wetland birds, and has good numbers of wintering passerines, including the Painted Bunting. Numerous wading bird species can be found in the wetlands of the sanctuary, including the Yellow-crowned Night HeronBlack-crowned Night HeronTricolored HeronGreat Egret, and Snowy Egret. Specialist birds include LimpkinBarred Owl and, in summer, Swallow-tailed Kite. As such, it has been designated as a 'gateway site' for the Great Florida Birding Trail.
American Alligators and Cottonmouth snakes, are also prevalent here.


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