Behold the Earth is a feature-length musical documentary that inquires into America's divorce from nature, built out of conversations with leading biologists and evangelical Christians, and directed by David Conover. Filmmakers' blog is below.
Filmmaking is a dance between the FIRE and the SMOKE. Out in the world, the fire burns. It is the filmmaker’s duty and craft to organize and convey the smoke (and mirrors) of that fire to others in a compelling and beautiful way. Here are the pieces of this film organized for the independent filmmaker and media enthusiast.
An arresting and spectacular moment of light on the ocean, south of Cuba. This was captured the other day while working on a separate production. Certain land and seascapes can really make a person feel diminutive. Further to the north the oil finally stops blasting out of the sea floor, which demonstrates the complete opposite experience, how many persons together can have such a massive impact.
Today a letter arrived from a viewer of our series Sunrise Earth, written and sent by a young man age 7 from Greensboro NC. I wonder what motivated this note. A theory for Stonehenge? A spirit? Trapped by whom? The art critic Bernard Berenson might call this “the natural genius of childhood and ‘the spirit of place.’ … but probably not, since it was an experience mediated through a screen. Far better for this young viewer to be physically at a place. I wonder where he plays in Greensboro?
But the note did recall this unusual place and the morning we spent there. We had rented Stonehenge, so that we could record and convey these stones without the crowds… and only with the breaking sun and clouds and the small birds called jackdaws that live within the cracks of the stones. Maybe the young viewer -or his cat- noticed the birds?
Stone is an incredible medium. When I stop making movies, I’d like to carve letters into stone, then narrowcast them into the back woods.
I will be screening clips and speaking about this work-in-progress BEHOLD THE EARTH on Sunday at 2:45pm, at the Baird Auditorium of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Please come if you are in the Washington area this weekend and curious to learn what the production is all about.
The talk and screening is part of the US Environmental Film Festival, in its 18th year. For those of you who are enthusiasts for films about the people/nature connection, there are 155 diverse films screening between March 16th and 28th. Special programs exist for children and are marked by a family-friendly symbol in the festival program.
We achieved decent results with the RED camera, and its maximum frame record rate of 120/ sec. I am looking to bump this frame up to 1,000 or more, when we have access to dragonflies again. At this latitude, we are well past that point. Our next dragonfly shoot will be with a PHANTOM camera and lots of sun. We now know our subject. More from Cal DeWitt on the dragonflies of his marsh in the next post.