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FROM THE FIELD

NoVo Foundation’s The Life Story online film series and platform launches

I worked with Vermilion Films over the course of the last year on an intimate and powerful short film series that recently launched online. The 18-part series is part of an interactive online platform exploring the moments in a woman’s life that pulls them into, and out of, sex trafficking. This project was a collaboration between a formidable group of creatives, many of them women, at Vermilion Films, Brew Advisors and NoVo Foundation, along with the 15 brave women who shared their stories.

This style of storytelling – stark interviews with eyes directly into the camera – envisioned by director Irene Taylor Brodsky, was a really affecting way to capture these often shocking experiences of these women in The Life. NoVo Foundation is now utilizing the films to help create awareness about these issues with social workers, law enforcement, medical practitioners and other service providers that have the potential to change the course of these women’s lives. I was a producer and editor on this project.

Check out the entire film series at The Life Story online platform.

Manly swim 360 VR experience published on The New York Times

During a brief stint in Sydney earlier this year, I was lucky enough to work with the new Sydney bureau of The New York Times on several 360 experiences for the newspaper’s Daily 360 channel. The Bold & the Beautiful are a fixture at my local beach of Manly….for almost ten years they have been doing the Manly to Shelly swim each morning at sunrise, and are a distinct, familiar mass of bright pink caps in the dawn light around Fairy Bower. It was really cool to shoot such a quintessential element of my home town. I shot this video with the Samsung Gear 360, which proved a great, versatile rig for capturing this fast moving experience.

The Nature of Maps to premiere at DCEFF

The short film I directed and produced with Bridget Besaw and Seedlight Pictures is premiering this month at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. Marty and Ross took on the task of mapping Patagonia Park, a conservation project first embarked upon by Kris Tompkins’ Conservacion Patagonica more than ten years ago. This film was a chance to explore the power of maps in conservation through the eyes of three dedicated conservationists.

Check out the trailer below and learn more about the park at Conservacion Patagonica.

Investigating the future of the mandrill in Gabon with National Geographic

Last month I traveled to Gabon with National Geographic Explorers Helle Olsen and Uri Golman, a photographic duo amidst a five-year project to document the world’s last remaining wild places. Gabon is the home of the last remaining healthy populations of mandrills, a monkey made famous by the Lion King’s Rafiki in the early 1990s. The males exhibit colors that are out of control – violets not seen anywhere else in nature. They’re a stunning, charismatic monkey but also incredibly elusive. No one has successfully photographed wild mandrills  in their natural habitat, so Helle and Uri set out to document the species and shed some light on the threats to its future.

We spent several weeks working with a completely wild group and a habituated group, before finally getting the images we came for. The largest threat to mandrills in Gabon is the bushmeat trade, so we drove the breadth of the country, visiting bushmeat markets and talking to locals who hunt and eat mandrill, trying to understand the local perspective on bushmeat and discovering that for most people, there really isn’t another protein available other than the wildlife they hunt in the forest – whether it be mandrill, antelope, gorilla or chimpanzee. To find a balance between conservation and feeding people, it seems the government needs to come to a compromise and regulate a quota system that ensure the sustainability of these species. Stay tuned for more on this content in the coming months.

Guided premieres at 2016 Camden International Film Festival

After several years of passion-fueled labor, Seedlight Pictures‘ film Guided premiered at Camden International Film Festival this month. This project was truly a collaboration of multiple talented cinematographers and editors. Bridget conceived the idea to produce a film on Ray Reitze after many years of working with him as a guide in the north woods of Maine. Ray was beautiful and enigmatic character to bring to life on the screen. The resulting hybrid doc/art piece attempts to encapsulate Ray in all his forms – as skilled, seasoned Maine woodsman but also sage, centered philosopher. My role in this film was to work with him in the field and also edit the film alongside Par Parekh. Guided will also have several screening at the New Hampshire Film Festival in October. Stay tuned for more screenings soon!

Ledlenser Virtual Reality Experience live on Jaunt

It’s been really cool to step up the VR game this summer, working with Portland-based agency The Program on an experience for Ledlenser. I field-produced and edited the piece, Night Sessions lit by Ledlenser, which became a user experience at the Leatherman Outdoor Retailer booth in August and is now available on the Jaunt app. This was a challenging project – we had to shoot entirely in transitional light with a very short shoot schedule. We worked with a new rig – the Radiant Images Dark Corner rig, which handled the low-light and showed off the product really well. It was also great to work with a commercial client on a VR experience and see the possibilities for how this new technology can be utilized commercially.

You can watch the experience below: for best results, watch on your mobile device and hook up to wifi first, then select the option for highest quality. Enjoy!

Is K2 the New Everest? Article up on National Geographic Adventure

With climbing season kicking off in the Karakoram range of Pakistan, droves of climbers are now joining guided trips up some of the world’s most dangerous peaks – including K2. This month, I explored the evolution of guided climbing on K2 for National Geographic Adventure, including the challenges of building a commercial industry on a mountain notorious for its technical climbing, merciless weather and high mortality rate.

Check out the article at National Geographic Adventure.

Image courtesy Madison Mountaineering.

Bahamas Chaco series online at National Geographic Adventure

Tharia Sheather walks the rocky shores of paradise on Long Island

Last month I collaborated with Maser Films and Max Lowe to produce an online branded content series for Chaco footwear. We were tasked with creating a short form series that illustrated what one could do with simply a weekend. The series, which explores the tranquil, idyllic world of Long Island, Bahamas, was published online at National Geographic Adventure last week. Thanks to Charlie Beede and William Trubridge for their hospitality as they shared their little slice of heaven with us.

Check out the three films below, and on NatGeo Adventure here.

A Step Beyond: Discovering the Real Caribbean

Going Deep: Pushing Boundaries in the Bahamas

Less is More: Living Life on Island Time

Interview with freediver on National Geographic Adventure

I recently chatted with professional freediver William Trubridge for the National Geographic Adventure blog after he smashed his world record last week diving 124 meters without fins at Dean’s Blue Hole in Long Island, Bahamas. William is the subject of an upcoming film I produced with Max Lowe and Andy Maser, also for NGA. Stay tuned for the release of the film in coming weeks.

Check out the article here.

Image courtesy Daan Verhoeven.

Growing Local films available to watch online

The series I produced with Seedlight Pictures and Maine Farmland Trust in Maine on the grown pains of the local food industry is now available online to watch for free. These films received acclaim at film festivals across the US and I’m glad to finally be able to show them to the world!

Check out the films at Maine Farmland Trust.