Thursday, April 4, 2019

Latest Shoot: New Orleans

Production on EveryDay Earth continues to keep us busy.  With "Mission 1" pretty much completed (barring peer review and any revisions we might need,) we've moved our focus to "Mission 2."  That means it's time to get back out in the field and shoot some footage.  Since Mission 2 continues with the Water Cycle we headed out to the New Orleans area.

Although technically, we shot very little in the actual city.  We spent a lot of time driving around Louisiana to get to the good stuff.  Our first destination was the Old River Control structures in the eastern central part of the state, along the Mississippi border.  It helps control the mighty Mississippi River.

We had actually filmed there before years ago when we tagged along on an OU field trip.  That footage eventually found its way into an old GeoAmerica segment about the Mississippi Delta.  Of course, those were the SD days.  Now that we're HD/4K fancy-pants big shots, we frequently find ourselves re-shooting locations we've visited before.  But that's not a bad thing since we've been at this a while and people, places and things tend to change over time.

We weren't able to use our new favorite toy, the drone, here because the Army Corps of Engineers doesn't allow drones at this facility but they were still very helpful and welcoming and we're happy to thank them once again for allowing us access.

It's worth mentioning that one of the main draws of the area is the food.  And we tried to get as much of it as we could.  The first New Orleans dish?  Etouffee!  We found a cool gas station/restaurant in a little out of the way town between somewhere and somewhere else.  

The main reason we traveled to the area was to get shots of the Louisiana Barrier Islands.  We chartered a boat with local guide Richie Blink of Delta Discovery Tours who was a great resource.  Unlike some of the showier guides around, Blink has spent years studying the science of the area and really helped us get the shots we needed.

Once we got out there we finally got the drone in the air. We toured the islands for several hours and got tons of great footage!  It's an important story to tell and we're glad to include it in EveryDay Earth.  The islands are covered in various shells, especially oyster shells...which gave us a craving...

Since we're usually so far inland it's hard to find fresh seafood so being near the Gulf was a great excuse to destroy a tray of oysters.  We looked over the shells afterward so you could say this also counted as research.  This was pretty much our fuel for shooting geology footage on this trip.  And there was plenty to shoot...

One of the last hings we shot was Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours.  It was a great chance for us to get some wetlands footage and there were plenty of gators, turtles and other critters that we could get shots of in their natural habitat.  Thanks to the tour company for letting us hop aboard.

The overall shoot was exhausting but we ending up getting a lot of great shots and eat a ton of great food.  You can check it all out (except maybe the food) in Mission 2 of EveryDay Earth...coming soon!




Sunday, January 20, 2019

Latest Shoot: Oklahoma Aquarium


Production on the first adventure of EveryDay Earth has pretty much finished up but we're already working on the second!  Since the curriculum is Oklahoma based we wanted to involve as many educational Oklahoma attractions as possible.

It's also not just Oklahoma rocks and landforms we want to include, we also want to incorporate Oklahoma wildlife to show to show how so many natural systems are connected.   Thankfully the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks was happy to let us stop by and get some footage.


The main focus of the shoot was the "Aquatic Oklahoma" exhibit which features all kinds of local critters that swim, slither, skitter and float around the lakes and rivers of Oklahoma.  It was a great opportunity to get the kind of close up shots of animals that we would never be able to get in the wild.


While out and about, we couldn't help but get some shots at Eufaula Lake.  Water is the main concept covered in the first Module of Everyday Earth so we've shot quite a few of the lakes, rivers, springs, ponds and waterfalls in the state but it never hurts to have more footage.  Plus water is such a crucial part of natural science, geography and culture that there's always a need for extra footage.


And just like that we got some more wildlife shots.  I'm honestly not sure what kind of birds these are so we'll have to check in with our biologist and ornithologist friends to see if they can weigh in.  It was windy and really cold this weekend so outdoor shooting was kept to a minimum but there was one other shot we needed to get:


Coal Miners Memorial Plaza in MacAlester, OK is dedicated to those that lost their lives in the dangerous job of coal mining.  It's also a great visual reminder of the influence of coal in the area.  It has had a large economic impact in the region as well as a cultural one.

We shot footage of this monument years ago for our documentary "Oklahoma Rocks" but that was back in the Standard Definition days.  Since these days we're working in HD 4K video, the older footage would not work in a current project.  But luckily stuff like this is in the neighborhood and it always helps to check back in on an area to make sure our footage is up to date.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

EveryDay Earth Trailer

Here's the trailer for our new project "EveryDay Earth!"  It's an interactive video curriculum supplement that lets students go on adventures, make choices and gather data as they learn about earth science and STEM concepts.  We'll be rolling it out to Oklahoma public schools this year!