The itinerary for our trip was made weeks in advance and went through continuous edits and updates throughout the preproduction process. However, one constant was that Wednesday the 15th and Thursday the 16th were always scheduled to be our busiest days. With three interviews in three different locations on both days, we all knew that getting everything done efficiently would be hectic, but worth it in the end.
Wednesday morning started off with a drone demonstration from Jennifer Brown of Into Nature Films, an independent documentary film production company that specializes in nature films. Jennifer met with us during our last morning at Archbold, and showed us how she uses her drone to capture compelling nature shots. With her background in field biology and conservation, and her drone experience, we learned a lot from Jennifer and appreciate her unique eye for this specific kind of footage collection.
After the demo with Jennifer, we made our way to Florida Gulf Coast University to interview Dr. Win Everham, a professor and Program Leader of Environmental Studies. Dr. Everham’s research focuses on how ecosystems respond to disturbance events and during his interview he offered forward-thinking insight into how we could better coexist with natural habitats. While one crew shot with Dr. Everhamn, the other shot with Amber Crooks of the Southwest Florida Conservancy group, a public policy specialist who works on issues related to panther habitat and creating smart growth strategies to better coexist with native wildlife.
Thursday began with crew #1 waking up bright and early to meet up with Dr. Eric Milbrandt of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Laboratory. Dr. Milbrandt was kind enough to take us out on one of the lab’s boats despite the cold temperature and strong winds. We learned more about how nitrogen and phosphorous pollution is impacting natural environments when Dr. Milbrandt pointed out the abundance of macroalgae growing on top of the sea grass. The same crew headed immediately over to the Unitarian Universalist Church to film a workshop on residential pond and water management hosted by Liz Donley of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.
Crew #2 headed over to Sanibel Island to interview Paul Tritaik, the Project Leader at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, who led us through one of the refuge’s nature trails, and also spoke on the importance of unification and forming connections to conservationist’s efforts.
Despite both Wednesday and Thursday both being incredibly hectic, we all knew at the end of each day that we’d gotten incredibly important footage. Each person we met with had a great deal of information that will contribute to our story. We all agreed that those two hectic days were worth every minute!
This incredible journey is winding to a close now, and we’re ready to call it a wrap and enjoy our last day in Florida. Watch out for the vlogs we’re sharing on Facebook and YouTube and as always, don’t forget to follow or like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.