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Tree Film

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:58 pm
by jennie.berglund
Hi ENTS,

I am a filmmaker, and I recently returned from a wildlife film symposium in Denver. I met these great guys out there from an organization called Treefight (www.treefight.org), which is dedicated to the fight against the white pine beetle. We started chatting, and we realized a great film could be made about the plight of all trees in North America. From what I understand, every North American tree species has a pest and is in terrible danger.

This is just a fledgling of an idea, so I just wanted to explore what the options might be. My questions for you are A) Do you think this is a good idea? B) Do you have any ideas for funding sources for this film aside from the conventional NSF-type grants? For example, a North American tree society or something. And C) Do you have any good ideas for me?

I'm looking forward to your input.

Also, hello Bob! I hope you're well!

Cheers,
Jennie Berglund

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:50 pm
by edfrank
Jenny,

Yes it is a good idea. Some films are being produced. For example the is a "Vanishing Hemlock" documentary that is being produced by Back 40 Films and the Southern Documentary Fund. http://www.thevanishinghemlock.com/

Still it is frustrating that there is great effort being spent to fight relatively minor infestations that are not a threat to the existence of any tree species, while threats that may wipe out entire species of trees are simply being ignored, being given only cursory consideration in treatment efforts, or deliberately being allowed to die. An enormously long list could be made of trees and their related ecosystems under threat by invasive insects, fungal pests and diseases, development and habitat loss, global warming, and pollution.

The catch of course is in obtaining funding for the film efforts. I don't know where to start on that effort.

Ed

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:50 am
by jennie.berglund
Yes. I saw something about Vanishing Hemlock. It looks very interesting.

Ok. I'm glad you think it's a good idea, and thanks for the information. Definitely let me know if you think of anything else, or have ideas for me.

Cheers,
Jennie

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:45 pm
by edfrank
Jennie,

One thing to consider when doing a film about a tree species might be any way in which you could personalize a particular tree rather than just talking about the species in general. People tend to relate more to an individual that just another faceless example of many. Last year a large elm tree died in Maine. it was called Herbie the elm. Here is a link:


Click on image to see its original size

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/histor ... an_elm.htm

There was an enourmous outpouring of feeling for the single dying tree, far more than for the species as a whole. So one goal would be to choose a charismatic individual of the species, one with a human connection, and use it as a lead into the story of the species as a whole.

Ed

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:35 am
by dbhguru
Jennie,

Hello and good to hear from you. Ed is a fountain of ideas. I'll leave it in his hands for now. Just got back from Virginia and trying to get organized. The appearance of dying forests can have an impact, but as Ed says, the loss of an individual tree can be keenly felt and personalized.

Bob

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:43 am
by jennie.berglund
What a gorgeous tree! That's so sad!

Excellent idea, Ed. Can you name some other individuals suffering from other diseases or pests? Just to reveal the enormity of the plight of North American forests and trees, I was thinking of covering 5 of the worst pests. At this point, the Wooly Adelgid, the Asian Longhorn Beetle, the Pine Beetle, Earthworms, and the Gypsy Moth, are the pests I wanted to focus on. Can you name specific trees that are facing threats from each of them?

Thanks so much for all the help, Ed.

And hi Bob!!! Great to hear from you! I think we'd definitely include footage of dying forests, but use the individual trees to actually tell the stories.

Cheers,
Jennie

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:17 pm
by AndrewJoslin
Hey Jennie,
Emerald Ash Borer is a big one, on a pace to wipe out ash species in central and eastern U.S and parts of Canada.

Recently arrived European Winter Moth is causing HUGE problems in eastern Massachusetts, will probably spread throughout the U.S., in fact they're probably out in your Somerville neighborhood this evening, they love mild late fall nights. Practically flightless females mass on the lower trunks of maples, oaks and other species, males mill around jockeying for position. Will be good opportunities to get footage of mating flights from now through early December (on the warmer nights)

I think your original idea of covering the plight of North American forests in general is a good one and needs to be explored and communicated to the world. It might be worth thinking of this as a series of films. Might be a good way to get the ball (and money) rolling without huge initial investment, take a bite-sized chunk first?
-Andrew

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:02 am
by James Parton
And then there is the Chestnut Blight, which killed over a billion trees and is still killing today. And then Dutch Elm disease.

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:16 pm
by jennie.berglund
I definitely like those ideas, Andrew. Got any good suggestions for particular places around Somerville to find them? Might be a fun adventure one of these evenings.

Cheers,
Jennie

Re: Tree Film

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:14 pm
by AndrewJoslin
jennie.berglund wrote:I definitely like those ideas, Andrew. Got any good suggestions for particular places around Somerville to find them? Might be a fun adventure one of these evenings.

Cheers,
Jennie
Seriously, anywhere in Somerville there are trees, they are doing breeding flights now around street trees and woods trees. It happens after dark. I'll take a look at my schedule for later this week.
-AJ