Tree Film

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jennie.berglund
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:40 pm

Tree Film

Post by jennie.berglund » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:58 pm

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

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edfrank
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Re: Tree Film

Post by edfrank » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:50 pm

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
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

jennie.berglund
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Tree Film

Post by jennie.berglund » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:50 am

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

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edfrank
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Re: Tree Film

Post by edfrank » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:45 pm

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
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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dbhguru
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Re: Tree Film

Post by dbhguru » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:35 am

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
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

jennie.berglund
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Tree Film

Post by jennie.berglund » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:43 am

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

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AndrewJoslin
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Re: Tree Film

Post by AndrewJoslin » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:17 pm

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

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James Parton
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Re: Tree Film

Post by James Parton » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:02 am

And then there is the Chestnut Blight, which killed over a billion trees and is still killing today. And then Dutch Elm disease.
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

jennie.berglund
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Tree Film

Post by jennie.berglund » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:16 pm

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

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AndrewJoslin
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Re: Tree Film

Post by AndrewJoslin » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:14 pm

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

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