Category Archives: Videos

SAFE GUARDING THE BUTTERFLIES: FILM INTERVIEW WITH JOEL MORENO ROJAS AND ELLEN SHARP FOUNDERS OF THE BUTTERFLIES AND THEIR PEOPLE PROJECT

In March I had the tremendous joy of interviewing Ellen Sharp and Joel Moreno Rojas, founders of the nonprofit organization “The Butterflies and Their People Project.” We filmed the interview from the rooftop of their hotel, JM Butterfly B&B, which is located at the base of Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Reserve in Macheros, Mexico. Cerro Pelon is the old volcanic mountain where the Monarchs wintering home was first located by Mexican citizen scientist Catalina Aguado Trail, on January 2, 1975.  Trail was at the time working under the direction of zoologist Doctor Fred Urquhart of the University of Toronto.

Joel and Ellen are simply an amazing dynamic duo. They have built a beautiful and welcoming bed and breakfast at Cerro Pelon, the most pristine and least trafficked of Monarch sanctuaries. Largely through the conservation efforts of The Butterflies and Their People Project they have helped provide economic opportunities that have in turn dramatically reduced illegal logging and deforestation of the core protected areas of the forest.

The mission of The Butterflies and Their People Project is to “preserve the butterfly sanctuary by creating jobs for local people in forest and monarch butterfly conservation. The Butterflies & Their People Project is an Asociación Civil (non-profit organization) registered and located in the village of Macheros in the State of Mexico.”

I hope you’ll watch and will be equally as enamored of Joel and Ellen as were we. You’ll learn more about how The Butterflies and Their People Project came to be, the importance of protecting the existing Monarch Butterfly forest sanctuaries, and how jobs and economic growth go hand and hand with protecting the vitally important temperate forests of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.  And a bit about how this extraordinary couple met and began their journey in Monarch conservation.

To learn more about The Butterflies and Their People Project visit their website.

To donate to The Butterflies and Their People Go Fund Me fundraiser click here.

To learn more about and make a reservation at  JM Butterfly B and B click here.

Butterflies! at the Berkshire Museum

Paul Villinski Arcus ©Kim Smith 2014Detail of Paul Villinski’s “Arcus,” made from recycled cans.

Kim Smith Berkshire Museum Butterflies ©Kim Smith 2014My friend Sam Jaffe talking about caterpillars.

Friday night I had the joy to attend the fabulous new exhibit at the Berkshire Museum titled “Butterflies!” The galleries are filled with hands on art and science activities, contemporary butterfly sculpture, artifacts from the museum’s collections, live caterpillars, and mixed media of photography and film, including an audio track from Dr. Lincoln Brower discussing what happens within a chrysalis. And, as part of the exhibit, one of the galleries houses a large butterfly pavilion with over 200 live tropical butterflies from around the world!

Blue Morpho Butterfly ©Kim Smith 2014Underwings of the Blue Morpho Butterfly from the live butterfly pavilion.

“Butterflies” was curated by Maria Mingalone, the museum’s director of interpretation, and she deftly and beautifully combines science, art, and nature in an exhibit that is sure to inspire and delight the very youngest to the most senior of citizens, and every age in between!

Butterflies Berkshire Museum ©Kim Smith 2014  copyThe opening was very joyful and buoyant—I most certainly felt that way and, judging from the expressions on visitor’s faces, wasn’t alone. I am convinced that butterflies bring out the happy in people!

Kim Smith film Berkshire Museum Butterflies ©Kim Smith 2014JPGThe audience for my short film “Flight of the Monarchs”—I watched as many people watched my film many times over, despite the case that because the galleries were so crowded you couldn’t hear the beautiful music. I think there were several thousand people at the event.

The music that I set my film to is “Fields of Blue,” written and performed by Jesse Cook. I wrote the artist and sent him a copy of my film and the most amazing thing happened where, within only the few day whirlwind to create this little film, we were granted permission to use his song!!!!!!!!

My film opens with a clip of a Monarch flying in front of Eastern Point Lighthouse (you can see our Lighthouse in the above photo). Most of the footage that I used for the movie was of butterflies in flight, shot on Cape Ann, and the audience was stunned at how beautiful the migration is through Gloucester. That opening clip of the Lighthouse and the Monarch took several days to capture the exact shot that I wanted. Butterflies don’t take direction!

Berkshire Museum ©Kim Smith 2014 -2Berkshire Museum Kim Smith 2014 1JPGSome of my photos were used to illustrate Dr. Brower’s audio recording explaining what happens inside a chrysalis.

Sam Jaffe Kathy©Kim Smith 2014 copySam and his fiance Kathy, also a graduate student in environmental studies.

Berkshire Museum © Kim Smith 2014JPGIf you have never been to the Berkshire Museum, their website description reads as follows: “The Berkshire Museum offers a unique array of exhibitions, activities, and attractions for visitors of all ages. From fine art and ancient objects to fossils; from an aquarium of native and exotic creatures to the Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation, we are your community museum: a place where everyone, from toddlers to elders, can learn, play, explore, innovate, be engaged and inspired.”

I arrived early, before “Butterflies” opened its door, and explored the galleries. It’s really a very engaging museum and especially while the exhibit is running, would be a wonderfully fun and interesting day trip with children.

Sam Jaffe ©Kim Smith 2014Sam Jaffe making final adjustments to the chrysalis and cocoon display. To see some of Sam’s stunning photography, click on his website here: Sam Jaffee

Olive Ridley skeleton ©Kim Smith 2014Olive Ridley Skeleton at the Berkshire Museum

See more photos from the Berkshire Museum galleries Continue reading

Exciting New Film Assignment for the Berkshire Museum and Milkweed Seed Mailing Update

Dear Friends,

I have wonderful news to share about an upcoming exhibit at the Berkshire Museum in which I have been asked to create a film about butterflies in flight. The title of the exhibit is, what else—Butterflies! They are going to be showing 26 of my butterfly photographs. Additionally, during the exhibit, my interview film with Tom Emmel will be running on a continuous loop, as will the new short film about butterflies in flight, titled Flight of the Monarchs. And best of all, screenings of my feature-length Black Swallowtail film and Monarch film will be shown during meet the filmmaker events. This is a fantastic educational project, with a 5,000 square foot exhibit space, which will also house live butterflies. It’s a truly hands-on exhibit, designed with children and adults in mind!

“Butterflies” is scheduled to run through August and will most probably be extended though September. I am attending the opening this coming Friday, May 30th, and will take photos and bring you more information about the Berkshire Museum and the exhibit.

Our Cape Ann Milkweed Project went without a hitch and was lots of fun. Most picked up their seeds and if you sent a self-addressed stamped envelope, your package is ready to mail Tuesday morning. So many thanks to Joey for sponsoring the Cape Ann Milkweed Project at Captain Joe and Sons. Thank you so much to everyone that participated, and most importantly, the Monarchs (and myriad other species of pollinators) thank you!!!

Warmest wishes,

Kim

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My Film at the Lowell Film Festival April 29, at 6:30pm!

BST Banner FINALI hope you can come join me for an evening of screenings and Q and A at the 2014 Lowell Film Series. My film Life Story of the Black Swallowtail is playing, along with Whales of Gold, a film by Lucia Duncan, about the gray whale migration and how to conserve habitat and species in a way that also sustains the livelihoods of local people.

About the film: Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly is a 45-minute narrated documentary that takes place in a garden and at the sea’s edge. Every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is experienced in vibrant close-up, from conception to pupation to metamorphosis. The film is for adults and for children so that all can gain a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between wildflowers and pollinators and the vital role they play in our ecosystem. Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The location of the screening is at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, Lowell. Click this link to read more about the series.

The 2014 Film Series: Land, Air, and Water is offered in partnership by the Lowell Film Collaborative and the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust.

Click here to visit the film’s website: Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly

black-swallowtail-habitat-good-harbor-beach-gloucester-ma-© kim-smith-2011-copyBlack Swallowtail Habitat ~ The Wildflower Meadow at Good Harbor Beach

BomBom Butterflies, Voted People’s Choice Award Rockport Short Film Festival 2013

Beautiful Video Filmed at Willowdale Estate and Produced by Long Haul Films

Mary Foss Murphy writes ~

I am a faithful GMG reader and enjoy your posts and pictures.  Thank you for sharing your talents with us. Knowing of your work at Willowdale and your work as a video producer, I thought you would enjoy this wedding trailer from Long Haul Films of a recent wedding there. The intro to the trailer mentions the beautiful setting; I wish a few more scenes of Willowdale had made it into the trailer.  I love the cranes as the backdrop for their vows. I have been following the Long Haul blog for a few years. I’m always cheered by watching two people in love get married!

Enjoy!
Sincerely,
Mary Foss Murphy

P.S. My mom bought me your book Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! for Christmas a few years ago.  I garden, though have not had time to do your book justice.  I love having it anyway.

My response ~ Thank you so much for sharing Mary and thank you for your good words regarding my book. I loved seeing this film and am so glad to become acquainted with Long Haul Films!  The video must have been created very recently as I planted the sunflower window boxes just a month or so ago!

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Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! is currently selling for only $15.00 on my publisher’s website, which is a $20.00 value off the list price of $35.00.

Click here to purchase a copy of Oh Garden.

NEW FILM: MACKLEMORE LIVE!

Macklemore Live at Best Buy Theatre, New York City, performing “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ray Dalton. Filmed on November 21, 2013.

See more posts about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis:

Same Love Marriage

BomBom Butterflies

Stunning New Video from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

MACKLEMORE LIVE at Best Buy Theatre

Macklemore Wanz  -2 ©Kim Smith 2013

A whirlwind 20 hours in New York City to see the extraordinary Macklemore and Company perform at the Best Buy Theatre left me spellbound and so not wanting the concert to be over!

Macklemore Wanz -1 ©Kim Smith 2013 copyWanz singing Thrift Shop

Macklemore Wanz ©Kim Smith 2013

I was a guest of my daughter Liv, who is the events manger at Best Buy Theatre. How proud I am of her and the fantastic job she does! I followed her around the theatre and observed as she managed 80 plus employees including 45 security guards, and as many bartenders, waitresses, hatcheck girls, and barbacks. The Xbox event was particularly complex and she had been at the theatre since 6am that morning and wasn’t going to be leaving until 6am the following morning. I had to laugh (with admiration) because if you’ve ever met my daughter, you know she is a petite blonde, and she is managing the likes of hurly burly security guards aptly nicknamaed “House.” Most of the employees are young aspiring actors and actresses, or a bit older with families to support, and everyone was super, super sweet and fun to meet.Ryan Lewis -1 ©Kim Smith 2013jpg copy

macklemore  -3©Kim Smith 2013 jpg

I found Macklemore awhile back and by accident one day while googling around looking for interesting and beautiful music videos, which then led to entering their video competition for the song BomBom. Liv knows that I am a huge, huge fan of Macklemores and I was on cloud nine when she asked if I would like to attend the event. Their music and their message are beautiful and delivered with heart and humor.  The concert was fabulous and fun in every way–really simply beyond fabulous!!!

Mary Lambert ©Kim Smith 2013Mary Lambert singing the tender and heartfelt Same Love

The set list from the concert ~

1.Ten Thousand Hours

2. Thrift shop featuring Wanz

3. Same Love featuring Mary Lambert

4. White walls

5. And We Danced

6. Can’t Hold Us featuring Ray Dalton

macklemore  -1 ©Kim Smith 2013jpg jpg

Ryan lewis bl-wh ©Kim smith 2013

Ryan Lewis ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

Macklemore  -4 Kim Smith 2013 jpg

Macklemore ©Kim Smith 2013

I didn’t have my interchangeable lens camera with me, as they are often times not allowed, and had to rely on my iPhone for video. I had never  shot anything longer than a Vine with my iPhone and discovered that the iPhone shoots in 1080p, which is wonderful and ideal for editing. Video coming later today!

Times Square ©Kim Smith 2013Times Square

Liv found a great little hotel in midtown, within walking distance of Penn Station and Best Buy Theatre. The following morning before heading back to Gloucester (and she to bed for some much needed rest), we walked around Bryant Park in the rain and had a late breakfast at a charming French pâtissier.  ~ Thanks to my darling daughter Liv for the wonderfully fun 20-hour New York City whirlwind!

Carousel Liv Bryant park ©Kim Smith 2013Bryant Park Carousel

Bruant park ice skating ©Kim Smith 2013Skating in the Park

See more posts related to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ~

Same Love Marriage

BomBom Butterflies

Stunning New Video from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

New Video: Mayor Kirk and Sefatia Building Bridges for Gloucester

Thank you Mayor Kirk and Sefatia for your tireless dedication to our beloved Gloucester and all her citizens, and thank you for making all of us proud to call this beautiful city by the sea our home.

Visit Mayor Kirk’s website to learn why your Choice Matters. 

City Councilor At-large Sefatia Romeo Thekan and her commares helped raise funds to benefit the Hoyt Foundation by cooking for Jack Ventola and his employees at National Fish & Seafood.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk joined Sefatia and commares, meeting with fishing industry advocates Congressman John Tierney and State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante. Wicked Tuna Captain Dave Carraro and First Mate Paul Hebert stopped by to share lunch.

Filmed at National Fish & Seafood on March 25, 2012.

Music ~ Fritto Misto, Don Pietro

New Film: Love Letters to Gloucester ~ Summertime 2013

Love Letters to Gloucester ~ Summer 2013 is a ten minute film compiled from butterfly films in progress and scenes from short films created for my community during the summer of 2013.

Special thanks to the Ciaramitaro Family and my Good Morning Gloucester friends and family.

Stay until after all credits roll to see a preview of films yet to come!

Cast In Order of Appearance:

Good Harbor Beach Surfers, Pat Ciaramitaro, Dante Holding, Amanda Mohan, Vanessa Linquata, Greasy Pole Walkers, Nicky Avelis, Sleepy Pallazolla Family, Crazy Hat Ladies Robyn & Amy Clayton, Alicia Cox, Chris DeWolfe, Joey Ciaramitaro, Bex Borden, Toby Pett, Ed Collard, Melissa Cox, Craig Kimberley, Brian M. O’Connor, Captain Heath Ellis, Captain Tom Ellis, Donna Ardizonni, Cathy Kelley, Lillian LoGrasso, Rick Doucette, Barry Mohan, Hannah Kimberley, Ron Gilson, Joan Gilson, BJ Mohan, Eloise Ciaramitaro, Madeline Ciaramitaro, Kathy Ryan, Bob Ryan

Creatures in Order of Appearance:

Great Blue Heron
Good Harbor Beach Harbor Seal
Mama Kildeer Searching for Baby Kildeer
Pair of Whimbrels
Shivering Monarch Butterfly Found at Daybreak
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Llama
Donkeys Zack & Abe
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Luna Moth
Green Darner Dragonfly Migration
Eastern Point Light House Monarch

Links to Summer 2013 Film Projects:

Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly
Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Walking for Loved Ones ~ Sunday Greasy Pole Winner Nicky Avelis
Parade of Sails ~ Schooner Festival 2013
The Good Harbor Beach Seal PSA
Gifts of Gold Red Carpet Interviews
Good Harbor Beach Sunrise ft. the Great Blue Heron
Sunset Sail Aboard the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon
Happy Horribles
A Luna Moth Takes Flight

Video: Good Harbor Beach Sunrise

Oftentimes I see herons, gulls, and crows fishing peaceably together at daybreak. Not this morning! The heron vigorously defends its territory, while the crow has a reputation for stealing what others catch, and both are very hungry. Look for the heron eating an eel at about @1 minute 40 seconds.

No borrowed music in this mini film; the sound of crickets, shorebirds, surf, and train whistle make a song of their own, and I really wanted the heron’s loud quarking heard. Creating these mini films helps to organize B-roll for my Monarch film and the next daybreak video is the foggy morning sunrise with the whimbrels.

View original post and comments at Good Morning Gloucester

Rare Footage of a Luna Moth Taking Flight

 Beauty on the Wing ~ A Luna Moth takes Flight

My friend James, the facilities director at Willowdale Estate, sent a photo of a newly emerged moth on Sunday afternoon. He initially thought it was a paper napkin stuck to one of the lampposts, but upon inspection, discovered that it was a Luna Moth (Actias luna). With high hopes the moth would still be there, I dropped everything and raced over to Willowdale to photograph and film the moth. It is not that the moths are particularly rare, but that they are most often seen in flight at night.  Lucky me, to have had such a wonderful encounter with one of the most beautiful moths in all the world!

The Willowdale Luna Moth is a male of the species; you can tell by his bushy and feathery plumosa (or antennae). The female’s antennae are more thread-like. Notice too, just before he takes flight, how his body vibrates, which helps warm and energize the wings in preparation for flying.

Luna moths are members of the Saturniidae, subfamily Saturniinae. With a wingspan of typically up to four and a half inches, atypically up to seven inches, they are one of North America’s largest moths. Luna Moths are most often seen in the earlier part of summer in our region; this Luna Moth encounter took place on August 11, 2013. Luna Moths, like all members of the Saturn family of moths, eclose without mouthparts. They emerge solely to mate and deposit eggs of the next generation and live for only about one week.

Luna Moth larvae (caterpillars) feed on wide variety of broadleaf plants and different geological populations of Luna Moths are adapted to different hostplants. Northernmost populations most often feed on white birch (Betula papyrifera). More southerly populations feed on persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), and sumacs (Rhus).

The damage done by Luna Moth caterpillars on host trees is never significant enough to harm the host trees. Please don’t spray your trees with pesticides or herbicides!

Male Luna Moth Actias Luna ©Kim Smith 2013

A note about the music playing in the background ~

Ave Maria, Ellens Gesang III, D. 839, No 6, 1852, was composed by Franz Schubert in 1852 and is a setting of seven songs from Walter Scotts epic poem The Lady of the Lake. Performed by Barbara Bonney.

Read More: Continue reading

Video: The Good Harbor Seal ~ What to do if you find a seal on the beach

The beautiful juvenile Harbor Seal was found on a foggy morning in midsummer. The seal was beached at the high tide line and its breathing was heavy and labored. It had no interest in returning to the water and needed only to remain at rest.

For the next six hours the seal struggled to survive the world of curious humans.

Learn what to do if you find a seal on the beach.

Written, produced, edited, cinematography, and narration by Kim Smith.

The Good Harbor Beach Seal PSA was created because of the lack of understanding on the part of my my fellow beachgoers on how to mangae a seal encounter. Please help get the word out and please forward the link to friends and neighbors in other communities, whether or not the community is located by the sea. It was the folks from out of town that did not understand that the seal needed simply to be left alone. Thank you!

Although the Good Harbor Seal was not injured, help was needed with the gathering crowd. I called our local police, who in turn sent Lieutenant Roger Thurlow from the Environmental Police. Has anyone had experience with a marine stranding, and if so, is the following the best number to call: Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Entanglement Hotline ~ 866-755-6622? I will post your hotline recommendations here.

Technical note–The video was filmed without a tripod because I was afraid the tripod would look like a gun and didn’t want to further stress the seal. After reading more about Harbor Seals, I learned that their big brown eyes are particularly adapted to sight in murky water (i.e. harbor waters), but that their eyesight is not that good on land. In retrospect, I don’t think that the seal would have associated the tripod with a weapon. Also, I filmed at a distance much further away than my camera’s capabilities, which caused much vignetting around the edges of many of the clips. I didn’t want to stand close to the seal and be the filmmaker-who-becomes-part-of-the-problem, and not the solution.

Breaking News: Good Harbor Beach Seal Survives

 

Monarda is the Bees Knees!

Video – 2013 Sunday Greasy Pole Walking for Loved Ones and Former Champs

Nicky Avelis Walking for Loved Ones

Nicky Avelis captures the flag for the third year in a row. Avelis dedicated his win to family friend and St. Peter’s Fiesta legend Sleepy Pallazolla.

Congratulations Nicky!

I love filming this event for several reasons; to capture the camaraderie and the hilarity, and mostly because of the the true grit and determined spirits of the Greasy Pole Walkers. It takes tremendous courage to walk and to keep trying. To all the Greasy Pole Walkers–may you all experience the glory of a win!

Winners Announced 2013 Rockport Short Film Festival People’s Choice Awards

Rockport Art Festivals Blog ~

Rockport Festivals is pleased to announce that two films received the inaugural Motif 1 Short Film Fest People’s Choice award(s):

Homemade Parade by Emile Doucette BomBom Butterflies by Kim Smith

 

RFfilmfestwinnerlogo

 

Wow! What a great first year for the first Motif 1 Short Film Fest! We had some great submissions, ranging on topics from the launch of an Essex-built schooner to the legend of the Gloucester Sea Serpent. The following eight short films were chosen for the first Motif 1 Short Film Fest:

Launch Day of the Schooner Ardelle
by Len Burgess
What do You Love About Cape Ann?
by Mike Kelly
BomBom Butterflies
by Kim Smith
Gloucester Sea Serpent
by Doctor Colonel Gonzo
No More Gloomy Sundays
by Robert Newton
New England Blood
by Dylan/Ladds
Homemade Parade
by Emile Doucette
Thacher Island Nature Reserve Sunrise
 

by Ron Rismen

Two screenings were held at the annual Motif No.1 Festival in Rockport, one on Friday, May 17th and another on Saturday, May 18th, with Twin Lights soda courtesy of Rockport’s own Thomas Wilson Beverage Co. at both screenings. Viewers were asked to vote for their favorite film (if they felt so inclined — voting was entirely optional). Across the ballots all the films received great feedback, with one voter checking off every single option with the comment that each one was a favorite. But in the end, two films emerged as the front runners with both receiving the same number of votes.

Read more about the event at Rockport Art Festivals

BomBom Butterflies

Over the weekend and next several days, when you have a moment, please watch my newest video. I have submitted it to a video contest sponsored by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis from their debut album The Heist. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis created the beautiful “Same Love” video that I posted previously. The winner will be announced after April 8th.

Shout Out to Professor Gandhi

So many, many thanks to my former botany professor, Dr. Kanchi Gandhi, who sent my BomBom Butterflies video to many of his colleagues, friends, and students. My video is getting a growing number of hits in India! I loved every second of Doctor Gandhi’s class and wished often I could be his full time student. Professor Gandhi’s classes are held in the Harvard University Herbaria, with more than 5 million plant specimens. Along with its library, the Herbaria forms the world’s largest university owned herbarium.

gandhi-1

Doctor Gandhi’s interests are in the areas of plant nomenclature, plant morphology, and plant taxonomy. He is currently working on the International Plant Name Index, the HUH lookup tables, and Flora of North America project. In 2010 he was awarded the American Society of Plant Taxonomist Distinguished Service Award, which is only given occasionally and reserved for individuals who have made exceptional efforts for ASPT or the plant-systematics community in general.

Kanchi Gandhi ASPT presentation

India is a country rich in flora and many species of butterlies. A beautiful Indian butterfly we on Cape Ann may find particularly interesting is the Blue Tiger Butterfly (Tirumala limniace).

Blue Tiger Butterfly Tirumala limniace

It bears a striking resemblance to our Monarch Butterfly (both members of Nymphalidae, sub-family Danainae, or Brush-foot Family of butterflies) with the clearly defined mitten-shaped cell on the underside of the hindwing. And like our Monarch caterpillars, Blue Tiger caterpillars generally feed on the milkweed family of plants (Asclepiadaceae). Another similarity is that the Blue Tiger migrates through Southern India, although the distance traveled is not quite as long as that of the Monarchs.

Images Courtesy Google Image Search

Same Love Marriage

This week the Supreme Court began reviewing laws that ban same-sex marriage. Beautiful video by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, inspired by Macklemore’s two uncles.

Music for Marriage

The Heist

Vibrant Wingbeats

Several weeks ago in one of my posts about Niles Pond at Risk, I wrote about the beautiful Mute Swans at Niles. A reader wrote requesting a description of a phrase that I used, the “vibrant throbbing wingbeats” of the Mute Swan. I have shot hours of B-roll for both my Black Swallowtail and Monarch films at Niles Pond and at Brace Cove, so much so that I am making a mini film about Niles Pond. In organizing the Niles footage, I discovered some good audio of the swans throbbing wigbeats, filmed at sunrise.

The swans often take flight in unison, circling round and round the pond before returning. I patiently wait and wait and sometimes they don’t return, and as has happened more times than I care to say, while I am packing up my gear, they return and then I miss the shot for not being patient enough! Other times they will take flight and head over to feed at Brace Cove. A wedge of swans flying overhead is beautiful to observe, although a challenge to hold in my camera’s lens. Reviewing the footage I heard myself frequently cussing at the mosquitoes because their bite causes me to jag the camera sharply and then I lose sight of the swans. But one especially lucky dawn in September, I did manage to capture several flights.

Isn’t the music so swan-like? The composition is called “The Swan,” written by Camille Saint Saint-Saëns, and is the 13th Movement in a suite of 14 of the humorously themed Carnival of the Animals, Zoological Fantasy for 2 Pianos and Ensemble. See below for more about Carnival of the Animals from allmusic.

Watch on Vimeo if you prefer:

Continue reading

FUN.

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards airs Sunday night at 8:00–a perfect end to a snow-bound weekend. My hoped-for winner is FUN., with the always fabulous featured artist Janelle Monáe. Good Luck FUN.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you win all six categories for which you are nominated, including Best New Artist, Record, Album, and Song of the Year. Although Fun. has been together for a few years, to be nominated for Best New Artist I believe the criteria is to have released at least one album, but not more than three (please correct me if incorrect). FUN. is performing Sunday night. I hope we don’t lose power!

We are Young (acoustic version).

Cape Ann TV’s Andrew Love is a Genius

This past week Andrew Love, Cape Ann TV producer, has been helping to organize, copy, and transfer to various external hard drives my film projects in progress, and to also locate a plethora of render files that were on a variety of hard drives–terabytes of information and footage! He’s a gifted editor and organizer and I am grateful to him for lending his considerable talents.

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Do you have a project that you would like develop to air on Cape Ann TV? Membership is open to any citizen of Cape Ann 16 years of age or older. (Ed. Note: membership is a only $20.00 per year!). Training classes are included in the membership fee. Learn more about television production and what makes Cape Ann TV so unique.

Cape Ann Television has wonderful after school programs for students. Gloucester students can attend the after school program held by Cape Ann TV at Art Haven. For more information call Lisa Smith at 978-281-2443. For Rockport students, there is a new after school video club led by Cape Ann TV producer Andrew Love. For more information  call Andrew at 978-281-2443.

My sincerest thanks Andrew for all you help this past week!

Barry O'Brien, Andrew Love Cape Ann TV ©KIM Smith 2011JPG

Unfortunately, I don’t have a great photo of Andrew so this will have to do. Barry O’Brien (left) and Andrew Love teaching a class at Cape Ann TV studio.

Lisa Smith Andrew Love Cape Ann TV Gloucester Times

Lisa Smith and Andrew Love ~ above photo courtesy Google Image Search from the Gloucester Daily Times

Video: Good Harbor Beach Featuring The Great Blue Heron

 

Notes on Good Harbor Beach November Sunrise
One morning in late November I followed the elusive Great Blue Heron up and down the length of the salt marsh creek while a stunning sunrise unfolded in the background. The dance of the lone heron feeding was as hauntingly beautiful as is the ebb and flow of Fauré’s “Pavane” through its series of musical climaxes, and seemed perfectly choreographed to the intensely focused movements of the heron.

Earlier in the month of November I had filmed three herons feeding simultaneously—the most I typically see at Good Harbor are two at a time. That footage is lost, and perhaps it is just as well because it may not have been the most interesting as the focal length was some distance in order to capture all three in the frame. I found it captivating to see this lone heron feeding alongside the seagulls and ducks, not an event I have often seen. Whenever a dog approached or some other imagined disturbance startled the birds, all would take flight; the seagulls and ducks dispersed and the heron invariably headed to the opposite end of the marsh. This went on for several hours, back and forth, up and down the salt marsh. The Great Blue Heron is majestic in flight, with deep powerful wing beats, and a wingspan of five and a half feet to six and a half feet. Oftentimes difficult to find in the cameras’ lens, the heron’s subdued blue-gray and brown plumage is perfect camouflage against the rocky shoreline, particularly in the pre-dawn light and early hours of sunrise.

I looked for the herons again after that late date of November 29th, but I think they had all departed for warmer shores further south.
If you stay until the end, look for a funny clip after the credits have rolled. I couldn’t figure out how to make this most ordinary of body functions fit with the heron’s beautiful dance.

“Pavane in F-sharp minor, Opus 50,” was composed by Gabriel Fauré  in 1887. Fauré’s “Pavane” obtains it slow processional rhythm from the Spanish and Italian court dance of the same name. The earliest known pavane was published in Venice in 1508 by Ottaviano Putrucci and is a dignified partner dance. The original music seems to have been fast, but like many dances, became slower over time. For this film I looked for a recording approximately 8 minutes in length, although Fauré’s “Pavane” is more typically six minutes long. The origin of the term is unknown; possibilities include from the Spanish pavón meaning peacock.

The following is the same video, only shared on vimeo. I find in both vimeo and youtube you get a better viewing experience if you watch full frame, but i am curious to know what my readers prefer–vimeo or youtube. Please let me know if you have a moment. Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, while filming beautiful B-roll ay Captain Joe’s dock, for my Monarch butterfly project, my friend Joey suggested I ask each lobstermen what they were thankful for. It was alot of fun, as you can see, and although I made this video for Good Morning Gloucester, I thought my readers would enjoy. And as you can see, I also got lots of gorgeous B-roll of lobstermen in action and lobster boats, which will help establish a wonderful sense of place for my film. You can watch the video on Good Morning Gloucester if you’d also like to read all the great comments.

Wishing everyone a happy and joyful Thanksgiving filled with lots of yummy food.

Brought to you by Good Morning Gloucester and the crews of lobster boats The Lady J and The Degelyse, and Brian O’Connor. Thanksgiving interviews with, in order of appearance, Joey Ciaramitaro, Ryan, Skipper Dave Jewell, Brain M O’Connor, Michael, Skipper Tuffy, Sean, and Frankie Ciaramitaro.

I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For, sung by Bing Crosby and How Sweet It Is by Marvin Gaye.

Once again, a million and one thank yous to Joey and Frankie for allowing me to film and photograph from the dock at Captain Joe and Sons.

Part III Superstorm Sandy Trilogy

Superstorm Sandy Gloucester ~ The Morning After

Filmed on October 30, 2012, the morning after Superstorm Sandy, at Brace Cove, Gloucester. We were very fortunate to miss the brunt of the storm; Gloucester survived with relatively minimal damage. A heavy, thick steely-gray bank of clouds dominated the sky and the sun broke through for only a brief period. The streaming shafts of sunlight created a beautiful ethereal glow filtering through the atmosphere. The wind was very strong and caused a good deal of camera shake.

Music composed by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Opus 46: Morning Mood.

Part I Superstorm Sandy Gloucester

Part II Seagrass Fantasy

Part III Superstorm Sandy Gloucester ~ The Morning After