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Lights, camera, water! These movies won’t be winning an Oscar anytime soon, but they are narrated and do feature some pretty fine guitar strumming. | Speaking Water | Firelight Radio Podcast | Narrated movies | Power-point lectures | Water tutorials | Water Writings | Measured Water | Fireside waters | Visit basins | Visit water cycle| About blog | Return to main blog

Intro - Major Film Awards?

It's just a matter of time (and production quality)

By Robert V. Sobczak

Many have asked:

Have your movies been nominated for any major motion picture awards?

product movies
Blogs are always better than the movies, or are they?

The answer is no, not yet. While almost all of the films are shot “on site” in some of the most scenic parts of the Big Cypress Swamp and Everglades that you’ll ever see, thus in my mind making them most eligible under the cinematography category – they have yet to curry any major critical buzz.

On a more positive note: Maybe that’s a good thing. Really, the purpose of the videos is to capture thoughts in motion – sometimes on the ground getting our feet wet and other times flying over the ecosystem in a helicopter – and get them out to the people as soon as possible.

Yes, that sometimes sacrifices quality, but the alternative (and usually situation) is that those video clips would never see the light of day. Most video clips are narrated, and I also add in some guitar in the background to improve their overall vibe.

Recent narrated videos

spring

Fog flow
The ghost of sheet flow past

Morning fog in Florida …

Can sometimes be very thick.

Not to be confused with sheet flow

Other times it hovers just over the surface like a blanket that burns away rapidly in with the rising sun. That’s what happened this morning. The thing about fog: It’s really hard to photograph, especially without good camera equipment and a lot of patience. In this case I just hopped on the guard rail and tried to campfire the ephemeral layer of moisture while it was still there, and in doing so also watched it slowly fade away. Five minutes later it was completely gone.

Gutters of our youth
And why we return to watch it flow

There’s nothing better …

Than the flow of water, even in a gutter.

Why gutter flow is important

I take that back. I mean “especially” in a gutter. Why? Call me a child of the suburbs perhaps. But for me growing up as a pre-teenage kid, to this day I can still remember having fun watching (and racing) leaves in the gutter after a good rain. Another favorite activity was damming up the water to watch a pool form behind the leaves, and also expanding the makeshift levee to pool the water halfway across the street only to punch a hole in it and watch the water water flow. Simpler times they were, simpler times. Those days may have passed but I’m reminded of them every time it rains and I go to the gutter to watch (and listen) to the water flow.

spring

Foggy Glare
A thousand points of glare

There’s no bigger challenge of adulthood …

Than the “day in and the day out.”

East bound into the sun

Living in Naples Florida and driving into the Big Cypress Swamp everyday, that means a lot of fog and a lot of glare. I would mention the traffic in town, but most of my commute is on the sparsely traveled Tamiami Trail. As much as I enjoy the commute, at times I wonder if I’d do better on the night shift. That way, I’d have the sun behind my back on they way in (during he late afternoon) and on my return drive back in time I’d have the morning sun shining towards the west in my rear view. Again, that’s a minor complaint. The morning fog and glare are just part of the Big Cypress charm.

ecology

Wading bird delight
Why wading birds love fire

By definition …

Wading birds love water.

Video filmed along scenic Tamiami Trail

But in addition to wading through the shallow swamp, could they just as much (if not more) like the fire, too? Evidence from a recent prescribed burn says “yes.” The reason? My first guess was that the egrets were sick of sushi and wanted some charbroiled (or flash cooked) fish. But after further inquiry with a biologist, they suggested the birds were flocking to the higher visibility afforded by the charred landscape. Or in other words, it helped them see the water better, and the critters they were foraging for.

In a nutshell, the swamp is a flood and fire adapted ecosystem in which every square inch of flora and fauna depends on a goldilocks dosage and return interval of water and fire. So goes flood and fire, so goes the swamp — and the wading birds.

bobby angel

The Tony Doctrine
And why its the new Art of War

We begged Tony before he left:

“Please write everything down.”

Bobby Angel’s exclusive interview on the song

The problem? Tony was more a man of action than long-winded with his words. The proof? As Exhibit A, I point to his farewell address. It was three sentences long. And three sentences that reverberated, too. The reason of course was that Tony spoke softly and carried a big stick, although not even that threadbare expression properly describes it correctly. The thing about Tony was that he possessed the unique trifecta of (1) leading by example, (2) never being afraid of a solo mission (no matter how perilous he always had a way of making it safe), and most of all (3) being a team player. Time spent with Tony was always time well spent. I remember many days sitting on Tony’s couch saying “yeah, we should get out there (and look at that issue) some day. “Let’s go now,” was always his predicable response. Tony knew the fine art of seizing the day whatever it took. That’s probably the core essence of what The Tony Doctrine is all about.

As for the big question: Will it ever be written down? If and when that happens, it will be the new Sun Tzu’s Art of War on my bookshelf. Check out the Bobby Angel interview in the interview above to find out more.