On a busy morning I read an email sent by the Public Affairs Officer for the Tahoe National Forest, Joe Flannery, about “… a short film on YouTube about wildland firefighters, wildfire, and forest health. I thought your audience might be interested; I get a lot of feedback from Wildland firefighters who really enjoy it.”
Here is how it was described:
Fire and Forest Health showcases wildland firefighters, biologists, foresters, and fuels specialists as they work together to stop catastrophic wildfires and increase forest health. This film was shot on location within the Tahoe National Forest and features Tahoe National Forest employees.
“At its heart, this is an educational film. Within a few short minutes audiences can learn how wildland firefighters prepare for the upcoming fire season and also how the US Forest Service is working to prevent catastrophic wildfires through the planning and implementation of forest health projects,” said Eli Ilano, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor. “We hope this film will be shared far and wide by educators, community groups, social media users, and anyone interested in wildfire prevention, forest health, and modern National Forest land management.”
I thought that sounds interesting, a video produced at the local level by a National Forest — I figured I’d view it quickly and if it looks decent probably embed it in a short article on Wildfire Today and move on to the next project.
But after clicking the play button I was immediately interested. The opening seconds showed beautiful scenes and then there was a graphic:
Fire & Forest Health
Your Tahoe National Forest
Official selection at the 2019 Wild & Scenic Film Festival
As the video unfolded showing the Tahoe Hotshots, engine crews, and forest management personnel, I thought, wow, these Forest Service employees who filmed this are very good. Then there was drone footage, motion graphics, scenes that appeared to be shot from a dolly or steady-cam, and then more images from drones. The quality of the cinematography was professional level — so good that it was almost distracting, at least to someone who often has a camera in his hands.
It may not have been inexpensive to create, but the quality level could enhance the chances of the fire management message being distributed in many venues and social media posts.
The 11-minute film was written, directed, and produced by Mr. Flannery in association with the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, with cinematography and editing by Gigantic Film Company and Origami Rocket. It can be viewed in quality up to 4K (2,160p).