Winter/Spring 2019 already has us spinning wheels over a new project on the disappearing Louisiana wetlands. This environmental hazard is one of the most pressing issues in the lower 48 states, yet so few people are aware of it. On the upside, climate change has managed to stay in the news cycle this year— as if there is finally a concerted effort to force action on the issue. This is why we at Encompass Films feel the need to take our love for the outdoors and create content which highlights the devastation that is upon it.
We started the project last fall, looking to focus on 5 characters in a digital docu-series. Each character experiences the land loss in a different way. To begin, we filmed 3 individuals: a 50-something female duck hunter, a paragliding photographer, and a research scientist, all singing their own battle cry to save the coast. Meeting and learning about those characters was a great way to experience the wetlands and cajun culture. I have been to New Orleans a few times before, but had never made it south to the Parishes that protect it from the encroaching sea. Everyone knows New Orleans is sinking; few bother to explore the vast swamps that keep it from being engulfed. This time we journeyed south.
We rose before dawn, dressed in camo, zoomed on airboats to post up for the morning hunt. We sailed, camped on secluded barrier islands, took to the skies on wings with all sorts of camera gear strapped on tightly. We saw alligators, ate dirt, talked to the experts, began to learn exactly what they are facing. And we left more sure than ever that this was important work.
In the coming months, likely March/April, we plan to return to Louisiana to film two more characters, whom we have yet to cast for the project. We are still indeed looking for sponsors to come along for the ride. Our great friends at Peak Design and Sitka Gear have already signed on to support the project, so if you know anyone who’s interested, and who cares about the wetlands, we’d love to connect.