A Better Path: Stewardship of the Metolius River
SW: There were really some really beautiful underwater shots. How much footage—or how much time did your cameraperson need to spend underwater—to get those shots?
Darek Staab (producer): We were really lucky to capture great footage in a fairly short amount of time. We basically focused on our underwater footage for two days, but much of that time was spent getting to our sites and getting the necessary gear ready for the shots. Michelle Alvarado provided full dive gear and captured all the footage, using a dry suit to keep the cold water out and an oxygen tank for breathing comfortably underwater, while letting the fish come to her. Nate Dachtler was also incredibly helpful as a fisheries biologist for Deschutes National Forest, as his extensive knowledge about fish in the river allowed us to focus on key sites that were safe and provided good opportunity to capture the beauty of the river, the fish, and the habitat underwater.
SW: Obviously, this isn't a traditional documentary, and has an agenda. Beyond the film festival, how do you plan to get the film circulating?
DS: You are right, we do hope this film builds awareness and inspires people to improve their behavior while visiting a local river. Though we believe in our message of being a steward and taking care of spring-fed rivers like the Metolius, we also didn't want to be preachy and we wanted the river to speak for itself. Though the Metolius River is special and unique, we also would be happy if viewers disagree because they love their local river even more. All rivers and natural areas need advocates and stewards, and the bottom line is that we want people to be passionate enough to act on behalf of their river and conserve the habitat we all share. To circulate our film, we have mainly been working through local organizations, blogs, newsletters and film festivals, trying to reach any recreational groups who visit or care about the river. We are also hoping to expand our outreach through regional lodges, tourism organizations, and fly fishing stores, since it is quite simple to add a link to the film and help reach visitors who might impact the Metolius River. Lastly, I am always happy to come present to a group to share more about the project and film, and I have given around 10 presentations to local groups with the film integrated into a custom presentation. (PB)
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