Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Working to Produce Conservation Information that is Useful

As part of my job for the Missouri Department of Conservation, I gather and interpret a wide variety of information and work to make that information useful for conservation decisions. Sometimes it takes many hours and much effort to make that information useful.

Like today. I'm working to take many facts about the Department of Conservation and put that information into a short video introducing the Department.

My day today actually started yesterday, when I packed a van with props and materials to assist a film crew. My role is to make sure the content and facts we want to communicate are correctly presented in the sound and images of the video. Most of this has already been completed, since we have been working on the script and thinking about the images over the last several months.

For today, I started the day before 7:00 a.m., driving to the Kansas City Discovery Center. The video's producer, John Baker from St. Louis, and the film crew, Tom Newcomb, a videographer from Technisonic and Tim Donsbach, a freelance sound specialist, were already at the location scouting the right spots to film. We filmed what we needed in two places in the Center, after waiting until noon to get just the right combination of staff and student activity in the hallway.

Then we drove to Holts Summit in the afternoon to get images of the volunteer Holts Summit Fire Protection District station and their equipment. The Department of Conservation helps over 600 fire departments with training and access to equipment to control and contain wildfires.

Then we just made it to the Runge Nature Center at 5:00 p.m. to get some images of a hunter buying a hunting permit. The Nature Center staff stayed a little later than normal so we could get the filming finished. It was very nice that they extended their day to help us.

Then we went outside the center, and set up at two more locations to get the evening light around two separate speaking parts of the video.

After the filming with people was completed outside, about 8:00 p.m., the videographer set up to film the fire tower to have some background images of the tower which will help illustrate the historic role of fire protection in improving the forest of Missouri.

Finally, we briefly discussed the schedule for the filming tomorrow, which will be similar but a slightly shorter day and mostly inside images.

I left the Nature Center and picked up more props to load into the van, finishing that task by 9:30 p.m. I'm ready for supper after over 14 hours of work. Not an unusual day, but not a typical day. I think it's going to be a great video and useful for the staff of the Department. That makes it worth the extra effort.

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