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CYNTHIA & GEORGE MITCHELL FOUNDATION

When The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, a global environmental protection agency, contacted ALP to make two films about land conservation and sustainability, I jumped at the chance. On both our 5-day shoots in Texas, my crew and I were lucky enough to stay at the family foundation’s 6000 acre preserve just north of Houston. After spending several days filming urban sprawl, fossil-fuel monsters and endless highways in and around Houston, arriving at the gates of COOK’S BRANCH CONSERVANCY comes close to an outer-body experience. Driving through the massive wood gates, you enter an alternate universe of habitat management and wildlife conservation: a heaven-on-earth spread of piney woods, bird life and native grasses. Immediately, you are struck by the question: why are we not doing more to protect the land we live on?

Our film about COOK’S BRANCH CONSERVANCY aims to not only showcase the immense natural wonder of this protected land but, mostly, to guide other land-owners, farmers and government agencies on methods of conserving bio diversity and eco systems. We climbed up 60 foot trees and filmed through wild flames to show how Cook’s Branch orchestrates prescribed burns to replenish the forest, eradicates invasive species, manages habitat and nurtures life for endangered species like the Red Cockaded Woodpecker. The film also exposes ways of partnering up with government agencies and methods to transform a grazed working ranch into fully sustainable preserved land.

Shot on Sony F7 ; 4 go-pros and 5Ds MarkII

Director: Amy Lawday

Assistant director/producer: Liron Reiter

Cinematographer: Richard Patterson

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