From time to time MeebsDad and I take on creative projects, usually just for kicks. We love to produce mini documentaries and tourism videos. Recently MeebsDad came across a video contest called Film Snacks, through Discovery World HD/Discovery Channel (more info). The Film Snacks Competition is a platform for up and coming film producers to feature compelling short-films that build on environmental themes.

The instructions were to tell an environmental story that’s still untold, in two minutes or less. The winning entry would be debuted at the Planets in Focus Film Festival in Toronto, as well as shown on TV and online. We thought, what the heck, we’ll shoot the video for fun, and if we win that’ll be a huge bonus.

We worked tirelessly to develop a moving, creative concept. Once we had a solid idea, I wrote the script and MeebsDad developed a story board of the frames we would need to shoot. For the next few weekends we traveled to Port Renfrew to give the old-growth Red Cedars and Douglas Firs, marked for logging, a voice. Our submission, If These Tress Could Talk, showed the demise of the old-growth forests on Vancouver Island and the community’s struggle to save a “newly discovered” stand of 900 year old Red Cedars, of which many had already been felled. This phenomenal yet threatened forest, Avatar Grove, drew its nickname from the epic movie Avatar with is uncanny resemblance to the spectacular alien landscapes of Pandora.  The massive Red Cedars feature huge twisted and contorted burls are found in large numbers throughout the stand including one that’s been dubbed “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree” with a massive burl nearly 12ft in diameter (we showcase this in our video)! Rare giant old-growth Douglas fir, of which 99% have been logged from Vancouver Island, are also found scattered throughout the forest. Beautiful fern draped creeks with moss covered rocks and small waterfalls meander through the woods along their way to the Gordon River. The status of Avatar Grove is still unprotected, but the community and government is taking steps to change this and permanently preserve what’s left of these cathedral trees. Our video tells the story. Click here to watch If These Tress Could Talk.

Oh yeah…and we won! Out of 80+ submissions, our humble video was selected. We traveled to the Planets in Focus Film Festival in October 2011. It was an amazing experience, and a very proud moment to watch our short documentary debuted on the big screen, amongst some fantastic documentaries. Enjoy!