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    Wednesday
    May062009

    Subscription Tweaks: Must Re-subscribe

    Ahh, the joys of a new website.  

    If you've previously subscribed to this site.  You must re-subscribe.

    We just added a couple of tweaks to the RSS feed.  It will now list WatchYourDirt as the author of the feed (no longer just lists 'Blog'), so you know where the email is coming from.

    Unfortunately, this will break your old feed.  Easy enough to fix though.  Just delete your old feed and re-subscribe.

    For those of you who aren't subscribers to the blog. It's a great way to keep up to date with the blog.  Basically, it sends you a notification/email every time a new blog entry is made. The email will have a link and short description of the blog entry.  

    If this sounds like something you may like, just add our RSS feed to your email program or web browser.  It's located right on the left hand side of the page, under subscribe.  If you'd like to get more familiar with RSS, read here.

    Wednesday
    May062009

    Head's Up, Down Under!

     

    Some exciting news for us to pass along!  

    We are very proud to announce that John has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the IECA Australasia Chapter's Erosion and Sediment Control Conference this Summer.

    The conference takes place June 21-24th in Auckland, NZ.  All the details can be found here.  It looks like a great conference, and we are so excited that they've asked John to attend.

    Hope to see some of you there! ...if you're in the hemisphere; drop by!

     

    Monday
    May042009

    Dirt Time's New Look ...

    At Dirt Time, we are always evolving.  If you take a look at the first episode, and now at our 25th, you can tell we've come a long way.  The show just keeps getting better and better.  And as I edit our Willow Creek project, I'm starting to play with the material's look a lot more than in the past.

    A few months ago, I saw a promo for a show called 'Ax Men'. For those of you who don't know, 'Ax Men' is a History Channel show that follows the rough n' tumble lives of loggers. It's actually not unlike 'Dirt Time' in many ways (Camera's in the middle of the bush, watching things get torn down...).

    This Ax Men promo was very cool, very stylized and color graded out the wazoo. It was slick. I made a point to watch the show after, hoping to see more of the same visuals. The show is very neat and really interesting, but unfortunately the commercial visuals don't carry through to the show.

    But it (along with the work of Phillip Bloom) got me thinking about Dirt Time. In the past, we've kept color grading pretty minimal, pretty safe. But what if you gave it a highly stylized look the whole way through?

    Well, that's something we're playing with right now. Here is an untouched rough cut of the first five minutes of our upcoming Willow Creek Episode(s):

    Here is that same five minutes with a more severe color treatment:

    And just for fun, here's a side by side:

    So far we like it where it's heading. A few shots need to be tweaked and perhaps went a little far too in one direction. But, we'll see where it ends up...

    Let us know what you think.  Shoot us a comment below...

     

    -james

     

    Saturday
    May022009

    Minnesota Raingarden Videos

    Hi all,

    James here.

    Last August, me and my production company, BlinkWorks were invited by East Metro Water Resource Education Program and the Washington Conservation District, out of Minnesota, to work on a series of training videos aimed at Parks Maintenance Workers.

    These videos were to be part of an MS4 toolkit that would be provided to all counties in the state.  Spearheaded by Angie Hong, the Minnesota team had the absolute perfect outlook on what they wanted the video to be.

    Basically, they had key pieces of info that they wanted to convey, but NO restrictions on how to convey that info.  The final videos had to hit two marks:  

    1) convey the info points and

    2) be as entertaining and engaging as possible.

    They had seen too many dry, lengthy videos to let their video suffer the same fate.   So, after pitching a few ideas, we all settled on the concept of making a stylized training video from a the completely fictional Minnesota State Academy for Parks Maintenance, Preservation and Beautification.

     

    Here's the first video.  It focuses on regular Park Maintenance and how it relates to stormwater runoff...

    Here is video number 2.  It deals specifically with Raingarden Maintenance.

    Minnesota has some really great stuff happening with Low Impact Development and Stormwater education.  There are a lot of fantastically passionate people up there, putting out some really impressive programs.

    Check out some of the things they're up to:

    Minnesota Water

    MS4 ToolKit (part of Minnesota Water)

    The Blue Thumb Program (bluethumb.org)

     Special thanks must go out to Angie Hong and Jay Riggs for letting us create this fun video.  It was a total blast making it.

    -James

    Wednesday
    Apr292009

    First 5 Mins: Willow Creek Streambank Stabilization Episode

    Over the course of Sept-Nov 2008, John and I made frequent visits over to Alberta, just outside of Calgary.  The Alberta Department of Infrastructure and Transportation (AIT) hired John to consult, design and deliver a very big, very impressive BioEngineering workshop.  And of course, we were there with cameras (due to the great support of AIT).

    BlinkWorks is on the homestretch of the video edit, and the episodes should be available quite soon.  But, we wanted to give a sneak peek and show a rough cut of the first 5 minutes.  This early footage gives a pretty good idea of what the project entailed.

    The workshop centered around a project that aimed to save Highway 2 (a major highway connecting Fort McCleod and Calgary) from being undercut by Willow Creek.  A harmless enough looking waterway, Willow Creek had developed the devious little habit of eating away its banks toe, which led to major landslide failures.

    In the past, we did similar projects for AIT up in Hinton Alberta.  Check out our 'Hinton' episodes in Season 1 and Season 2.

    We'll definitely be posting more material soon.  And of course, stay tuned to find out when the entire video is released.

    Or better yet, send me an email through the contact us link and we'll let you know as soon as its released!