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    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!

     

    Tuesday
    Apr282009

    Dirt Time: Back in the News

    Back in March, I went down to Redding to meet John and shoot a boatload of new footage for Season 3. We have a lot of new stuff planned, all of which we'll expand upon very soon.

    But while we were shooting, a local news crew came out to the college when we were filming our 'BigCover Up' Episode (Episode concept: Big Exposed Areas. Little Time. What do you do?) along with some new Silt Fence, and Hydromulch material. The piece that went to air is below:

    You don't see it in the piece, but we had some pretty cool gear from Express Blower and tonnes of great material from HydroStraw.

    Big thanks to Mike Mangus at Channel 7, Redding for the coverage! The station has been a great supporter of the college, and any additional coverage we can get for the very awesome ECTF is SO greatly appreciated!

    For more on the actual episodes, stay tuned to watchyourdirt.com!

    Monday
    Apr272009

    David Derrick Streambank Video

    Hi all,

    Here is a nice video from the Streambank StabilizationPhenomenon that is known as David Derrick. Lot's of good information here. The video takes place on the banks of Duck Creek and is a production of the City of Davenport.

    For those of you who do not know David Derrick, here's a quick listing of some of the projects he's been involved in. On a regular basis, David puts out a great email newsletter - chalk-full of information. If you're interested in streambank stabilization and erosion control in general, you should try and get on that mailing list. I won't post his email here (robots, crawlers, junk-mail, etc.), but do a quick google or send us a note (on the left) and we'll let you know how to get a hold of him and get on that list.

    Also, David contributes on a regular basis to this site, often posting PowerPoints of presentations he's done. There will be more in the coming weeks, but here is one presentation to get you started.

     

     

    Quick Note: This video is not a Dirt Time / BlinkWorks production. It's produced and owned by the city of Davenport. Posted with permission.