Tongass National Forest Interpretive Films Garner Awards


SourDough News | July 2, 2013


Film Crew at the Mendenhall Glacier
Film Crew at the Mendenhall Glacier. Left to right: David Fox, Cameraman; Spence Palermo, Sound Recordist; Andrew Vermilyea, film interviewee, University of Alaska Southeast; Eran Hood, film interviewee, University of Alaska Southeast; Dawn Smallman, Producer/Director; Dan Quintero, Cameraman. Photo courtesy of North Shore Productions.


April and May brought national recognition from the film industry for Discovering the Tongass, Alaska’s Rainforest and Landscape of Change, The Tongass National Forests. These two films premiered last summer and continue to screen in our Visitor Centers. Both films were produced by North Shore Productions of Portland, Oregon.
Honoring excellence in marketing and communication, Discovering the Tongass won a gold Communicator Award and Landscape of Change won a silver Communicator Award. Statuettes and certificates will be delivered to the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, respectively for their films. This annual award is recognition of the best work being done across the film industry. Winners are hand selected by the International Academy of Visual Arts, an invitation only group of top tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative, and marketing films.
Discovering the Tongass also garnered top silver Telly Award in natural history and cultural categories and Landscape of Change won a bronze award in the environmental category. The Telly Awards Honors the very best film and video productions, groundbreaking online video contact, and outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs. Works are judged for distinction in creative work.
The production of these films took three years and involved hundreds of hours of planning, editing and special technical tasks. Both films feature original scripts, filming, narration and music scores.
The original music scores include songs written and composed by Tlingit musician Edward Littlefield. Special gyro-stabilized camera systems were used to shoot continuous shots from the depths of caves in the karst to the tops of spruce trees. Helicopter and marine mounted gyro-stabilized cameras were used to capture aerial and water-level footage of glaciers, ice fields, forest and wildlife.
I worked with the production team as the lead for all the Tongass on-the-ground activities. From the beginning of the contract, I said, “I want these films to take people’s breath away!”
Judging from public responses and awards, they have.
By Faith L. Duncan, Interpretive and Conservation Education Program Manager Tongass National Forest