All great documentaries are built on a strong foundation of research. Making any documentary is all about knowing the facts of your subject matter. In our case, the issue is the condition of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic seaboard. However, one can research for a lifetime and never know everything there is to know and so we must balance our research needs with our filming schedules and production deadlines. We plan to examine the wetlands, nature reserves, wildlife preserves and coastal port cities of the eastern seaboard of America for this documentary.
The 4 Tiered Tree of Producing Our Documentary.
- The ‘Foliage’ of the documentary: A story about two brothers, Stephen and David Taylor, who sail down the ICW in a 27ft sailboat starting out in Alexandria VA, just south of Washington DC, and ending in Key West, FL. Along the way they meet the men and women who maintain the ICW, it’s bridges, locks, and canals and research the wildlife and ecological health along the way as they pass through scenic wetlands and nature preserves.
- The ‘Heart’ of the documentary: According to research from almost all environmental scientists, America’s natural habitats are being destroyed and can no longer sustain many of the communities of species that dwell there. This does irreparable harm to the vital ecological diversity of the planet. Many species are going extinct because of human encroachment clearing land for agriculture, mining, urbanization and power production. These issues become ever more serious problems as human population continues to grow, needing more space to live and work. Goods and people are being transported along the Atlantic seaboard, posing ecological danger as they pass through our precious nature and wildlife preserves. Moving cargo along the ICW on barges is a popular choice because it saves energy, reduces pollution and does not require railroad tracks or highways to work. To examine all sides of the story we will be interviewing experts of all varieties including 2 congressmen, 3 government agencies, 2 marine biologists, 2 barge companies, 2 land developers and 2 environmental activists.
- The ‘Root’ of the Documentary: The Intracoastal Waterway was first proposed in 1826. It took many, many years before the ICW became what we see today. Many of the canals that make up parts of the ICW, were dug by slaves. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1909 set a national policy for development and construction of the intracoastal waterway. Starting in Boston the new law paved the way for construction of canals and dredging of rivers all the way to the Rio Grande. After the Panama canal was opened in 1914, coastal shipping was extend to the west coast, renewing interest in fully developing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Today, federal law mandates the Army Corps of Engineers maintain a minimum depth of 12 feet, but under-funding has prevented that from happening in some areas of the ICW.
- The ‘Branches’ of the documentary: Fear not! It’s not all is gloom and doom in our film. As we travel down the ICW we will visit cities and attend events all along the Atlantic seaboard. We’ll bring you a small taste of the art and culture of the major port cities along the way to compliment the history. The documentary will be topped off with the Argo and the High Tide in a ship to ship battle as the crew participates in Key West’s annual Pirates in Paradise Festival, a grand celebration of both historical and fictional pirate life.
- Challenge to the viewers from this documentary: There are many competing interests for the funds necessary to maintain the ICW and the nature preserves and wetlands it spans. If we want our children to enjoy the same world as us, we need to act now and help preserve the fragile ecosystem of our planet. Remember to always keep water conservation in mind and try to reduce your carbon footprint. We must love our world like our mother because she very much is.