Happy New Year!

Here are some highlights from our shoot in September. Please HELP US SHOOT MORE with a year-end, tax-deductible gift here or click on the link in the side bar (one is tax-deductible, the other is not). Enjoy the footage!

Singing Wilderness 2013 shoot highlights from Interstate Films on Vimeo.

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12 2013

Every donor has a story

Huge thanks to Bob Henderson for his extremely generous donation of $1000 toward the production of The Singing Wilderness. Bob and I met?last spring at a symposium held?at Northland College, Sigurd’s alma mater, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the?Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute.?Bob and I were both speakers at the gathering, and when?he?introduced himself after my presentation he was so enthusiastic in?his support for the documentary he practically pressed the cash into my hand as we shook. ?Thanks Bob!

His book?Every Trail Has A Story is a remarkable illumination of heritage travel in Canada, an exploration of wild places where you can still ‘smell the history.’ His donation made possible our most recent trip in September to film more wilderness footage. ?Look for a compilation of highlights from that trip coming soon.

Thanks also to the owners of fabulous Clearwater Lake Lodge on the Gunflint Trail, who donated canoe rentals in support of the project. ?Adam and Kasey Van Tassell bought the lodge, listed on the National Historic Register, about three years ago and have done an amazing job restoring the place to its former wonderful, rustic splendor. It really is the quintessential north woods lake lodge, with rooms in the main lodge, a bunkhouse, and an assortment of secluded cabins right on the lake with some of the most splendid views of the Boundary Waters you’ll ever find. ?They are a first rate outfitter who will personally attend to your plans and offer custom tailored support to your expedition.?

01

12 2013

100 Miles in The Singing Wilderness

This morning Josh Borchardt set out on a solo expedition through the Boundary Waters Wilderness to raise money and awareness for our film. ?Josh has helped out as a guide on two of our previous shoots and has proved himself to be an irreplaceable member of the crew. ?Josh will be out in the wilderness for about ten days by himself, experiencing the silence, solitude and wonder of the wilderness, made that much more wild by winter.

You can follow his movements live via GPS Spot tracker:

Day 1

 

As of about 3 p.m today you can see that Josh has reached his planned base camp on the eastern shore of Horse Lake. Tomorrow he plans to head up the nearby Horse River toward Basswood Falls, along the Canadian border. ?Here’s a map of his planned route:

 

Note that he is starting near the center of the map, entering at Mudro Lake, heading up the Horse River to Basswood, doubling back and finally coming out at Fall Lake.

Please consider supporting Josh in his cause by making a donation toward the production of “The Singing Wilderness” and click on one of the donate links to the right. Click on the IFP logo to make your contribution tax-dedictible ? it’s the end of the year after all. Josh and I thank you for your support!

27

12 2012

Canoe paddle salad tongs, of course

My friend Dick Haskett, a very handy woodworker, came up with the idea to make a set of salad tongs in the likeness of a pair of canoe paddles. It was like this little revelation: you think, “well duh, someone must have done this already.” Something you feel like you’ve already seen, and grasped – but you haven’t. It’s just so natural that it seems familiar, even though it’s brand new.

 

Paddlecraft from Interstate Films on Vimeo.

He offered that single set at the silent auction for our fundraiser in the spring of 2010, and it was probably the most popular thing there. When I asked him about the possibility of making them in some quantity to help raise money for the project, he tinkered around in his wood shop up on the farm in North Branch Minnesota and finally came up with the idea to cut ‘blanks,’ which could then be crafted into paddles using a variety of tools, and hand sanding. I helped him out a bit and we managed to push out another half dozen sets, and I think they’re pretty damn nice. And we will make many more, if people want more. I am asking for $100 contribution toward the project for this premium. I know – no one needs a pair of canoe paddle salad tongs that badly. You have to want to see this film get made too. Thanks.

26

09 2012

Sigurd the filmmaker

In 1949 Sigurd Olson wrote, directed, and starred with his son Robert (whom I interviewed some sixty years later) in a 16mm, 30-minute color film entitled “Wilderness Canoe Country” to call attention to the issue of the increasing use of bush planes to fly sportsmen in to fishing resorts. ?Filmed by naturalist and photographer Grant Halladay and narrated by famed broadcaster Paul Harvey, it tells the story of a father and son on a wilderness canoe trip in the Quetico-Superior, whose solitude is shattered when a bush plane lands nearby. “The Film built more vital support for the airplane ban in northeastern Minnesota than all of the speeches, articles, and other conservationist propaganda put together” (David Backes, from “A Wilderness Within ? The Life of Sigurd F. Olson“). President Truman signed the executive order thanks to Sig’s efforts, and the ban stands to this day. Of course there are new threats… ?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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07 2012