Yesterday I met with State Senator Tom Casperson to discuss what can be done to save our camps and to interview him for the documentary. One of my first questions and one of my main concerns at this point is “is it too late to save these camps?”
During our discussion a thought that had crossed my mind before was: will the designation of many of the locations the camps inhabit as “Wild and Scenic” under the Michigan Wild and Scenic Rivers Act hurt the chances of these camps being allowed to remain? Senator Casperson agrees that it will make it very difficult.
Senator Casperson believes that a resolution could open up the dialogue between the camp leaseholders, the entire public (because the land belongs to the public) the government and the National Forest Service. Starting that conversation is the camps' best offense.
Opening the dialogue about these camps and bringing more awareness to the cause is one of the main missions of “UP a River”; locally, regionally and nationally. If we stay quiet about it nothing will change; the camps will be torn down, burnt to the ground, traditions faded with them. The more we talk about it and the more support we can get, the harder we can push Congress to do something about it because the United States Forest Service isn’t going to budge otherwise.
Senator Casperson hopes to have the resolution written soon and have it out before the Michigan Senate’s summer break and is certain that he will have support for it within the legislature. If you have any suggestions on the language that should be written into this resolution to allow the leased camps to remain in the Ottawa National Forest please email me using my contact page. So in addition to editing a film this week I have a resolution to write.
To learn more about State Senator Tom Casperson and to contact him go to:
In the beginning there was an optimistic filmmaker, ready to take on the challenge of producing a documentary about the hunting camps in the Ottawa National Forest. In the middle she spent her weekends enjoying the great outdoors, touring camps and meeting new people. In the end she stares blankly at her computer screen thinking writing and editing are not her forte.
I guess this is still technically the "middle". The end will be when I finish the film.
Last Saturday I stared at my computer for six hours and nothing happened. I went for a 6 mile walk to clear my head and hope that inspiration would strike. A week later I’m in the same predicament. About to go for a walk to clear my head and hope the pieces of the film magically fall together in my mind.
This story is big, and overwhelming. Where do I start it?
I’m stuck at how to begin the film. I need a strong open. One that grabs the viewers’ attention. Then I need to hold their attention for 60-90 minutes. And make sure they understand what is happening and why. Entertain them. Inform them. Make them want to save these camps.
I’m stuck at how to structure the middle. What to include. What to leave out. Who says what best. Should I do 5 to 10 minutes on one camp at a time or mix the different camp interviews up to drive the point’s home?
On the plus side I know how the film will end. I have a general idea how to edit the ending scenes. I could work backwards.
I should have just created a video blog full of short stories about each camp. Not a feature length film where I need to take all these interviews and create a cohesive, compelling story. I will though. It’s just a challenge I need to overcome.
Here is a scene from Kamp, with Jim Saur. I like it, I want to include it in the final film but at this point I have no idea if it will hit the cutting room floor or not. I put it together as an editing demo for my class. Note the various angles of the pink buck pole!
I’m going for a walk.
Kristin Ojaniemi is the producer/director of the documentary "UP a River"