Focusing on natural conservation in Ecuador to produce media outreach film

By Jackson Eagan

In about two weeks time I will be hopping on a plane, camera and tripod in hand, and flying to the far-off country of Ecuador to produce a media outreach project in the Andes mountains.

During a total of 26 days, Carol Jennings, director of Park Media Lab, and I plan to travel around the country, capturing footage of the incredible biodiversity that Ecuador harbors, as well as the people who help to preserve it. Our goal is to create a documentary that's geared toward Ecuadorian kids and emphasizes the importance of natural conservation — and at the same time makes it fun.

We'll also be teaming up with DECOIN (Defensa y Conservacion Ecologica de Intag), which is a biological organization that raises awareness about mining, logging and oil drilling in the Intag region. We expect that this final product will be complete mid-Spring semester.

I will be operating the camera and translating Spanish-English and English-Spanish when necessary. I have a great passion for cinematography, and I am a long-time lover of the Spanish language and Latin American culture, so this is a dream come true for me. I have also never been to South America, let alone Ecuador. Needless to say, I'm more than excited!

Traveling with us will be a group of students from Cornell University, led by Intag native Martín Zorrilla. They are working toward the culmination of a semester's worth of work: the creation of a larger fair-trade cooperative among several, small trade cooperatives in the area, such as “Mujer y Medio Ambiente,” a women's textile group.

Professor Jennings and I will be staying in the same places as this group, and we hope to collaborate on some projects. One of our ideas is to shoot a short pro-bono commercial for Asociación Agroartesanal de Caficultores “Río Intag”, a sustainable coffee-growers organization that helps with conservation efforts. Because we'll be bringing all the necessary equipment with us, we may even be able to edit and finish some of our work while in Ecuador. This will be great because it will provide the opportunity to get some one-on-one feedback with community practitioners, which will be faster than trying to communicate via email or Skype.

And for all the camera geeks out there, we will be shooting on the Sony FS700 with the Metabones EF-NEX Speed Booster, along with four EF lenses. These include the Canon 200-400mm f/4.0L with a 1.4x extender (effectively 280mm-560mm), the Canon 24-70mm f/2L, the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro, and the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8.

¡Hasta luego!


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