Wakinyan is a Lakota word meaning thunder, or thunder spirit. The language is one used by native people of the American Great Plains.
I chose Wakinyan as the title of this short film because it describes one of the few things that still exists on the Plains unaltered by man. It has always existed, and will – hopefully - remain unchanged. Wakinyan offers a glimpse into a pristine, natural world displayed on a canvas as big as the sky.
I photographed the content during the spring of 2016, mostly in Texas, Colorado and the Nebraska Sandhills. It required thousands of miles driving, and being exposed to biting flies, gooey mud, blowing dust, and long nights. The hail, tornadoes and constant barrage of lightning didn’t bother me as it’s something I grew up with. In fact, if I go a month without storms and the reassuring sound of thunder, I get grumpy, gain weight and begin to lose consciousness.
Shooting aerials can be challenging in high winds. I compensated by sampling a wind profile prior to filming. Those characteristics change quite a bit depending on topography.
The film was produced in 4K and is best enjoyed in that resolution.
Dallas VideoFest 2016 videofest.org
Raw Science Film Festival 2016 rawscience.tv
Deep in the Heart of Texas Film Festival 2017 deepintheheartff.com
Gregory Davis - "Father Sky" (soulcatchermusic.com)
Sound Phenomenon - "Trival Taiko: Percussion" (soundphenomenonstudios.com)
Erick McNerney - "Beautifully Strange Long Drone" (soundcloud.com/erickmcnerney)
A portion of this footage can be licensed exclusively through StormStock at stormstock.com
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Martin Lisius is a producer, director and cinematographer at Prairie Pictures, Inc. (prairiepictures.com). He is the founder of StormStock, a collection of weather and climate footage he founded in 1993 (stormstock.com). Full bio at linkedin.com/in/martinlisius