This segment shows researcher Steve Sillett finding and ascending a redwood tree. We bookended the film with two separate climbs, each shot and edited differently from one another.
In this initial ascent, editor Stephanie Munroe and I chose to use cross dissolves to show how much effort it takes to climb a 350ft tree. To help show the scope of the climb, DOP Andy Shillabeer and rigger Jim Spickler engineered, build and setup a suspended HD camera rig to fly by Steve as he climbed. The rig was controlled by four people simultaneously- two people controlled the camera (including zoom and focus, controlled by the epically awesome AC Skip Hobbie!) and two others controlled the camera's position along the suspended line. The rig was eventually used by photographer Nick Nichols to capture National Geographic's Photo of the Year in 2008. It can be seen here: ngm.nationalgeographic.com/redwoods/gatefold-image
This film was nominated for two national Emmys- Best Cinematography and Best Documentary. It did not win those awards but it did win numerous others, including a World Gold Medal from the New York Festivals and the "Forest Hero" award at the International Forest Film Festival (sponsored by the U.N.).