Taste of the Peninsula

April 15th always conjures up two words in my mind …… tax day! Usually it is the day you had better have gotten your taxes done and sent in by.

Well this year two things are different. One, we get an extra three days to get it done. And two, it was Habitat of Humanity of Clallam County’s third annual Taste of the Peninsula benefit dinner and auction.

I have had the privilege of being at all three of the benefits and seeing the generosity of our community come together for the great causes Habitat fulfills on the Peninsula.

I created a video for Habitat, as I have for the last two benefits, describing the work of Habitat.  This year, Habitat focused on their Neighborhood Revitalization program they started about two years ago with the partnership of the City of Sequim and the Sequim Sunshine Rotarians, along with many volunteers from all over the Peninsula.

We feasted on some of the best foods and wines of the Peninsula brought to us from businesses like Michael’s of Port Angeles, Olympic Cellars Winery, Jose’s of Sequim, to name just a few of the many who contributed to the success of tonight’s event.

I heard that the auction and event brought in over $28,000 to help with Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program helping homeowners who wouldn’t be able otherwise repair their homes. This will impact low-income seniors, disabled folks, family’s that are struggling to meet the basics of life, let alone replacing a roof, rebuilding a fence, or just applying a new coat of paint to make the house alive again. This is what Habitat’s revitalization program will provide and more.

Here is the video that tells the story, from Neighborhood Revitalization to Rally in the Alley, along with the partners and volunteers who make the program work. You may not be able to help build a Habitat house, but anyone from a child to senior citizen can come out and help cleanup our neighborhoods in Sequim and beyond.

And if your not from the Peninsula, get involved where you are!


Future News

Although the winter seems to be hanging on here in the Pacific Northwest, spring is right around the corner.

Spirit Vision Films has already started its spring roster of films for our clients, beginning with Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County’s annual benefit, Taste of the Peninsula at the Sunland convention center here in Sequim, in mid-April.

We will be creating a short video for their benefit highlighting their efforts to help not only those that are under-housed, but also those that cannot afford or for lack of strength, repair their houses when needed (senior and the disabled community especially).

It is Habitat’s new program, along with its partners including the City of Sequim and the Rotarian’s as well, called ‘Love thy Neighborhood,’ …. a neighborhood revitalization project aimed at the folks who just need a new fence, or roof, a little paint, or just a good cleaning up, but are unable to do it themselves.

They also have brought out the community in Sequim with their Rally in the Alley events. They just completed the third event two Saturdays ago with the help of over 100 volunteers that swept through northern Sequim’s alleys and streets, collecting enough trash to fill three very large dumpsters. Their previous event collected over 10 tons of garbage. Very impressive! Port Angeles will be targeted next.

Also, Spirit Vision Films in conjunction with PAPA TV has been awarded a grant from the Clallam County Lodging Tax committee to create three videos targeting the tourism segment of the county and the greater Olympic Peninsula.

Beginning in April, Spirit Vision Films, along with PAPA TV personnel will begin shooting a new series, with a working title called, On the Road. Each of the segments will be 30 minutes long and will focus on destinations around the Olympic Peninsula that would attract tourists considering coming to the peninsula for a visit.

The first video will focus on the New Dungeness Light Station on the Dungeness Spit. We will be following a group or couple that have signed up to become ‘keepers’ on the lighthouse for one week. We will also be relating the history of the lighthouse, as well as the Dungeness Recreational Area that you can take to get to the lighthouse by hiking 7 miles (one way!) on the spit to the lighthouse.

Our second tentative shoot will be highlighting the Olympic Discovery Trail from Blyn to Port Angeles. We will be stopping at points of interest along the way like the Sequim Bay State Park, John Wayne Marina, The Railroad Bridge Park, and the Port Angeles waterfront portion of the trail. We our going to have some fun!

Our third video’s location has not been determined as yet, but we’ll keep you informed as we go forward on this project.

And of course, when the videos are completed, you will find them right here! Stay tuned!



New Dungeness Light Station – Dungeness Spit

Dungeness River Off-Channel Reservoir Project

Spirit Vision Films has just finished the Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir project video that we started in November of last year.

The film describes the need and benefits of this 30 million dollar project that will bring to the Dungeness Valley a way to supply water to irrigators on the east side of the river in the lower Dungeness Valley, while maintaining a positive flow of water for the 4 species of ESA-listed salmon and steelhead returning to their spawning grounds in the late summer.

Because of climate change, the North Olympic Mountain snowpack has been negatively affected, creating a competition for water late in summer’s irrigation cycle.

The reservoir will also address the winter flooding that affects the City of Sequim and surrounding area by channeling the storm water into the reservoir to be used either in the early spring for aquafer recharge or to be saved through the spring and early summer when depleted snowpack is evident for use by the irrigators in the late summer months.

A 320-acre county park will also be created to encompass the 88-acre reservoir, which will provide hiking, birding, bicycle and equestrian pursuits, as well as being able to access the river.

This film articulates the concerns, benefits, and need of the reservoir by officials of Clallam County, the City of Sequim, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Clallam Conservation District, Washington Water Trust, and the Dungeness Water Users Association.

If you want more information on this important project on the North Olympic Peninsula, click on the seven minute video below. Thanks for watching!

Dungeness River Off-Channel Reservoir Project

Our latest project is creating a 5-7 minute PSA for the new proposed Dungeness River off-channel reservoir project that will be built near Sequim, WA if funded.

The Dungeness River is actually two rivers depending on the season. During the winter months the river is classified as a ‘wild’ river because of its uncontrolled downstream flooding, due to being the second steepest river in the US, dropping 7300 feet in the first third of its 32 mile length.

But during the late summer the river becomes emancipated due to low snow pack in recent years creating problems for both the salmon and irrigators who are dependent on reliable water from the river.

Clallam County, in conjunction with the City of Sequim, Washington Water Trust, the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, the Clallam Conservation District, and the Dungeness Water Users Association has hired Spirit Vision Films to highlight the critical condition of the 4 endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead species of the Dungeness, along with the agriculture industry of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley that is dependent on irrigation water from the river, especially in late summer when the flow drops precariously low due to recent climate change. This project will benefit both and more.

With a land transfer by the DNR, the 320 acres would become one of Clallam County’s largest parks as well as incorporating the 88 acre reservoir within to create walking, hiking and equestrian trails, birding and access to the river. A great resource for the city of Sequim’s residents and the folks who live in Clallam county.

The video will include interviews with the stakeholders, drone footage of the 320 acre site, the benefits of the reservoir, an animation of the twice yearly fill and drain cycles of the reservoir and other pertinent issues facing both the storm water run-off issues in the winter and the lack of water in the Dungeness in the late summer.

Stay tuned! Here are some static shots of the work in progress.



Bucklin Hill Bridge Project

You would suppose that a videographer’s work load would slow down as he approached the winter months? Not so with this videographer.

November, December, and January have been some of the busiest months I have experienced with Spirit Vision Films.

I was approached by Kitsap County Public Works in Port Orchard, WA to take video clips from two GoPro Hero cameras, video clips from a ribbon cutting ceremony, several drone flights, still images, and others, editing them all into a video highlighting Kitsap County’s largest public works construction project to date …. the Bucklin Hill Bridge project.

Over the course of 13 months the bridge project closed Buckling Hill road, which carried over 20,000 cars a day in the heart of Silverdale, WA. This video highlights the challenges, the pre-construction plans, construction, and final ribbon cutting ceremony opening the new 240 foot, multi-span bridge.

My hat is off to the Kitsap County team that built the new bridge! Check out their new bridge.

Ross Hamilton’s Olympics

The first film of the Ross Hamilton Project has finally been completed. It just finished airing on PAPA TV this past weekend (papaonline.tv) and now is available on Vimeo to general audiences.

This film is truly inspirational. Ross Hamilton has been a fixture on the Olympic Peninsula for almost 50 years. His iconic images of the Olympic National Park, as well as the rest of the peninsula are stunningly beautiful. All shot on his 4×5 large format camera. Many are from his treks deep into the back country of the Olympic mountain range. Others from his many trips to the rugged Washington coastline, as well as the old growth forests of the West End. The Hoh rain forest, Rialto Beach, 2nd Beach, Lake Crescent, Sol Duc Falls, the Bailey range, Mount Olympus, and more grace this film as Hamilton shares his experiences with the audience.

At 74, Ross Hamilton has lost his vision to glaucoma, yet continues to share his adventures, experiences, and stunning imagery with small groups of photographers and outdoor advocates across his beloved Olympic Peninsula.

So enjoy many of his classic images. Hear him talk about his experiences acquiring them and his personal struggle with his vision loss. A very inspiring story.



My Heavens!

We just finished a video project for Maureen O’Kane of Sequim, WA. She is a lecturer/teacher that travels the country speaking on the subject of Scripture and science. Maureen is super energetic, has a great sense of humor and was an absolute pleasure to work with.

Makayla DeScala, my second camera operator and myself did a conference style shoot in Port Angeles highlighting some of the subjects Maureen brings to her 90 minute lectures. It was one of the most enjoyable shoots I have participated in to date!

The video will be inserted in her website, daretocheckitout.com, to show her in action. She is available for speaking engagements if your church or group is interested in how  Scriptures and science are not as incompatible as one might think. Check it out!



CFR 14 Part 107 law of the land today

Today CFR 14 Part 107 became the law of the land. It was a long time coming.
Over five years ago the congress tasked the FAA to create laws concerning the commercial use of drones or UAVs as I like to call them, in the US airspace. Because it took them so long to put this law into effect, a stop gap measure was instituted for the film industry, agriculture, inspection folks, etc. that needed to use UAVs for their industries. So the FAA created a limited time exemption called the FAA section 333 exemption, of which I was given one for Spirit Vision Films almost a year ago. It was designed to help usher in the commercial use of UAVs until the final laws were drafted and codified in the National Register.

Two months ago the FAA finally got their act together and presented their new law to congress and it was called CFR 14 part 107. It takes 60 days from the time a law is accepted till they actually become law. Today was that day.
Under the new law, instead of having to get an expensive sport, recreational, or private pilots license to fly a UAV under the Section 333 exemption program, the FAA created a whole new animal .. the Remote Pilot certificate. Basically, a pilot’s license to fly UAVs commercially.

I said all that because today I took my pilot’s test in Gig Harbor, WA and passed! I studied for it for a couple of weeks prior. But nobody really knew what was going to be on it …. until today. I won’t lie, it was a tough test!
It will be a few days for my test to get sent from the CATS testing center to the FAA’s database and my application finalized, but I should have it in hand in a very short while! Yeah! I’m very stoked!

Because of being the first day this test was available, I and my company Spirit Vision Films will be one of the first to have this new license in the state of Washington. But there will be now a floodgate of applications for the new license as it is only a matter of studying for the test and paying the $150 for the test to get it. The United States commercial UAV field is about to explode!

UPDATE: After two month the permanent license finally arrived from the FAA.





Sequim Gazette Article

I and Spirit Vision Films were featured in the August 3rd, 2016 Sequim Gazette. Apparently the editor had seen my blog site and the article on Ross Hamilton that I was doing for him.

That led to the article below being written by Matthew Nash of the Gazette. We most certainly appreciate any help getting Spirit Vision Films in front of as many people as possible! Thanks to the Sequim Gazette and Matthew Nash for the great article!