One Day In Denver
One Day On Earth is an ambitious, sprawling, and entirely awesome global filmmaking project sponsored by Vimeo, The United Nations, World Wildlife Fund, Human Rights Watch, The Ford Foundation, Water.org, The International Red Cross, and many others.
The idea is to have people all over the world film their experiences on the same day, and then share them with each other. It’s pretty amazing. Here’s the trailer:
This year, the producers have decided to select a few cities on to focus on; Denver, Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles NOLA, and a few others.
The project here in Colorado is called One Day In Denver, and people all over the city — *anyone* — was encouraged to go out and film on April 26th.
Although the event was completely open to the public — I *LOVE* the democratization of filmmaking! — Vimeo and the other sponsors selected a few filmmakers from each city to act as featured ambassadors, and submit a short film based on an assignment from the One Day on Earth organization, or an idea of their own invention.
I was fortunate enough to be selected as one the Ambassadors, which is simultaneously humbling, inspiring, and a little intimidating, given the ENORMOUS talent of some of the other contributors. I’m insanely proud to be part of it.
My submission will focus on Denver’s water supply– specifically, the precarious nature of it.
Denver is kind of an oddball when it comes to water. We’re situated just below a winter snowpack that most of the western United States relies on for it’s all of it’s water use. But we’re also techincally in a semi-arid, almost desert-like climate, which is also located smack-bad in the middle of a massive flood-plain.
It doesn’t seem like it should be meteorlogically possible, but we’re subject to blizzards, droughts, floods, and serious fire-dangers, simultaneously. All of which are being compounded to an alarming degree by the effects of climate change. It’s nuts.
I wanted to make a fun, entertaining film that cast a little light on that subject, without being too heavy-handed, or preachy.
I thought it might be fun to visually illustrate Denver’s water supply, by choosing one source, and following it from it’s origin, all the way into the city. I don’t have access to a helicopter, or an airplane to shoot aerial cinematography, so I knew I had to demonstrate things from the ground level.
To keep things from being boring, I decided it might be amusing to make a bunch of paper boats, launch them from the Cherry Creek Reservoir, and follow them down Cherry Creek, through Denver, to where they would converge with the Platte River.
So, that’s what I did.
Armed with a box full of 200 origami boats, a ton of camera gear, and the help of my friends Kris Farruggia and Matt Bliss, we woke up at 3 in the morning and got to work chasing these little boats all over town, shooting from 5am until about 9pm.
We looked like IDIOTS.
If you want to get funny looks — throw on a pair of waders, strap on a steadicam vest, and run after a paper boat in the middle of a crowded city. People thought we were INSANE.