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Corporate Documentary & Promotional Projects

My Land is My Life

The Client: The Dene Nation, the political organization of the Mackenzie Valley First Nations People of the NWT.

The Job: The Dene Nation accepted our offer to make a film to counter the European anti-fur trade lobby which was trying to demonize the traditional lifestyle of Canada's First Nations peoples.

The Execution: We designed "My Land is My Life" as a low-key look into the ordinary life of the Dene people. During all four seasons, we travelled to different Dene camps in remote areas all over the North West Territories, for a week at a time, recording how the family life of most people still depended heavily on the land.

Passionate advocates for their people - like the first Premier of the North West Territories, Stephen Kakfwi, below right - speaking directly to the camera, punctuated a film of beautiful scenic photography.

Below right outside, the 35 below zero deep freeze of a remote sub-arctic Dene tent camp; inside the warmth of a Dene family lighting the lamp as the darkness falls at 2:30 pm.











"My Land" won the Golden Sheaf at the Yorkton International Film and Video Festival, Canada's oldest.
Said one Quebecoise, a judge at Yorkton, "You certainly put a lot of love into this film." It also won a Bronze Medal in "Ethnic & Cultural" at the Houston International Film & Television Festival (behind a National Geographic Silver, and a PBS Hawaii Gold).

It was premiered on Parliament Hill and before the European Parliament. The Secretary of State made it into Canada's first CD Rom Interactive and the center piece of its "Bravo Canada" travelling trailer display, and installed it in the British Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. ("Wow! You should see it! It's spectacular!" reported a Secretary of State Executive.)

The Department of External Affairs - which rarely acquires films from the private sector - placed film copies in Canadian Embassies around the world.

During a week of viewing, at Banff, AB, "My Land" was voted the number three choice of the "Top Hundred Most Highly Recommended Videos" selected by 400 media professionals from Western Canada, from among thousands of new programs showcased by 32 international film and video distributors.

The Norman Wells Pipeline

The Client: Interprovincial Pipe Line (Husky Oil), Edmonton, AB

The Job: Document the two year construction of the first pipeline ever built in Canada's north, from Norman Wells, NWT to Zama, AB.

The Execution: Over a two year period we filmed in all seasons to document the many facets of constructing a pipeline in arctic perma frost. This involved bulldozing a wide road 600 miles through the bush, having monster ditchers excavate a trench, welding pipe together and then lowering it into the ground.

Most of the work and the shooting was done in January and February when temperatures were commonly 40 below zero and there were only four hours of daylight. We drove hundreds of miles along the right-of-way, cut through the wilderness, and carefully documented all techniques taken to protect the fragile arctic ecosystem.














 The President of IPL was super pleased with the program saying "You two know more about constructing a pipeline in arctic permafrost than most of my engineers."

IPL sold hundreds of videos as souvenirs to the thousands of workers as a memento of building the first ever pipeline in the Canadian arctic.

The Norman Wells Oilfield Expansion Project

The Client: Esso Resources of Calgary, AB.

The Job: Document the largest construction project ever undertaken in Canada's north, the building of six islands in the Mackenzie River at Norman Well, NWT, so that drilling rigs could be set up to gain access to the oil reservoir beneath the river bed.

The Execution: Over a three year period we documented the construction of six huge rock islands in the middle of the Mackenzie, which involved dumping a mountain of rock through the ice in winter, then topping them off in summer with rock from boats.

Most of the early work was done in January and February at 30 and 40 below, when the ice was seven feet thick (strong enough to hold rock carrying trucks).

Epilogue: The client was super pleased and recommended us to the pipeline company gearing up to build Canada's first arctic pipeline.

We were given the contract to document the building of the first pipeline in the Canadian north.
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