Our film Towpath Joe Premiered today at Washington DC's Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital at the National Museum of Women and the Arts as part of World Water Day. There will be 5 additional screenings at locations around DC - details coming soon on the film's official Facebook page. Please tell your friends and help us have a great turnout for the film! It's been a real pleasure working with Joe, Mary, and the band over the past year as we completed the film.
This short documentary film follows island caretaker, musician, naturalist, and Potomac River advocate, Joe Hage. After moving to a small island adjacent to the C&O Canal and “inside the beltway” of Washington, DC, Joe reconnects with his passion for music and becomes a “diplomat” for the river.
Today marked the last shoot in our project that began as a short film for the International Documentary Challenge back in March. After the competition ended my colleague and fellow filmmaker, Emily Wathen, and I decided to revise and expand the film to include additional background on our main character, Joe Hage, and more about his work to help raise awareness regarding the problems facing the Potomac river. The film has really been through major changes over the past 7 months and we've made a lot of new friends along the way.
Yesterday was the final day of the International Documentary Challenge competition. The team (Emily Wathen, Megan Orr, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Nicole Ricci and myself) put in many hours over the past five days to complete our five minute documentary "Towpath Joe." Kudos to the entire team! Now it's time to get some rest.
The second day of shooting began with two of my teammates and I hiking down the trail from the parking lot to the channel where Joe met us with the ferry. We spent several hours interviewing Joe and learning about his background, how he came to be the club's caretaker, and what it was like to live on a small island in the middle of the Potomac river. We had a really interesting morning and we can't wait to share our experiences with everyone by way of the documentary film we are making. Now, it's off to transcode and log all the footage we shot today.
The Sycamore Island Club is a private outdoors club located on one of the islands in the Potomac River. It's caretaker, Joe Hage - who lives on the island year round - is the subject of our documentary short. I spent the better part of today photographing the island in all its snowy splendor and getting b-roll of Joe. Had a great time chasing geese, recording the sounds of nature, slogging through the mud, and ... grin ... getting scrutinized by blackhawk helicopters when I pointed the camera in the wrong direction: the CIA has an installation on the other side of the river.