Flight to survive
Over-hunting and habitat destruction have decimated the whooping crane population, and in 1942, only 22 birds remained alive. Without wild adult cranes to show the chicks how to migrate, the species didn't stand a chance. A dedicated team called Operation Migration determined to take on the role of surrogate parents and train the birds to fly with ultralight aircraft, guiding them along their ancient migratory route. Still Life Projects was commissioned to create this 4-minute video which would showcase the program's vital work.
RACE FOR the red knot
Client: National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
Each May, southern New Jersey hosts an epic migratory passage of shorebirds. Among the visitors is the Red Knot, a robin-sized powerhouse that flies nearly 10,000 miles from southern Argentina to its Arctic breeding grounds. By the time the birds arrive at Delaware Bay in spring, they are famished, having lost as much as half their body weight en route.
Normally, at this point, Red Knots feast on a food uniquely suited to their needs: the eggs of horseshoe crabs, which are laid on the beaches of Delaware Bay. But when Jersey beaches were devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, scientists feared that damage from the storm would block the horseshoe crabs, interfering with spawning. Severe erosion from Sandy’s winds and waves scoured the beaches, wiping out the sand where the crabs had traditionally spawned. And without the eggs they rely on, the Red Knots, already depleted, could starve before completing their taxing journey to the high Arctic.
Audubon seas and shores
Client: National Audubon Society
Audubon rang in the New Year by honoring two giants of conservation at their annual gala. Paul Tudor Jones received the Audubon Medal, and Pete McCloskey, Jr., was presented with the Dan W. Lufkin Environmental Leadership Prize. With more than 350 guests in attendance to support the honorees, the event raised more than $1 million in support of the National Audubon Society’s Seas and Shores initiative. We were commissioned to create this film for the event.
RESTORING THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES WITH PHILIPPE COUSTEAU
Client: EarthEcho International
We traveled to the Florida Everglades with Philippe Cousteau and Josh Carrera, as they explored how Florida’s Everglades are being protected and restored after decades of damage from development and agricultural runoff. These pieces integrate 2D motion graphics with the original footage we captured.
PATH OF THE PRONGHORN
Every autumn in northwest Wyoming, the earth trembles with pounding hooves. For thousands of years pronghorn have been migrating from the high meadows of Grand Teton National Park to their winter habitat in the upper Green River Basin. It’s an astonishing 100-mile trek that North America’s fastest land animal can complete in just three days. But today’s pronghorn face a more perilous route than their ancestors did. Highways, housing developments and barbed wire fences inhibit their travel and threaten their lives. Conservationists have gotten creative in their efforts to preserve the ancient migratory path of the pronghorn.