By Shira Evergreen
This was a unique project for me in that I was hired to create a documentary for a political campaign, but not about the candidate. Tracy Mitrano wanted to tell the stories of our local farmers and how they are innovating and adapting to deal with unpredictable and extreme weather. For me it was a dream job to spend time at each farm and to have an in-depth conversation with each farmer, only a portion of which made it into the final film.
I pride myself in being a visual storyteller, so in addition to the interviews, which I shot on the Canon C300, I took time to get some beautiful “b-roll” of each location including slow motion shots with the DJI Osmo Pocket and aerial video using my DJI Mavic Pro drone. I became a commercially certified drone pilot about two years ago, which has enabled me to take my filmmaking to another level, literally and figuratively.
The film was screened by the campaign at several events leading up to the election, which Mitrano lost to incumbent Republican Tom Reed. The documentary will continue to stream online, and future screenings and film festival appearances are in the works.
I am working on several long form documentaries including one about Ithaca’s social justice murals, and I have continued to make videos for clients during the pandemic, but with COVID safety protocols in place. I have been passionate about our local food system for many years as a CSA member and farmer’s market enthusiast, and I am thankful for the resilience of our local farmers and the abundance they are able to create, especially during this pandemic.
Fun fact: I made a series of videos for Eve’s Cidery (featured in the film) about ten years ago. They used the videos on their website for several years, and I was paid for my work in cider! Here’s one of them: https://vimeo.com/23507637.
Shira Evergreen is a professional filmmaker and graphic designer based in Ithaca, N.Y. She works with her partner Ari Evergreen on graphic design, video, web design, and other creative visual projects for nonprofits, arts organizations, and socially-conscious small businesses through Shirari.com. You can find more of her stunning aerial video and documentary filmmaking on upliftedithaca.com.
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