Desert Water: Climate Change and the Future of Great Salt Lake

This week I completed a couple of short documentaries on the topic of water conservation in Utah. I worked with Hal Crimmel on the project which is based on his book Desert Water: The Future of Utah's Water Resources. In the first film, Hal and geographer Dan Bedford wanted to share some of the water issues currently facing Utah's Great Salt Lake. It was neat experience to learn about the impact the lake has on the surrounding environment and economy. Millions of migratory birds visit Great Salt Lake each year and its industries and tourist activities provide over a billion dollars in revenue. Capturing the footage for this film was a lot of fun. The lake is a fascinating place. I enjoyed my hikes on Antelope Island and a visit to the nearby Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

Driving out to Antelope Island offers a striking perspective of the current low lake levels. 

Driving out to Antelope Island offers a striking perspective of the current low lake levels. 

Antelope Island's Buffalo Point offers beautiful views of the lake.

Antelope Island's Buffalo Point offers beautiful views of the lake.

Concept to Company

For the last year I've been able to capture several events for Grow Utah, a local non-profit that supports entrepreneurs and innovators through a variety of cash prize contests. Last week was their annual Concept to Company Outdoor Recreation Event in Ogden, Utah. Here is a short video that features a few of the winners and their products.

Richard Richards: A Conversation on Ethics

The last three years, I've had the opportunity to create a documentary film on Richard Richards, a well respected figure in American politics. The film focuses on Richards honestly and integrity in an arena that, since the founding of the United States, had been filled with candidates and office holders willing to sacrifice one’s integrity and ethics for a vote. 

We still have about a month of post-production left, but I wanted to share a short clip from the film and a few photos of Richards' career. 

After beginning a political career in Utah, Richards was hired by the Republican National Committee. He was key player in the Nixon campaigns, organizing a grassroots effort called "The Neighbor to Neighbor Program."  However, by January 1971, forces within the Nixon administration had been active for months in covert efforts to stop the leaking of classified information.  Their goal was to protect the president’s reputation and keep potentially harmful information from jeopardizing the 1972 campaign.  Part of these operations included minimizing the RNC’s role and centralizing control in a new committee called The Committee to Reelect the President, or CREEP, as it was later derisively called.  Richards was invited to join the Committee at its highest level, but he smelled trouble. He refused the job.

After beginning a political career in Utah, Richards was hired by the Republican National Committee. He was key player in the Nixon campaigns, organizing a grassroots effort called "The Neighbor to Neighbor Program."  However, by January 1971, forces within the Nixon administration had been active for months in covert efforts to stop the leaking of classified information.  Their goal was to protect the president’s reputation and keep potentially harmful information from jeopardizing the 1972 campaign.  Part of these operations included minimizing the RNC’s role and centralizing control in a new committee called The Committee to Reelect the President, or CREEP, as it was later derisively called.  Richards was invited to join the Committee at its highest level, but he smelled trouble. He refused the job.

By mid 1975, Richards was asserting an opinion that wasn’t aligning with many others in his camp.  During the months leading up to the 1976 presidential elections, he was the only state GOP chair to endorse Ronald Reagan instead of the incumbent Gerald Ford.  Four years later, Richards would play a prominent role in the Reagan team's 1980 campaign for the presidency. His success would lead to an appointment as National Republican Party Chairman by Ronald Reagan.

By mid 1975, Richards was asserting an opinion that wasn’t aligning with many others in his camp.  During the months leading up to the 1976 presidential elections, he was the only state GOP chair to endorse Ronald Reagan instead of the incumbent Gerald Ford.  Four years later, Richards would play a prominent role in the Reagan team's 1980 campaign for the presidency. His success would lead to an appointment as National Republican Party Chairman by Ronald Reagan.

While attending college, Richards worked alongside his father as a sign painter. At Reagan's 1980 victory party, a banner on the stage was accidentally painted without George Bush's (Reagan's Vice Presidential candidate) name on it. Richards was able to locate some paper and brushes and hand painted a new banner for the event.

While attending college, Richards worked alongside his father as a sign painter. At Reagan's 1980 victory party, a banner on the stage was accidentally painted without George Bush's (Reagan's Vice Presidential candidate) name on it. Richards was able to locate some paper and brushes and hand painted a new banner for the event.

Start SLC

Last week I was asked to document the Start SLC event for a Grow Utah. Grow Utah is a group that supports entrepreneurs in number of fields by sponsoring cash prize awards at fun events like this one. The Start SLC event had pitch competition where 10 start up businesses competed for $250,000 in prizes. The grand prize went to two guys who have developed a consumer version of the GoPro Camera called ViDi. While the image quality may not match up, the camera retails for a third of the price and its had over 10,000 orders placed since launching the idea 18 months ago. Here is a short video from the event.

Finance 101

The last few months I've had a fun opportunity to produce a series of ten short videos for LDS Business College. The videos will begin to be used this semester in the college's Finance 101 course. Each segment features a husband and wife who act out scenarios based on information from the course textbook. They include topics like investments, risk, purchasing a home and making financial goals. However, instead of showing students good examples of financial decisions, we decided to take a comedy route, and show just the opposite.  

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The Bishop's Dinner

Tonight was the 11th Annual Bishop's Dinner, a benefit for the Cathedral of the Madeleine. It has been a great experience to produce a video each year for the event. This year's video was a tribute to Bernice Mooney who passed away last December. Bernice began the Salt Lake Diocese's Archives in the 1980's and wrote several books documenting the history of the Cathedral of the Madeleine and the Catholic Church in Utah. In the video we interviewed her daughter, husband and two grand children. It was a neat experience to get to know Bernice's wonderful family and learn about her inspiring life.