International Partnerships

A man of many trades, Sri Lankan native Chamindha Mahanayakage was invaluable to the success of shooting the documentary while we were on the ground in Sri Lanka as our foremost guide.  Really, Chamindha is no stranger to filming and photography himself.  As part of a research team at the University of Colombo he is credited with being the first person in history to photograph the Horton’s Plain Slender Loris, which is a small primate endemic to Sri Lanka.  The Periclean Scholars Class of 2011 has now had the fortune of hosting Chamindha as our Periclean Scholar in Residence at Elon University in NC for the past few weeks.



Scenes from the Road: Photo I

Nothing cools you off on a hot day in Sri Lanka like some coconut water straight from the shell.  We pulled over to this roadside stand and struck up a conversation with two fishermen selling coconuts there part-time.  Likely most of their diet, and livelihood, came straight out the lake seen in the picture below.

Despite lax regulations on its use, these fishermen were confident that the quality was fine, and the fish they harvested from it were fine to eat.  We wouldn’t learn until days later during an interview with water quality experts at the University of Peradeniya just  how wrong these fishermen might be.


Words poster 2.0: Updates, updates, updates.

Hey everyone! So I think most people have said they like the poster we made with the words on it, I think it’s my personal favorite, so far. Anyway, a little while ago, I remade it because the original is really busy and is kind of a lot to take in (though that’s the point, but it needed to be scaled down and re-worked). So here’s the next version:

A revision of an earlier poster.

As always, any feedback is much appreciated. Be sure to check back on the Vimeo channel for some more videos, hopefully going up tonight!



Teaser 1 – first in a series.

So we’re in the middle of trying to figure out how to use some music… We got a go-ahead from a couple bands that we’re going to try to work into a trailer or two, and then in the actual film. So keep an eye out for the videos, they’ll be coming along pretty soon.

That being said, here’s the first of our teasers, and I think I’m a bit happier with this video than I was with the first one. Any feedback would be much appreciated: go onto Vimeo and comment!


Review: What this is all about.

Stop. Rewind.

The more I post to this thing, the more I’m starting to think this site needs words. That poster we put up with all the words already covers a lot of that, sure, but maybe not in the way that I’m thinking. I want discussion, forum, debate. I want people who look at our documentary to come on here and give feedback, and use this as a resource to talk about the environment.

So, that being said, here’s some thoughts about what we’re doing, simply from my perspective:

I’m the tech guy. The videographer, the editor, the one who’s taking this elaborate idea of Chas and Jesse’s and transferring it to the screen. And I came on late. When I started, I knew pretty much this: the idea is to make a documentary about environmental issues in Sri Lanka, specifically focused on water and its history in the country as being one of the most advanced systems in the ancient world, though now it’s in the same position as almost any developing country.

And usually as you get started on projects like this, your idea gets more specific. Ours got shifted significantly. It became broader. And it became about us, in part.

The reason for this is two-fold. We want people to understand and appreciate Sri Lanka and its environmental issues from a perspective they can associate with. Just a movie about Sri Lanka’s environment is difficult to sell, people won’t be able to connect to it. The other reason is simply this: we needed a stronger story, and we weren’t going to pretend like “The Elephant in the Room” was going to be the end-all and be-all of discussions about the environment in Sri Lanka. We had to shape it to what we were doing — traveling on a college trip and trying to shoot a documentary along the way.

So, now, here we are with about 35 hours of footage all-told, gathered with five cameras, and a script and all these hopes. Now we need you.


New videos: Ajantha Perera and more to come

So we’re starting to put up some videos that we have been working that are kind of side projects throughout the documentary’s editing process. The first — of hopefully many — was just put up recently, and has already gathered some hits on Vimeo. Maybe it’s just because it’s Ajantha. Anyway, enjoy, and be on the lookout for more of these short interview videos.


New web poster:

So for advertising purposes, here’s a new image we put together for the web. It was made for some AfterEffects work, and will likely go at the end of videos we post throughout the next few weeks leading up to the release of the film.

(Speaking of which, interviews and clips are to come! Stay tuned for more, including an interview with Ajantha Perera!)