Shooting Farms in Wisconsin

Last week we shot for our documentary The Sweetwater Seas – North America’s Great Lakes up in Wisconsin to continue our story on the nutrient runoff affecting the Great Lakes. Greenbay has an algae bloom like Saginaw Bay’s and Lake Erie’s. In Greenbay there is almost an annual dead zone where nothing grows as a result of the algal blooms. Farmers are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Services as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to mitigate the nutrient runoff. We were at Brickstead Dairy, a family-owned farm in its fifth generation that is a demonstration farm for other farmers and the public to see what types of different agricultural practices might help the situation. We were there to shoot them planting into the fields that were protected by cover crops all winter, which helps preserve the soil while improving its biology so that it more readily accepts the moisture from snow and rain. I have done a lot of farm projects over the years for CaseIH and Caterpillar Tractor, but now we were shooting video and using a drone to get the aerials we wanted. Even with 15-mile-per-hour winds the Solo drone by 3DR was rock steady in the air as we shot 4K video on a beautiful day. We also put a GoPro on the planter down low to see a different angle as the planter went through the fields of cover-crop rye.

Now to assemble all these shots into the storyline for this segment of the film. Stay tuned!



Pukaskwa Provencial Park

Whenever I do a shoot for our documentary The Sweetwater Seas I return and compile my favorite shots into a reel for quicker review when we edit the film later. This is a collection of the shots from this summer’s trip to Canada’s Pukaskwa Provincial Park on Lake Superior. I met a lot of great folks up there… Enjoy! Richard.

Richard Mack Photography Reel 2017


As the year starts you tend to not only look back at how last year was but to think about the upcoming year and put together a plan to accomplish your goals for the next month, 6 months, year or more. As part of this effort I put together a reel of video work we’ve done over the last several years for clients. It certainly does not show all the work, can’t usually be done in 2 ½ minutes. I left out some of the aerial drone work we’ve done for architects and corporations of their buildings.

As part of The Sweetwater Seas documentary team last year was a great year shooting many interviews of folks who live and work along the Great Lakes and some of the issues on the lakes and how they affect what they are doing. With the Great Lakes being 20% of the worlds fresh surface water, and 95% of North America’s this is a body of water most people take for granted. For most it is either something they know very little about because they live elsewhere, or we just turn on the tap and expect the water to be there. Most of the 40 million folks who live in the Great Lakes watershed appreciate their beauty and serene, spiritual affect as we work and play along their shores. It is this story we are telling along with the environmental challenges and solutions they face.

Also in the past I’ve done work for a wide range of clients including Acura, Abbvie, Over the Rainbow, Gourmet Destinations and many others.

Hope you enjoy this small look at some of the work we’ve done!


Richard Mack

The Sweetwater Seas in 100 Words

The Sweetwater Seas in 100 Words is a quick introduction to the feature-length documentary film. In it we reveal the beauty, majesty, and challenges faced by the Great Lakes, which we will cover fully in the hour-long documentary. We plan to enter this short version in this year’s “100-Word Film Festival.”

We have released several quick and delicious film clips for our documentary The Sweetwater Seas – North America’s Great Lakes so far and plan on releasing many more this summer which will be small episodes from those who live and work on the Great Lakes as we tell their stories. Some will be about the challenges the lakes face and have faced in the past, some about historic past events on the lakes, travelling the lakes and some will be about the beauty and majesty these lakes encompass.

THE SWEETWATER SEAS is a feature documentary that integrates science and fine-art videography to explore one of North America’s wonders. The film examines the latest thinking about the environmental sustainability of the Great Lakes Watershed and seeks to engage viewers into making a difference. Although 42 million people live within the Watershed, most have never been around their own lake, much less all five. We will take them on a voyage of discovery to rival Champlain’s.

The project will reveal the natural landscape and its geological history, the watershed’s cityscapes, and its vast industrial and agricultural areas. Humans started living near these immense bodies of water tens of thousands of years ago, but it is only in the last few centuries that human activity has impacted the environment of the lakes. To engage viewers THE SWEETWATER SEAS will offer both images of great beauty in the natural world that surrounds the lakes as well as video of the tides of pollution and invasive species that threaten this magnificent resource. By using the voices of scientists, environmentalists, political leaders, engaged corporations and everyday people around the lakes, the story of these extraordinary bodies of water—their history, their importance and threats to their health—will be explored and explained.

We hope you’ll enjoy each and every segment.