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  • Seeking bush pilot for Alaska documentary

    Hi there. My name is Gianna Savoie and I am a documentary filmmaker currently developing a high-definition film on the changing wilderness of "The Last Frontier" for PBS. We would like to feature an experienced bush pilot with a dynamic, camera friendly personality to take us on a personal journey and share with the audience a bit about the wildlife, environmental issues and natural history of Alaska. Without getting too heavy handed or political, we'd like to showcase the majesty of the Alaskan wilderness, how/where that wilderness may be at at risk, and why it's worth preserving. As we are in the formative stages of this film, we are open to a variety of ideas and story angles. Please feel free to post a reply or contact me directly at giannasav@earthlink.net. Thanks so much.

  • #2
    Hidden Agenda

    PBS not getting too political? Yeah right! Who do you think you're kidding?
    You take tax dollars to drive your liberal political agenda. In my opinion you are looking in the wrong place for your hidden agenda.

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    • #3
      Changing Wilderness?

      Seems to me like PBS has an agenda. I know you would never lie to us, you would always give us some version of the truth. I would be happy to fly you out, getting back is another story!

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      • #4
        You two guys are a piece of work. This filmmaker has a pretty impressive list of credentials. She wants to showcase Alaska's wilderness and make a case that it's worth preserving. What about that do you find threatening? I love Alaska's wilderness. I strongly believe it's worth preserving. I haven't had any luck at all moose hunting in downtown Anchorage.

        I'm also a proud supporter of PBS. I grew up with Cosmos. I still watch Nature and Nova every chance I get. The independent documentaries they broadcast are usually well done, like the one about Don Sheldon a couple of years ago, or the one I just watched about the Yukon boat races. Where else will you see these excellent documentaries if not on PBS?????

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        • #5
          Cheers

          Now that Don Sheldon was always a happy positive sort of guy that met you where you stood with a smile on his face. I like you’re come back. There's a heck of more about Alaska than getting off a cruise ship and getting the standard tour of Alaska. PBS wants to show the real stuff and the changes that real people are going through to those less fortunate not to be able to access the "rest" of this place. There are stories to be told and they are more than buying a tee shirt at every whistle stop. There was a time when a hand shake and smile described us. Thank you, PBS, for realizing that we are still here and that our stories can put a smile on your viewers faces. I hope you find that positive combination of people to tell the story. I noticed that Sheldon's C-180 is for sale. To bad he's not around to tell the tales of his adventures which were only representative by his adventures on Denali.

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          • #6
            Note to Gianna

            Gianna,

            I apologize for the actions of some of my fellow posters- since your original request, we have discussed several topics related to your subject. I started a couple of threads with you in mind, most recently the one on "The New Bush". You might also look at the ones talking about what makes a "Real Alaskan", for some other twists on the theme. I'm sure you have researched our archives here, but if not, you will find them an excellent resource for your purposes.

            Best of luck with your project, and especially in finding a balance between the well-intentioned but skewed eco-preservationist perspectives and the total consumptive use mentality sometimes evident here.

            -Mike
            Michael Strahan
            Site Owner
            Alaska Hunt Consultant
            1 (907) 229-4501

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mr. Pid
              You two guys are a piece of work. This filmmaker has a pretty impressive list of credentials. She wants to showcase Alaska's wilderness and make a case that it's worth preserving. What about that do you find threatening? I love Alaska's wilderness. I strongly believe it's worth preserving. I haven't had any luck at all moose hunting in downtown Anchorage.

              I'm also a proud supporter of PBS. I grew up with Cosmos. I still watch Nature and Nova every chance I get. The independent documentaries they broadcast are usually well done, like the one about Don Sheldon a couple of years ago, or the one I just watched about the Yukon boat races. Where else will you see these excellent documentaries if not on PBS?????
              Not to mention "Alaska Weather". I really miss Tom Wardleigh on "Hangar Flying" He worked with my father when Dad flew for the Fish and Wildlife service in the 50's. I really wish I'd become aquainted with Tom before he passed on. If he was still around he would have been ideal as a bush pilot to feature on a documentary about a changing Alaska....Louis
              Louis Knapp

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              • #8
                PBS has an agenda

                I will continue to be a proud non-member of PBS. They already suck tax dollars for their budget - why would I give them some of my own willingly!
                Some of you guys are a piece of work yourself! PBS has an underlying agenda while not all their programming highlights it. If PBS was so great, why wouldn't they have a programing budget based on selling commercial ads?
                PBS has the ability to cleverly work in their agenda. They will highlight the pristine beauty of Ak., the pilots they befriend will talk about the encroachment into new territories via planes. PBS will conclude that we must all work towards preservation and protection of what "few areas that are left untouched". Watch for the ANWR segment too.
                The tv viewers will all nod in unison that we must preserve more. PBS scores again!

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                • #9
                  Paul

                  Looks like we got bogged down again. My experience with pilots is decidedly concentrated in Southwest Alaska. I've been around too long and most of our senior characters have passed on. Maybe if I throw out some names, you guys can "react" for PBS. Tom Tucker, Dillingham-Robert Nanalook, Togiak- Any of the Ball Brothers including Albert-Robert Jr & Sr Vanderpool-Richard Wilmarth-Seyberts/PenAir-Bud Graham/Cape Smyth-Ryans-Hagland-40 Mile Air. Nixie Mellick, Sleetmute left us way too soon and this one would have been right up his alley.

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                  • #10
                    Of course we can't forget Warren Thompson in Kotz.
                    Louis Knapp

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                    • #11
                      Kotzebue pilot!

                      I'd toss Jim Rood into the mix too. One of the best Cub drivers I've ever flown with. Then there's Al Lee of Lee's Air Service out near Lake Louise. He flew me in on my first fly-out hunt in Alaska, and my first solo Dall sheep hunt. He must have been in his late 60's then. Anybody know if he is still around?

                      I remember Al getting all excited that I had taken a ram; so excited that he took a detour on the way back just to show me two enormous bull moose way out in an inaccessible area. We circled them a couple of times at about 600 feet or so, and I commented, "Yeah, they're big all right, but how would you ever get in there and get one?" His reply will always stick with me, "Why would you even want to?". It wasn't a commentary on the difficulties involved; he knew I was up to the challenge. It was more a statement of his personal ethic that some things are best left alone. I like that, and I certainly hope some of it has rubbed off on me and the thousands of other hunters he deposited something of himself into.

                      -Mike
                      Michael Strahan
                      Site Owner
                      Alaska Hunt Consultant
                      1 (907) 229-4501

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Buck Maxon

                        Buck Maxon is an interesting sort of guy to say the least. He has operated Arctic Air Guides out of Kotzebue for upteen years. Perhaps 30+ years. He is retiring soon from what I hear. He would be an interesting person for you to speak with in my opinion. A real character and he probably has more stories to tell than most. Very interesting fellow he is. Kind of what a bush pilot is portrayed on television. Dry humor, witty, but so knowledgable you dont talk back to him. You just listen.
                        The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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                        • #13
                          Al Lee is still around. I met him at the Costco parking lot in Anchorage last summer. My wife (very active pilot) was talking him up as she waited for me to come jump start her old Ford pickup. Very nice guy .

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                          • #14
                            The Media Screws Alaska

                            Do you really believe that the media treats Alaska fairly? Do you remember Anwr and aerial wolf hunting as it was per traded my the media? Where does PBS stand on these issues? Alaska has changed . It is changing into a state full of greenie butt kissers. Maybe that's why this state is changing for the worst. It wasn't that long ago that Congress was trying to cut PBS funding because of their political actives. How soon you PBS supporters forget that. Now if PBS wanted to do something about how the media has screwed Alaska I would be behind that. They could make a mini series out of it with all that has happen. Now, what do you think the chances of that are? Isn't that part of a changing Alaska? I talked to Robert Sheldon about the shotguns that were mounted under his fathers cub's wing. They are in Talkeetna in the museum, but not for long. There was some concern that the greenies would try to, steal or harm these guns. If they did I can see the PBS headline, "Older Alaskans fail to give way to more modern ways of thinking."

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                            • #15
                              Al Lee

                              It was good to hear that Al Lee is doing O.K. I worked for him as and asst. Guide for about 10 years, he is as good as you can get as a bush pilot and guide.We met in 1968 when I was Homesteading at the head of Tazlina Lake, Al was my transport to and from the Glenn Hwy, later he was also my employer. Alaska was a much differant place then, it was the frontier, no pipelines or north slope oil, we hunted the Wrangells, and the Chugach, no Parks then, the country was open and there were **** few people. I think those days are gone forever, I'm glad I was alive to see it.

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