A Place To Be Wild

Fourth Wall Films requests a grant to produce A Place To Be Wild (working title), a broadcast-quality visually-creative 10-12 minute short film that will profile a successful partnership between a land-owner and the permanent Wetlands Reserve Program. Using on-camera interview comments, wildlife footage, landscape and general footage, as well as maps and colorful graphics, the film will also illustrate how this program addresses the concept of Cores and Corridors, and show how rewilding benefits people and the environment.

The strength of our films is in the story-telling, and the way the story is told emerges from the footage and interview comments gathered for the film.

The primary audience for the film will be land-owners (candidates for the WRP program) and legislators who may be key in providing funding for the WRP program. The message of the film will also enlighten the general public about the benefits of creating a wilder, more beautiful, more biologically diverse, and more enduring Mississippi River Watershed:

—The return of keystone species and reversal of extinction trends
—Cleaner air and water
—Fewer floods and other natural disasters
—Opportunities for tourism

The completed film will be posted on the BeWildReWild website, and it will also be accessible in many other places including via Facebook or Twitter posts by other related organizations, Fourth Wall Films’ social media accounts, and it will be submitted for possible use as an interstitial on WQPT-PBS and other Midwestern PBS stations—reaching thousands of viewers each time it airs (interstitials help broadcasters fill the entire half or one hour time slot with substantive and impactful short works when the main program run time is short). The film may also be submitted to environmental film festivals. The Vimeo.com/YouTube version of the film will be “portable,” and can be used by anyone in presentations or public programs.

Fourth Wall Films is an eight-time Mid-America Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film production company based in the Illinois/Iowa Quad Cities on the Mississippi River. Since the release of our first feature-length historical documentary film in 2004, we have completed over a dozen films that tell important but forgotten Midwestern history stories, most of which have a focus on Iowa—including the Lost Nation: The Ioway documentary series. Each year we also complete work for outside clients (Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City 19-min. – State of South Dakota), and we work in partnership with local or regional non-profit organizations (Any Kid Anywhere: Sex Trafficking Survivor Stories 17-min. – Braking Traffik). We look for projects that reflect our interests and values. We recently completed Over & Under: Wildlife Crossings and it’s already triggering constructive discussions among viewers.

If awarded, grant funds will be used for pre-production research/planning, production (wildlife footage, landscape and general footage, and on-camera interviews). This project lends itself to aerial drone footage as an effective way to depict the visual sweep of the land—the context for the story. Some “trail cam” footage may be used to capture wildlife movement. Grant funds will also cover a portion of the cost of travel, and the editing and finishing phase of the project, as well as a portion of the cost of music and footage licensing.

We are grateful for another opportunity to work with the BeWildReWild Fund at Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation on another important and timely film project.

Total grant request: $15,000
Project completion: June 2021 (barring unknown COVID-19 obstacles)

This film, combined with Fourth Wall’s earlier crossings film, goes to the heart of our BIG RIVER CONNECTIVITY Vision. The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is one model for rewilding steep slopes and frequently flooding river bottoms. We suggest a WRP-like permanent easement on privately owned land funded by the government as a means of restoring and rewilding areas suitable for core wildlife habitat and connecting travel corridors. It might be referred to as the Cores-Corridors Reserve Program (CCRP), or something similar. Yes indeed, this is another “important and timely film project”. 

– Roger Ross Gipple