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April 28, 2015     Post 59
Another Learning Experience

Many of the Lake Ontario Log readers already know about the latest lake related project- a 40 minute educational video for free classroom distribution free download and or DVD distribution to libraries, classroom use, museum groups or other interested parties.

We're seeking 5500$ through Kickstarter as an initial funding effort. 5000 for travel, edits, music and distribution, and 500 for the Kickstarter fee. If we exceed our goal we will put money towards production of an expanded version for distribution to regional PBS and CBC TV affiliates as a one hour documentary.

I'm also exploring the wonderful world of family foundations and philanthropy for funding. We have been given one small grant so far for travel and have pledges for 'in kind' support of various types including 'boat time'.

Photogenic old "Sara B" will assist in the filming as will a much younger undergrad from Oswego named Audry Royce. I will send out updates once the proposal is 'live' on Kickstarter and able to take pledges.

For those who may not know, Kickstarter and other 'crowd sourcing' websites collect money and hold it in escrow. You use your credit card to contribute. If not enough people come through, then the website does not charge your card. By offering to send in 25 dollars or whatever, you are effectively joining in my 'gamble' that we can raise enough money to make the project go. I myself haven't actually ever used the Kickstarter site, but it looks pretty straightforward.

The website itself has a good reputation, though of course, there are crooks and fraudulent projects everywhere. Lake Ontario Log readers can rest assured. We Will Deliver if we're funded.

And thanks to some amazing technology we will deliver some pretty stunning footage. We already have some darn good photos and plan to get lots more. If you follow Facebook, I've posted a couple on there. I'll include one from a recent test flight.

These days miniaturized cameras sound equipment and 'smart' GPS guided drones allow people to take video that five years ago would have cost 5 or 10,000 dollars to get. For an hour's worth of helicopter time you can buy a drone that does the job with a lot less disturbance and noise than a manned aircraft could.

I continue to be amazed at how the software folks have built in all these clever little features and routines to make for some nifty video shots. The IRIS drone we are using has a 'follow me' feature that we both find frankly a little unnerving.

Will we be able to take video from the air of the good ship Sara B underway? Stay tuned. Unfortunately our IRIS Plus model doesn't float very well.

I will send out the link to the website once we have the proposal up. Some of you may have already seen a shorter version of it on my author website at


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