Guest post by Slavik Boyechko

Earlier this year, OSU Ph.D. candidate A.J. Fillo had an idea: he wanted to make an educational video series for kids, teaching them complex scientific concepts in an entertaining way (read: explosions).

A.J. has a tendancy to start conversations with, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” More on that in a moment.

After securing a local video team including Travis Gilmour, Yancy Simon and myself, along with some startup funds from the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, “LIB LAB: Library Laboratory” was born. For the pilot episode, A.J. went to his professors and asked, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could film inside OSU’s propulsion laboratory?”

They agreed, and the first episode on rockets was made entirely on the OSU campus, with only minor burns (read: my eyebrow).

A few episodes later, Aaron broadened his scope… just a little. For an episode about vortices, he asked the OSU drum line if they could perform while hitting vortex smoke rings out of custom made drums.

Photo by Lindy Brown

 

And then, “Wouldn’t it be cool if the drum line could shoot the smoke rings at Reser Stadium?”

That’s one of the really neat things I’ve learned about OSU recently – the staff and faculty are willing to do whatever it takes to help their students succeed, which means supporting their wild ideas, innovations, and experiments. Even if that means a wacky video series with flying smoke rings, or the documentary work that this department is undertaking around the world.

Photo by Lindy Brown

 

I went to school here a decade ago, and have been lucky to produce videos around the country for many types of organizations. Sometimes it can be impossible to convince big entities like a university to support any kind of project that seems nonessential, especially if it takes up campus resources.

 

But the support that we’ve received from all levels of OSU staff and faculty, encouraging creative and innovative thinking in media and video production, has been a breath of fresh air. We can be comfortable starting conversations with, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”

Photo by Lindy Brown

 

Thanks OSU! We look forward to working with you on the next wild project.

Slavik Boyechko is co-owner of Video Dads and writes about video production tips at geardads.com

Clear Lake is located at the headwaters of the McKenzie River.  It sits right around 3000 feet above sea level and the temperature fluctuates from around 35 to 43°F year-round.  The bottom composition and water sources for this lake all contribute to unbelievably clear water.  Rowing on the surface is more akin to flying across an alien terrain than what you’d typically expect on a mountain lake.  These conditions all contribute to a remarkable albeit challenging SCUBA diving destination.  It is an odd site to see weekenders unloading camping gear alongside divers unpacking tanks and fins.  It’s easy to understand the allure of diving Clear Lake once you drop below the surface.  Exploring the bottom of Clear Lake you will come across a preserved forest frozen in time, carpets of algae, and sunken boats.  Some claim it is possible to experience up to 200 ft. visibility in the lake.  Locals mentioned we were in the midst of a seasonal algal bloom though even so we estimated being able to see over 100 feet.  All of this awe and wonder doesn’t come without a cost.  During our visit the water temperature averaged about 40 °F.  Even with a 7mm semi-dry suit (I was the only non drysuit diver in our group) I was pushing my ability to fight off the cold after 30 minutes underwater.

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This trip was part of our continuation down the path of becoming AAUS certified scientific divers.  Currently in the middle of production on a film about global coral reef decline (coralreefmovie.org) it became essential for us to develop underwater filmmaking skills.  It has been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience thus far.  Diving and shooting in varying conditions has really helped us become quicker to adapt and meet the demands of the shooting situation.  In all honesty capturing images underwater has proven to be far more difficult than we could have anticipated.  Our appreciation for what you see in any given BBC ocean documentary has gone through the roof.  Behind every shot is an incredibly skilled camera operator/ SCUBA diver managing an array of variables to capture the stunning images in the given project.  Our humble efforts have yet to reach that level though each dive gets us a bit closer to our goal.

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Equipment Used:

Panasonic GH4

Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm lens

Nauticam NA-GH4 housing