Last season we released ten films about energy to spark discussion about the challenges facing our nation and the world. Two of the films, called “Realities of Drilling” Parts 1 and 2, were about exploring and producing natural gas in shale deposits – to discuss the risks surrounding drilling in these unconventional plays. Given the political and emotional climate surrounding shale gas development and fracking, it was no surprise to us that they were our most popular films.
Towards the release of the last season of films, we participated in an advisory panel moderated by the The Pembina Institute and sponsored by Shell Oil Company. The panel was made up largely of environmental professionals and advocacy group representatives who took a hard look at all of the films that were completed at the time – including Realities of Drilling. While the panel’s comments were mostly positive, they definitely had suggestions that would make the episodes stronger and more complete.
First, they asked for more discussion about efficiency and conservation, transportation, and renewables. These complicated and detailed subjects are getting their own episodes in season 2 which is releasing soon, but they also called for some clarifications and expansions on Realities, which had already been cut and finished.
The changes they suggested required new information and expansion on imagery that we weren’t able to accommodate at the time of release. Since we were gearing up for filming on season two at the time we found a way to expand the piece by including more commentary through a new expert and working to expand on the existing interviews. Enter “Realities of Drilling: Extended and Recut” which will replace the two-episode original with a single, double-length episode which covers everything from land disruption to community challenges, fracking and beyond.
Any time you take a completed piece back to the edit bench, it can be a difficult process. Unstitching fine-tuned work to find places for new content can be really challenging. But, in the end, it was worth the effort to make sure the most accurate and detailed version of the film become available for the energy-concerned citizen. More music had to be brought in, more coloring, finishing, the works. This isn’t just a cobbled together re-edit, it’s a completely re-constructed episode that draws on the strengths of the previous cut, which was originally conceived as two episodes, and makes a brand new single piece that works on its own.
We hope this new episode is equally as engaging while providing more information to you who have likely realized that unbiased information about drilling is hard to find. Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to join the discussion here on the Rational Middle website as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.