Monday, February 6, 2012

New videos online: bulletproof plants!

I recently produced two videos in collaboration with Miami-Dade Extension. These short works are about low-maintenance plants. Native to the region or not, these kinds of plants thrive in South Florida without requiring irrigation, fertilizer or pesticide.

Video 1: putting in work

In addition to assessing large and small landscape irrigation systems in all corners of Miami-Dade County, every now and again the Urban Conservation Unit (UCU) relishes the opportunity to do some actual installation work.

Late last year we were approached by an Extension agent for assistance with installing a temporary drip irrigation set-up for a low-maintenance plant demonstration plot. This plot would serve to educate Extension visitors about various Florida-friendly plant options for hedges and such.

Well, if there’s anything the UCU loves more than drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants, its drip irrigation!

Amidst the PVC cutting, glue slinging and drip-line unfurling, we also made sure to keep the camera rolling! See the video here!

Video 2: the urban core

Last month while visiting with a homeowner at one of my ET research sites in Coral Gables, I received a call from local Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) coordinator Laura Vasquez.

On her way to meet a landscape architect at a new high-rise in Allapattah to certify the landscape as Florida-friendly, she asked if I would be interested in filming a segment.
Well, if there’s anything I love more than FL-friendly landscaping, it’s filming said topic in my favorite City of Miami neighborhoods!

Because FYN-certification was a stipulation in the loan this urban infill project received to be developed, the landscape architect worked with this in mind when designing for the limited landscape space. See the video here!

Committed to aesthetics

Both of these short videos were shot in my preferred mode of working - fast and with no room for error. For the first one, I shot everything I could as the drip install was happening, moving about for the best angles - one chance/one take.

The next day, I captured UCU technician Jesus Lomeli for audio to lay over the visuals.

In the second video, I shot the architect only moments after meeting him for the first time. He required little prompting to discuss points of interest in very detailed and concise sound bites - all I had to do was keep up!

Following the interview, I walked the property capturing visuals that seemed interesting or that matched what was discussed. There is an added element of spontaneity when shooting in a loud and lively urban setting. I absolutely loved this! Of the recent videos I have produced, these are two of my favorites.


  1. Great Mike! We are going to miss your informative posts - hopefully you will still post what you are doing once involved with other projects.

  2. No doubt, Kati. When my TREC tenure concludes, consider me a roving Water Resource correspondent. The visual media work never stops, plus over the years I've found the practice of distilling projects into short communiques very useful. Not to mention that it feels good to give back to the people/place that allowed me to develop all these wonderful skills. The collaboration continues. That is my word.