a feature documentary
Revealing the superpowers of the redwoods like never before, Giants Rising tells the epic tale of these extraordinary trees, including the mission to help them rise up from the past -- and help us ALL face the challenges of the future.
The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always... From them comes silence and awe.
- John Steinbeck
Experts & Advisors
With expertise in everything from ecology to psychology to dendrochronology (the study of tree rings!), we are grateful to all who have advised us along the way and shared stories about their experiences in the redwoods. This super group includes Dr. Todd Dawson/ UC Berkeley, Dr. Claire Willing/Stanford University, Zane Moore/UC Davis, Drs. Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine and Allyson Carroll/Cal Poly Humboldt, Barry McCovey/Yurok Fisheries Dept., Leonel Arguello/NPS, Portia Halbert/CA State Parks, Dr. Paul Piff/UC Irvine, among others.
Producer, Director & Writer
For more than two decades, Lisa has been developing and creating award-winning content for television networks and museums such as National Geographic, the Smithsonian Channel, PBS/KQED, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Building Museum, California State Parks, and Mexico City’s Papalote Museo del Niño. Covering a wide range of subjects, she's most passionate about sharing stories that change the way we see the world -- and ourselves.
Over the course of this production we have filmed with a talented and experienced team of cinematographers including Owen Bissell, Fabian Aguirre, Maya Piscotto, Richard Neill, Randall Love and Mike Abela, among others. Wielding their full range of expertise, our camera crew has filmed everything from dazzling drone footage over majestic forests to macro cinematography of scientists extracting DNA from tiny redwood seeds.
An exceptionally creative editor with a keen sense of pacing and visual impact, for over 25 years Damon has been editing for clients including Warner Bros., DC, CW, HBO, Discovery, TLC, National Geographic, and Smithsonian Channel. He prefers Takis and peanut M&Ms in the edit bay, collects old VWs and 80s arcade games, and has a thing for Labrador Retrievers.
A media producer and writer who crafts stories that explore the human experience and the natural world, Jen has written and produced documentaries for networks like National Geographic Television, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. She also develops content marketing materials to help companies and nonprofits propel their mission. Her insightfulness, organizational strategies, and forward thinking have been essential to driving this project forward.
Animations & Graphics
The award winning animation duo known as Little Fluffy Clouds (Betsy de Fries and Jerry van de Beek) bring the full force of their talent, imagination and story-telling sensibility to Giants Rising. On the graphics front, Susan Harris of Fluent Studios is using her incredible eye for elegance to pull together the look across the entire film and all supporting media.
SUPPORT GIANTS RISING
Production is nearly complete and we now need funds for final finishing. It's the home stretch! Your tax deductible contribution to this non-profit film can be made directly through our partner, The Redford Center -- an organization that supports filmmakers who use the power of storytelling to galvanize environmental justice and regeneration.
We are so grateful for the incredible generosity of The Manitou Fund and The Goldring Family Foundation, as well as all the individuals and businesses whose contributions have enabled us to bring this film to life so far. We hope you will join us in support of the redwoods and the telling of this extraordinary tale.
Besides revealing the redwoods' biological secrets, GIANTS RISING also tells the epic tale of our relationship with these iconic trees. Prized for the quality of their wood, some 95% of the primeval redwood forests have been logged since the1800s. The losses were dramatic, but so too have been the battles to protect these trees. For more than a century, countless people have risen up on behalf of redwoods in diverse ways— sometimes even risking their own lives for the trees. What is it about redwoods that resonates so deeply with people that they're willing to give so much to them?
In this film we meet some of the passionate people dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of the redwoods and safeguarding their future. They include a scientific detective uncovering the secrets of redwood resilience, members of the Yurok Tribe fighting to restore their cultural connections to these forests, a park ranger summoning new life from ravaged timberlands, and a modern-day Ansel Adams who's attempting to display a life-size photograph of a 310 foot redwood— a portrait she hopes will rekindle our connection to these ambassadors from another time.
Through the stories of these redwood devotees and other experts, we also delve into questions about why we evolved to experience such intense awe in the presence of redwoods, and how spending time in these forests also offers social benefits— like making us more compassionate, generous, and willing to cooperate with each other for the greater good.
The goal of GIANTS RISING is not only to celebrate the marvels of redwoods and all they do for us, but to recognize what we can do for them to ensure they continue rising up for generations to come.
via the Redford Center
The deeper you venture into a coast redwood forest, the more your imagination runs wild. They are the tallest and some of the oldest living beings on Earth. Living links to the past, these trees also hold superpowers that may play a key role in our future – including their ability to withstand fire and capture carbon, to offer clues about resilience and longevity, and even to enhance our physical and emotional well-being. How do they do it? And more importantly, how can we ensure that redwoods will be able to keep working their magic as they continue to be pushed to their limits?
Through the stories of those on the frontlines of efforts to understand and safeguard redwoods, GIANTS RISING reveals the mysterious inner-workings of the trees' many superpowers – celebrating the wonders of these forests and underscoring all that’s at stake.