Local filmmaker documents the natural beauty of Big Cypress Swamp

September 16, 2009

Filmaker Elam Stoltzfus on location in the Big Cypress Swamp.
Filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus on location in the Big Cypress Swamp.

Local PBS station, WFSU will be airing the film on Saturday, September 26  at 4:00 p.m.

Popular local filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus, along with black and white photographer and Big Cypress Swamp resident, Clyde Butcher, have combined their talents once again to produce a brilliant educational film about one of America’s national treasures – ‘Big Cypress Swamp – The Western Everglades.’

Covering more than one million acres of diverse protected wetlands in Southwest Florida, the documentary explores how the Big Cypress almost didn’t happen, how the lands are currently managed, and overviews animal behaviors, and stunning landscapes.

Stoltzfuz and Butcher along with local experts, public land managers, hunters, orchid lovers, artists and others, crossed the swamp in air-boats, canoes, swamp buggies and on foot, giving the crew opportunities to capture its stunning images.

The documentary captures the Swamp’s animal inhabitants, and natural sounds with magnificent beauty while also recounting its history and current status.

Stoltzfus produced and directed, Butcher hosted, Peter Thomas narrated and Sammy Tedder provided the musical score for the film. The film also features Joe Browder, Nathanial Reed, Franklin Adams and Leroy Henehayo Osceola.

Funding for the project came from the National Park Service, Collier County Tourist Development Council, South Florida Water Management District, Friends of Big Cypress Swamp and Friends of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve.

For more information on “Big Cypress Swamp: Western Everglades” go to: http://www.bigcypressswamp.org/

To see the video trailer, go to: http://www.bigcypressswamp.org/trailers.htm

More about Big Cypress Swamp

Big Cypress Swamp contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther, and the home of the Big Cypress National Preserve and Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. The Big Cypress National Preserve is currently building a 2.2 million-dollar Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center with a theatre that will be home to the film.

For more information on Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, got to: http://www.floridastateparks.org/fakahatcheestrand/.

For more information about visiting Big Cypress Preserve, go to: http://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm

About Elam Stoltzfus

The mastermind cinematographer and producer behind Live Oak Production Group, Elam and his company creates educational documentaries on Florida’s natural resources. Skillfully using his high definition video camera as a paintbrush, Elam creates stunning work.

After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in communications/media, Elam utilized his talents to create Live Oak Production Group. It turned out to be a good choice, as his success is evident in the quality work he has created to date.

Live Oak Production Group produced a beautiful coastal dune lake video in a partnership with the Walton County Tourist Development Council. This film short delicately describes our extraordinary coastal dune lake systems.

Since 1989 Elam has worked with Clyde Butcher on numerous projects and credits Clyde with teaching him how to transcend the art of nature into film. It appears to be a perfect match, as the two have garnered several national awards and nominations for their work.

For more information about Elam Stoltzfus, go to: www.liveoakproductiongroup.com.