The Film: Galapagos & Amazonia

The Biology department of Calvin College took a class to Ecuador for the 2013 January term. Filmmaker Maria VanDyken was seconded to the group. Her lush travelogue relates the experience of students -- variously defined as tourists, scientists, and philosophers -- encountering lifeforms unique to these islands and rainforests.

VanDyken was tasked with chronicling the trip to the satisfaction of various campus funding sources: the Biology Department, the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, the Office of Off-Campus Study, and the Office of Admissions Communication. Her project thus demanded both artful documentation and client interaction.

On location, VanDyken wisely concentrated on photography. She waited to record voiceover in the studio until the group returned to campus. The result was both improved sound quality and more thoughtful interviews.

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Independent Study in Digital Filmmaking
2013 Silver Davey Award for Videography/Cinematography