The Blakely Burl Tree Project: The
The Blakely Burl Tree Project:
From The Ground Up
by Terry Martin
TRUSTING THE VISION
Ken and Greg continue their dance with
the wood and the woodworkers, Ken holding the sound boom to capture every word,
Greg with the weighty camera hefted on his shoulder. He lunges in to get a
close-up, then backs off to take in the broader view, circling widely with Ken
floating beside him attached by the umbilical cord of the sound cable.
Producer Ken Browne with mic boom at Cross Sawmill
that Greg, in his mid-sixties, is the oldest member of the team, but I havenít
seen him back off once. The sun is hot, but he seems to revel in the physical
demands of the work. His concentration is complete, flowing from his firmly
planted feet, up through his whole body to his eye clamped to the viewfinder.
All of this is impressive, but I am even more impressed that every night it is
Greg who leads us on the search for a friendly bar where we can wind down. I
wish I could bottle his energy.
Greg Andracke filming the wood at Cross Sawmill
This mass of raw material Ken and Greg are capturing is only the start of the
process. When we all go home, Ken will bury himself for months in his studio in
New York, slowly assembling a pastiche of sound and images from the vast jigsaw
puzzle that they have recorded. It will be a solo effort requiring enormous
patience and expertise.
There is a pause while Mark and Gary confer over the next cuts, so Ken comes
over to sit with me in the shade of the forklift that hangs off the side of the
Gary Steven (left) and Mark Lindquist confer about the direction of cutting
while Steve Cross (top center) watches and Greg Andracke films.
He tells me, ďI just said to Greg that this reminds me of Moby Dick.
Mark is Captain Ahab and the Burl Tree is the whale. Mark is on this quest and
itís almost like he has been possessed by a vision which might not be entirely
evident to the rest of us yet, but we have this faith in him so we do what he
wants. We all came from all over the world because of Mark's vision for this
ugly tree!Ē I like this image.
Mark Lindquist hosing off the Blakely Burl Tree while Greg Andracke films in