Bonneville Power Administration

I’m back from Phoenix and packing for the next trip.  I have just found out that I’ll be headed to Portland, Oregon to talk with the senior vice president and executive vice president of Bonneville Power Administration.

The Columbia River is a large source of hydroelectricity generation for the Northwest

BPA is a public service organization that is in charge of getting power to the Pacific Northwest.  In other words, BPA makes sure that when you plug in your coffee maker or TV, it turns on and stays on.  That is huge!  Think about the logistics that goes into something that we have come to take for granted.  You have to decide how you’re going to make the energy.  You have to make the energy.  You have to make enough energy.  You can’t make too much energy.  You have to get the energy to the consumer.  You have to balance all of the different types of energy.  You have to make everyone happy, but at the same time, you have to provide them with enough energy to keep up with their demand.  Sometimes we want to save the planet without making any sacrifices.  Is this reasonable?  Whose job is it to make these decisions?  Imagine having to deal with all of these issues.  Doesn’t it sound like a huge job?  It sounds like one of the most complicated situations in our society today.  If this is such a huge job, then why haven’t we heard of organization like Bonneville Power Administration?  Is it a silent art and as long as they do their job well, they are invisible?  What exactly are they doing?  Why don’t more people know about what they do if it’s so important?  Have we taken the most elementary and necessary commodity other than food and water for granted?  Why?  That is my question.  Why do we as a society no longer think about this energy that seems to magically appear from the outlets in our house?  I will be continuing my journey to ask these questions in December by touring the Pacific Northwest and meeting with Bonneville Power Administration. Here is some background information about BPA.

On my way, I will be stopping at numerous energy production sites including hydroelectric sites, wind towers, a nuclear power station, and numerous natural gas power plants.  I will be home for about one and half weeks and then I’m setting off for a month.  This will be the longest that I’ve been home since July!  I’m already feeling restless…

I hope you’re keeping up on the blog because I will be posting much more often due to followers’ requests.  The blog has exceeded 5000 views!  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that people are becoming more and more interested in something that is so important.  Please feel free to request posts about subjects relating to what you want to hear.  Keep checking back for a story on my new method of transportation for the next leg of my journey!


Good music? Sure.

The holiday season is here and I have a present for your viewing pleasure.  I have been putting in countless hours editing Energy! O Energy! and didn’t realize that I haven’t uploaded any clips from the film since training!  It has been far too long without at least something to watch.  I decided to edit some of the footage together from the ride to some music by the one and only Johnny Cash.  The song is “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” performed by Johnny Cash.  The original writer of the song is unknown and can be characterized as a folk song.  Out of all of the versions though, Johnny Cash sings the roof off with this one.  The industrial beat really matches the footage well.  It isn’t a trailer but at least it’s something to kill a few minutes at work while your boss steps out.  (You don’t do that, do you?)  As always, I appreciate the messages, “likes”, emails, RTs, and comments.  If you like the clip, post it to your facebook or twitter.  Let’s see how many views we can get.

I am shooting to have an official trailer by 2012.   Between traveling for interviews and processing the footage, I haven’t had the time to put together something that I like.  Speaking of interviews, I just got back from Casper, Wyoming where I talked to Jeremy Fugleberg at the Casper Star-Tribune.  He is the energy reporter for Wyoming, which means he writes about energy in about every form in Wyoming.  I finally got to ask some of my “big picture” questions.  Just wait until you hear some of the questions that I’ve begin to explore.  The film is taking a whole new turn.  I am working on securing a few more interviews though.  It seems that I just can’t find an answer to my question of what the best type of energy is.  Every time I talk with someone, I uncover something new to explore.  My newest idea deals with distribution.  The energy isn’t being made without reason.  We are the consumers and we need energy.  This is where the grid comes into play.  What’s the grid, you say?  Well, if things go as planned, I’ll be heading to Portland, Oregon to find out.

In the mean time I’ll leave you with some pictures.  This is what happens when I get let out of the editing cage.  I don’t think the human mind or body is designed to roam freely, biking around the country and then just stop and edit video for days at a time.  These aren’t photoshopped and we didn’t use any manipulative angles.  It’s just a very large amount of suppressed “energy” that I needed to get out.

These are worth a watch.


It’s mid-November, the leaves have fallen off the trees in Laramie and have blown away, the roads have iced over, and Energy! O Energy! has 30 minutes of rough cut footage assembled. The story has emerged and now the real work begins, putting it all together. I drove through a pretty crazy snow storm this weekend, so in light of the weather I have decided to post some links to keep everyone entertained. The first link is a link to the GoPro camera promo video. I used this camera for a lot of the footage on my ride and also in getting creative angles in many other sections of Energy! O Energy! This clip shows the camera in action in mostly adventure sports. My opinion though is that using it in action sports is just the beginning. The quality and portability of this camera is second to none. I’ll be using it in all of my films to come as well as Energy! O Energy! Enjoy.

The next link is for all of the ski fans out there. Matchstick Productions has been on the forefront of ski films since I can remember. Anyway, if you happen to be in a town showing their newest film, I would strongly recommend seeing it. Even if you aren’t into skiing or snow sports, the cinematography is stunning to say the least. Although our company names may seem similar, (Matchstick, Burning Torch) they don’t have anything to do with each other. I’ve always been inspired by Matchstick but the name “Burning Torch” came from a late night drive when I first started making movies. I was working for a home I.V. therapy company delivering drugs (medicine). I guess you could say I got my start delivering drugs. My job was to make the deliveries that ranged from 1 mile to 150 miles away. One night after a drug run at 1 am, I was driving past factory thinking about what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life. It was like a light bulb went off in my head when I decided to make a film production company. Just as the light bulb went off, a burning torch erupted from the night sky behind the fence of a factory that I was passing. From that second on I knew what I wanted to do, Burning Torch Productions.

I hope you enjoy the videos. They’re not mine but hopefully it will keep your video watching needs satisfied until next time. As far as Energy! O Energy! goes, I’m facing some issues with mixing 24p and 29.9 fps footage. There’s never a dull moment in the film business.


PS – I’m enjoying your emails and feedback. I am doing my best to respond in a timely manner!