Bryan Huskey of Fishbite Media walked away with the winning video for the Oregon Fly Fishing Film Festival. See his entry Oregon Water here:
Huskey was up against tough competitors, but his enthusiasm for Oregon’s fisheries won over the judges.
From a technical aspect “Living the Dream” is the better film. It is for the most part well lit and well composed, it has pretty good audio levels and continuity throughout its length. This stuff is important, shows patience and attention to craft.
What “Oregon Water” lacks in cinematic presentation it makes up for in gusto and entertainment. The filmmaker’s enthusiasm for Oregon waters is the driving force for the film and his enthusiasm is infectious. Although there is a less identifiable narrative in Oregon Water it seems to better achieve it’s overall objective than “Living the Dream”.
“Oregon Waters” lets us know pretty early that the film’s objective is to get you fired up about fishing these incredible waters. A short journey is meant to wet our whistle and start us making plans. For the most part, I think this film achieve these goals.
“Living the Dream” is a beautifully shot reflection on bamboo rod-making and fishing. This film also set-up pretty early its goals and directions; to capture the craft, enjoyment and uniqueness of bamboo rod-making and bamboo rod fishing. This is a difficult goal, given that much of bamboo’s appeal, lies in its tangible feel. This is not something easily related through film and video. The film is good, but falls short in completely understanding and relaying the subject’s incredible appreciation for his craft.
I think getting people fired up about great fishing is a much easier goal than relaying the character of bamboo rods. Although I really enjoyed Living the Dream, my nod goes to Oregon Water for no other reason than it accomplished what it set-out to do.
Here’s a quick interview with Huskey:
What kind of camera do you use?
Huskey: Funny thing, 3 different cameras, shot in 4 different formats, and somehow I was able to get it all to merge. An old Canon XL1s that I bought 6 years ago, JVC hm100, and Canon XH-A1. Thanks to Doug Powell and John Parker for providing me the HD rigs to shoot with. I am NOT a tech-geek at all, and totally self taught, so it was a bit of chance that it all came together.
Is it hard to be around hot fishing and film at the same time?
Huskey: Yeah, for sure. I can get pretty gripped at times and want to drop the camera in the water and grab a rod. But I am lucky to usually be around peeps who maybe out of sympathy usually pass me the rod when I start getting too cranky. I like to go out solo though and just film stuff. Sometimes I can get in the mood to just shoot stills or video and leave the rod behind.
How did you get into film making?
Huskey: I just started dragging my dads Sony handy cam along on archery hunts and fishing trips. I guess I was always a big fan of well done videos of the things I loved to do, and so I tried to make my own home videos. The Bruce Brown “On Any Sunday I & II” and Moto videos of the early 90’s really grabbed my attention and inspired me to drop fly fishing into that type of film.
Any advice for aspiring fly fishing filmmakers?
Huskey: Just give it a try and don’t worry about getting too techy about stuff. I think every person sees things a different way, and any one person may shoot amazing things without even realizing they have a talent for it. The quality of a 300 dollar camera today is amazing. The fact that we are seeing so many new fly fishing films coming out all the time is a sign that this is a healthy new niche. I think thats really cool.
Do you have any major conservation issues that you’re involved in?
Huskey: Not really at the moment, but I know I have several just on the horizon. I want to do a documentary type story featuring the North Umpqua. That is the raddest river I’ve ever known, and one of the places I learned to fly fish. I would like to raise awareness of just how important it is to keep it healthy and wild.
You live in Idaho, and you’ve got a lot of great fishing there. Why Oregon?
Huskey: We definitely have tons of great water in Idaho. But Oregon is where I grew up. We lived on the Wilson River when I was a little kid, and I caught my first steelhead there. My dad would haul home 50+lb chinook and us kids would lay in the grass next to them for photos. They were long as we were, and as a little kid, a fish that big is super cool!
I really got into fly fishing because of steelhead though. My buddy Adam was a guide on the Deschutes in the 90’s, and I thought that was so rad. He showed me what was up with proper swinging and such. We would rally over to the Umpqua and I caught my first fly fish there. It really screwed me up. It started a cancer like addition in me that has overtaken my love of hunting and a bunch of other things I used to love. But its a good trade.
I fell in love with trout fisheries like Silver Creek and the South Fork of the Boise, so I can see an “Idaho Water” happening some day as well.
Special thanks to Bellinger Bamboo Fly Rods!
Bryan will receive a new bamboo fly rod from Oregon-based Geniune Bellinger. Owner Chet Croco has also offered Bryan a rod set aside for the contest, or an opportunity to build a rod to his own specs instead at the Bellinger Shop. Check out our Bellinger Bamboo Fly Rod Workshop Tour for more info.
Thanks again to all the participants and sponsors of the inaugural Oregon Fly Fishing Film Festival.