I produced another fascinating episode of CBC's The Nature of Things, in which climate change has led to major archeological discoveries. In "Secrets From the Ice", tools and human remains thousands of years old have emerged from melting ice patches in the Yukon and Norway. Follow archeologists as they try to piece together who these ancient peoples were and how they lived - and learn the effects their efforts have had on Aboriginal communities today. The episode debuts November 19 on CBC-TV, then will be available soon after on their website and app with on-demand Described Video.
It's always fun writing description for the Scholastic and Weston Woods, who make children's books come to life with animation. One recent one was based on a really cute book with Amy Krouse Rosenthal, about four best friends that are shapes. It may seem simple, but I had to keep up with some interesting choreography later on. :-)
Jeff Fuchs is a guy from the Ottawa area who has a thing for tea. It's a thing that sent him hiking thousands of miles over some of the most remote terrain in the world to learn about some of its extensive history and mystical properties. In the documentary The Tea Explorer, he explains his obsession, takes us through the process of making the rarest and most expensive teas, and goes on an adventure tracking an ancient route taken by tea traders for ages. While Fuchs does a lot of of talking, this doc was a particular challenge to describe due to a huge variety of visual elements: from the spectacular vistas of the Himalayas, down to the myriad small details of a Chinese tea ceremony. The Tea Explorer makes his début on The Documentary Channel in Canada on September 11.
Sometimes it seems just as well that people can't see things - like all the tiny bugs that live in your house or apartment. But CBC's The Nature of Things takes that privilege away with "The Great Wild Indoors", and I help take it away from blind and low-vision people with description of the creepy-crawlies and where they are. (Sorry.) A team of biologists takes over a family's fairly typical house with lab equipment and incredibly powerful cameras to explore a world normally hidden from view. You'll never catch all the bugs, but you can catch this episode of the legendary series August 27 on CBC, then with on-demand Described Video on the CBC-TV website and app (Canada only).
Nate Heck is like the Bill Nye the Science Guy of art. In his Artrageous With Nate series with PBS Digital Studios, he's on a mission to help kids embrace their creativity and have fun playing with all sorts of techniques and media to make art - learning more about its history and the science that goes into it along the way. It was challenging fun writing description for Nate's adventures, though he would often help in describing the visual art itself to make it more relatable and not like a distant relic in a museum. In this clip, Nate visits a street artist who expresses himself with spray cans.
Canada has been gearing up for its 150th birthday, reaching its peak on Canada Day July 1. But the celebrations of the country's history include some sober considerations of what people have had to face to help make it great. I wrote and produced the description for Diana Dai's documentary My First 150 Days, which follows the three children and one grandchild of Melona Banico, who immigrated from the Philippines years earlier and has scrimped and saved to sponsor their own immigration. While Canada seems a promised land at first and the family is thrilled to be back together, realities start to set in and tensions get high. Will the family still be together by Canada Day? Enjoy this heart-rendering story of perseverance and love on TVO on July 1, and afterward on their website with Described Video on-demand (Ontario only).
The National Film Board of Canada has been known for decades for their earnest documentaries of various aspects of Canadian life (I've described more than a few of them.). This CBC digital series purports to be among them, a 1970s relic unearthed from archives, about a family with a very distinct culture living on an isolated island somewhere in the Maritimes. But the narrator is comedian Colin Mochrie, and the family's ways are decidedly... odd. Starting June 12, listen to me try my best to describe their unique lifestyle on the CBC-TV site and app (in Canada only), which includes on-demand Described Video in the player.
It was a privilege to write description for a deceptively simple but important film. Various children talk about their lives having parents who are divorced. Their thoughts, feelings and stories (sometimes illustrated by animated kids' drawings) about their different family situations can be heartbreaking, funny and often very relatable for a lot of children of divorce. In this clip, they talk about their families and how their lives have changed.
After working on description for many Hallmark movies over the years, I finally got to work on a Lifetime movie! And I do mean a "Lifetime movie" - A woman betrayed by her husband? Check. Fighting for her life in a crazy situation? Yup. "Woman On the Run" stars Sarah Butler as a famous but reclusive crime novelist whose identity is stolen. Can she get anyone to believe her so she can get her life back? Find out and listen for the description I wrote on Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, first airing April 29.
Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles are Montreal chefs and friends who cross Canada in a big RV to celebrate regional food and the people who make it great. I’ve written description for two fun episodes of Chuck and Danny's Road Trip, where the buddies camp out, learn more about local specialties and then create a feast for the farmers, chefs and experts who have helped them along the way. Check Food Network Canada for their adventures in New Brunswick and a celebration of Mexican cuisine in southern Ontario.