All posts by natalielucier

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A film… 4 years in the making…”To the Orcas, With Love”

As a filmmaker, I have been working hard on a documentary film about the orca (killer whales) “To the Orcas, With Love” and TODAY we launched our IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign to help us with completion funds. Please consider supporting a Canadian documentary film. We have come a long way in 4 years… please see the link https://www.indiegogo.com/…/to-the-orcas-with-lov…/x/507914…- Much love and appreciation to everyone who has supported us so far, we sincerely appreciate it and every little bit counts! – Director, Natalie Lucier

 

 

 

 

Everest René Lucier has made his way into the big world.

Everest René Lucier made it safely into the outside world! He was born in North Bay at the North Bay General Hospital at 5:42am on Thursday March 6th. He was born weighing 7 lbs and 1 oz and was 21 inches in length.

The labour was an intense all nighter and I was thankful to have my mom with me and my 2 amazing girl friends Megan and Chontel for support along with the midwife Carol and her assistant Jane.

We arrived at the hospital around 5pm on March 5th and enjoyed each others company during the regular easy contractions… and around midnight my water was broken and things quickly changed into active full on intense labour… I had some humpback whale songs playing to set a relaxing atmosphere and my mom lightly played her drum and sang along with the whales at times.

Just before Everest was born I had a lot of fear and anxiety and the 5 amazing women who were with me all helped me by breathing with me in unison and I feel like I gathered the strength from everyone there supporting me to get through it and birth this baby boy.

Everest came out naturally although I did need some pain medication at the end and so he was born a little bit dopey and needed some extra help to start to breathe (i think because of the pain meds). Once I heard his cry I knew he was ok. When he was coming out the girls said “oh he has dark hair”… but once he was born we all realized that his hair was light. He is very fair and has almost white blonde hair. He is beautiful.

I am so thankful for all the love and support I have received from my friends and family. I could not have done this without you. Thank you so much!!

I am healing at home and getting very acquainted with little Everest. He is quite the cute little baby. He is very mellow and easy going and likes to snuggle. He doesn’t cry much and I just love him to pieces.

Life is always changing and I think motherhood is one of the hardest and most challenging things I have ever done. but I’m excited about it and I look forward to sharing my life with my little boy.

Love Natalie

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Northern Resident Killer Whales swim up to say hello

We were out fishing on the northern tip of Haida Gwaii on June 22, 2013 in the afternoon when a pod of the Northern Resident Killer Whales came up to say hello to us. A couple of them swam underneath our little boat. See the video that Warren Mcintyre shot on his phone. My favourite whales in the entire world are the killer whales…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOr1zjJOdDE?list=UURXpkDeKlvroFrkYYV3XsFQ]

Haida Gwaii – Live & Love

I have been processing the amazing summer experience filming the whales and immersing myself into the wild. After filming during the summer months I took a trip to Haida Gwaii and I experienced the natural and raw elements there. I was delighted to have my mother join me for a week to explore. We rented a small cabin on the beach and we explored the natural beauty of the area. We enjoyed walking the beach every morning, hiking in the rainforest, warming up to the wood stove and boiling hot water for a shower at night. We were living in the moment. While I was in Haida Gwaii, I met the man of my dreams, fell in love and got married on the beach. Here are a few of my favourite Haida Gwaii photographs…

 

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Salmon Coast Experience

My Salmon Coast Experience – The making of “An Orca Whale Documentary”

I have always had a fascination with whales and the ocean. I feel drawn and connected to the beauty and grace of the killer whales. I have always been drawn to them ever since I was a young. I have always dreamed of seeing them in the wild.

As a film student, I had the opportunity to intern with Canadian filmmaker, Rob Stewart, director of Sharkwater. I learned a lot working with his production team in Toronto on his new film, Revolution. I learned how a film can have a big impact on people’s views of the world and also how it can be a catalyst to bring about change.

Greatly moved by Alexandra Morton’s book, “Listening to Whales”, I was inspired to make a difference and draw attention to the endangered killer whales off northern Vancouver Island. And so, I set out to shoot my first feature length documentary “An Orca Whale Documentary” during the summer of 2012.

Working In cooperation with OrcaLab, the whales were filmed during the summer months on the Johnstone Strait. I filmed the whales while they were resting in the morning fog and I also filmed them being chased down and surrounded by boats on a daily basis. Sometimes it was hard to watch the extreme amount of human impact on the whales. My intention for this film has evolved to show how much we as humans have an affect on the health and wellbeing of the whales and of the eco system.

After the summer season, I got in touch with the Salmon Coast Field Station in Echo Bay. I was invited to volunteer and film at the station for a few days. It was uplifting to see how Salmon Coast operates and to see how passionate they are to protect the wild salmon and eco system in the Broughton Archipelago. I interviewed Scott Rogers about the research that has been on-going at the station, and I also interviewed the iconic Billy Proctor who runs the museum in Echo Bay. Billy has such a strong passion for the region and it was such a treat to spend time with him and listen to his stories. He took me to where his childhood home was located near Flower Island and told me about his life growing up in the area.

The people who I have met in the Broughton Archipelago have a deep respect for the marine life and the natural world. Coady and Zephyr work and live off the land as much as possible. They were very welcoming and made me feel at home during my time at the station. I enjoyed spending some time with Salix as well…she has the ability to light up the room with her smile.

After spending time at the station, I was so delighted to meet my long time role model Alexandra Morton and do an interview with her at her home on Sointula Island. She spoke to me about her passion for the work that she does and why it is so important. Most of Alexandra’s research has pointed to “salmon farms” causing a disturbance with toxic waste, and the use of antibiotics causing harm to the ocean and the eco system. She has found a connection to sea lice being found in wild salmon in high numbers very close to the salmon farms. For these reasons she is taking a stance against salmon farm production in Canada. She wants to protect the ocean and the ecosystem that surrounds her. I strongly believe in Alex and her work.

I am grateful for the opportunity of visiting Salmon Coast and for all those whom have inspired, guided, and supported my journey in creating “An Orca Whale Documentary”. I will remember my time there fondly. I look forward to weaving together the footage gathered during my time at there and giving a voice to the stories shared. The film is set to be released in 2013.

Follow or Like us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/OrcaWhaleDocumentary2012

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Northern Resident Killer Whales, Vancouver Island. – Photo by Natalie Lucier

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Natalie Lucier – Filmmaker – Photo credit Leah Harnanansingh

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Salmon Coast Field Station, Echo Bay, British Columbia, Canada

Close Encounter of the Whale Kind

Lara from Germany was my assistant this week. She is studying biology in school and also loves the whales.

Lara taking photos
Lara taking photos

We had an amazing experience on Aug 24th when we had the i15′s – Northern Resident Orcas come very close. On Aug 24th they passed CP heading West… one whale turned around and came right up to the deck – it was high tide. He looked at me and stayed in the same spot for a little while looking up. This whale came in so close to where I was… I had to say hi to him… “Hi whalie”, you are so beautiful. The i15′s on Aug 24th on the Johnstone Strait.

underwater looking up at me
underwater looking up at me
I see you
I see you
Eye to Eye
Eye to Eye
Heading back West to join his pod
Heading back West to join his pod
A screen shot from Lara's short video clip, i15's continue heading West
A screen shot from Lara’s short video clip, i15′s continue heading West

See a video that I shot of the whale saying hello…

[vimeo 48212354 w=500 h=281]

I have been enjoying editing photos and video clips at my little editing station in the hut- Lara took this photo of me…

my editing station in the hut
my editing station in the hut

Last night we had some lovely clouds… Aug 25th…

Soft clouds on Aug 25th
Soft clouds on Aug 25th

A Lightning Storm to Remember, Good Friends & Orca Whales Doing What They Do

This week I was lucky and thankful to have Phinn at the hut as my assistant. Phinn is from England, he is studying marine biology in Maine and has a lot of knowledge  of the southern resident orcas in the San Juan Islands and Friday Harbour area. He is a positive guy and is quite an artist. If I am ever feeling down he always puts a smile on my face. One evening we decided to test out Phinn’s camera on the tripod. We took a couple of funny photos…

Phinn and Nat Aug 16th
Phinn and Nat Aug 16th
Phinn and Nat Aug 16th
Phinn and Nat Aug 16th

A photo of Phinn as he was making a beautiful wood carving out of a piece of drift-wood that he found…

Phinn carving his piece of art - Aug 14th
Phinn carving his piece of art – Aug 14th
Phinn's carving - almost done!
Phinn’s carving – almost done!

On August 17th we witnessed one of the saddest things I have ever seen. The resident orcas were chasing after a humpback whale.  It was later ID’d to be resident orcas- A23′s and humpback KC of the northern humpbacks of the johnstone strait area… have a look at the video…

[vimeo 47759569 w=500 h=281]

Orca whales chasing down a humpback on August 17, 2012 from Natalie Lucier on Vimeo.

Living in the hut has had its challenges. Some days I feel like I wish I could fly away and have a hot shower and give my family and friends a big hug… and some days I just love being here. Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to be anywhere else but here… waking up in the wet and cold weather and feeling homesick and sad… I reluctantly started my day… by late afternoon… the clouds covered the area and we could hear thunder in the distance… and then the lightning came and lit up the sky. I was amazed. I stood and watched and decided to film it. I was lucky to capture a moment in time when the lightning hit the land. It was a strong and fierce thunder storm that hammered the Johnstone Strait… reminding me how powerful mother earth can be.

Lightning on August 17th on the Johnstone Strait, BC, Canada
Lightning on August 17th on the Johnstone Strait, BC, Canada

After the storm had settled… the sunset was calm and beautiful…

pinky,purple, orange sunset last night - August 18th
pinky,purple, orange sunset last night – August 18th