Beautiful Swimmers Revisited Now in Production:
Inspired by 1976 Pulitizer Prize-winning Bestseller
May 2015 – Sandy Cannon-Brown is honored to be shooting, directing and editing a new documentary, Beautiful Swimmers Revisited, inspired by William W. Warner’s 1976 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book, Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay.
How have the culture, science and management of the Chesapeake Bay’s iconic blue crabs changed over the past 40 years? Cannon-Brown joins award-winning writer Tom Horton as he sets out in Warner’s footsteps to find the answers.
“Warner’s book has never been out of circulation. Nothing published since, including James Michener’s blockbuster Chesapeake, has surpassed it,” Horton said. “Today’s Chesapeake is not the same bay in which William Warner conducted his inquiries of crabs and crabbing during the 1960s and ’70s. Yet much remains. In remoter parts of the estuary, it is still possible to revisit Warner’s storied haunts, even to catch-up with characters in Beautiful Swimmers.”
The blue crab inhabits every niche from the deep channels to the marshes, and the ocean to the limits of tide miles up the rivers. Any long-term changes in crab populations would have major consequences for the whole ecosystem. If crabs were to fail, the economies of communities like Smith Island would crumble. When crab abundance in the Bay is low, as it was in 2014, the whole region takes an economic hit.
Horton’s timely script, brought to life by Cannon-Brown and esteemed Bay photographer David Harp, will investigate the whys and wherefores of the trends as it weaves a colorful tale that entertains, educates and enlightens.
Horton, who covered the environment for the Baltimore Sun for 35 years, has written eight books about the Chesapeake Bay. His honors include the John Burroughs Award for the best book of nature writing, the David Brower award from the Sierra Club, and other awards from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Audubon Society. Most recently, outgoing governor Martin O’Malley honored Horton as an Admiral of the Chesapeake. He currently is a Professor of Practice in Environmental Studies at Salisbury University.
Beautiful Swimmers Revisited, the documentary film, is an initiative of the Bay Journal, a publication of the non-profit Chesapeake Media Service.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Restores
Historic Log-bottom Bugeye
St. Michaels, MD – VideoTakes’ President Sandy Cannon-Brown is working with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum to document the authentic restoration of Edna E. Lockwood, the last surviving bugeye on the Chesapeake Bay.
In January, Cannon-Brown was there as the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Program scanned and photographed every inch of the hull to show how Edna was put together piece by piece.
The project is part of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Maritime Documentation Program, with the produced measured drawings added to the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection in The Library of Congress to document the last working oyster boat of her kind. For CBMM, the information gained will be turned into a 3D model to aid museum shipwrights and apprentices in the restoration of the Edna E. Lockwood.
The first challenge to Edna’s restoration is finding the southern yellow pine logs required to replace Edna’s bottom. Twelve logs measuring 52” in length and 3- to 4-feet in diameter are needed. Wherever and whenever CBMM finds these logs, Cannon-Brown will be there to capture the activity!