Today: October 17, 2018, 12:49 am

Droning Away at Sea - A Conversation With French Producer Annabelle Grusq

Annabelle Grusq, always on the go with her drone and GoPro
Annabelle Grusq, always on the go with her drone and GoPro
Annabelle Grusq is a producer with a passion for the ocean. Her drone is her new favorite piece of equipment as it carries the promise of content that can educate and mobilize on our need to act fast and clean-up the ocean. 2016-01-22 07:56:13
Drones aren’t for everyone. Understandably so, as they do raise important questions on privacy and intellectual property. But let’s leave that debate for a second, and let Google deal with it. Instead, we wanted to talk about drones and conservation, because it’s a thing. Annabelle Grusq is a French multimedia producer with a passion for ocean preservation, and the drone you see on the picture is hers. What that little toy-like piece of technology has done for her in immense. With it she was able to start shooting at distances from shore that would have otherwise implied a much high costs to rent a boat, hire a .skipper, etc. In September we met with Annabelle, who was about to go film a Kayak protest on the Lower Snake River in Idaho. Armed with her secret weapon she was able to get what some people in the filmmaking business call a ‘money shot’. Except right now she’s just shooting for the pleasure and beauty of accumulating a unique library of water shots wherever she goes. What purpose these images will serve isn’t clear yet, but she knows they are a strong asset and carry the potential to educate on the immensity of the sea, or at least of what happens on the surface.

In fact she’s not the only one who understood drone’s potential for conservation, as Ocean Alliance has developed Snot Bot, a non-invasive drone capable of sampling DNA from whales’ condensed exhalations! So you see, maybe drones aren’t all that bad. But beware warns Annabelle, not to take out your drone on a windy day… Clearly this isn’t her first rodeo, but first she’s had to lose a couple. There’s one somewhere in the Pacific, let her know if you find it. The idea of all that extra plastic in the sea just makes her cringe, a true conservationist indeed.

Annabelle Grusq is also a part of Superpod, a documentary project on the resident population of orca that live off the coast of Washington State. They are better known as the Southern Residents, and after having suffered from terrible captures perpetrated to provide parks like Seaworld with more captive cetaceans, they have seen their salmon resources (their main food) dramatically diminished by the building of the four Lower Snake River dams.

For more on Superpod, the Documentary project:

Photo credit: Gabriela D'Addario

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