Review: Kiesling, Hurricane Katrina Video

Wasn't sure where to post this, since it's been a long time since I've one a review in here ... so mods, feel free to move where appropriate.

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Hurricanes have never really been my personal cup of tea, and I've never been much on hurricane video - - - in fact, in most cases in the past when I've watched, I tended to fast-forward a lot and find highlights without truly paying attention to the entire production.

I received a copy of Doug Kiesling's Hurricane Katrina: Before, During & After video last week. The week's been busy, so I hadn't gotten around to watching it until this morning. Now I wish I would have watched it much sooner.

While it seems that most cane chasers concentrate simply on intercepting the eyewall when it comes ashore, Doug has really become a professional at telling the entire story of the event. His video spans from the time of preparation, through the worst of the storm, and into the aftermath, telling the story behind what happened in the lives of ordinary people affected by the storm.

This is the first time I've seen a hurricane video that I could not stop watching from start to finish. Seeing Doug test multiple escape routes at the height of the storm in an attempt to find a safe path out of the desperate city ... through flood waters that can only be described as Biblical in proportion ... is really something to see and makes you feel like you were sitting in the seat right there beside him experiencing the storm yourself. The people interviewed tell the story in a way that I have not seen on any network ... in fact, I'm quite certain that this video tells the story in a way that no one has seen or done yet. While everyone else concentrates on who's fault this and that was, this video shows the real world feel of this event. This was truly an amazing, amazing storm ... and this video gives the most rare glimpse into its core that I have seen to date, some two months after the fact.

Evidently this storm had a personal impact on Doug as well, because in another rare move for a cane chaser, Doug is donating half the profits to disaster relief. For anyone interested in a true documentary that tells the real story behind this storm, I honestly don't think anyone else is going to come close to even touching this video. Excellent, excellent work, Doug - this is one for the history books.
 
Review: Kiesling, Hurricane Katrina Video

As Mike has kind of covered what Doug's DVD is like I wont go into the same thing.

I too am not wild about watching a hurricane DVD and most of the time skip to the good stuff if any on the DVD. But I found my self a hour later still glued to the TV watching everything.

With any cane chaser there is a ton of work and some very long hours when it comes to intercepting a hurricane and getting out of there as well.

Well worth a look at if you want to know what it was like down there as the flood water took over....
 
This is kind of self-indulgent, especially since I posted previously about it, but the devastation is just mind-numbing.

Remember, Floss and I were Red Cross volunteers there for three weeks each....

http://community.webshots.com/album/468904345PtNety

A couple things cross my mind as I reflect on our experiences there, which I didn't say before.

The first trip into NOLA was jaw-dropping. Even though we were there doing a job, which takes the edge off it to some degree, it was still very emotional. It was just "Oh my God, Oh my God" over and over and over.

Then we'd meet some people who had stayed the whole time. At first, your brain doesn't work right. It's like "Oh...some people". After all, what's unusual about encountering people in a city? Then it kicks in that these people have been through everything you saw on the news. They have had no running water nor electricity for over a week. They have no drinkable water nor food. We are the first other human beings they have seen or talked to in over a week. They are sleeping with holes over their heads. They need help. We gave them food and water and told them there seemed to be an open store about a mile away. It might have ice.

They were soooo thankful for our help.

Words can never describe the feeling one gets from being able to do that for another person, insignificant as the help we gave them may seem.

By the time I went home, I was pretty numb to the destruction. It hardly fazed me any more to drive mile after mile down streets of empty, destroyed homes, overturned vehicles, dead and grey vegetation caked with that dried up goo, downed trees and power lines, and debris everywhere. Roofs gone. Windows blown out. Abandoned dogs barking. Saw one little kitten about a month old. A resident who had just returned to check his house was going to take care of the kitty.

Humane Society or SPCA people were seen driving around in caravans, leaving 50lb bags of dog food opened up, and fresh water, in random places on the sidewalks in the hopes that some animals would find it.

And deep down in my mind, I also knew that we were assessing some homes that had deceased in them still. Some that remain there to this day.

Anyway, I digress. I got numb to the (physical) destruction, but it went on for miles. It was so totally like being on a different planet.

I left a piece of my heart in NOLA, and I want to go back. Floss and I are thinking of going to Mardi Gras.

I hope someone can someday find a use for my vid, too, but I know the world hasn't had any difficulty seeing imagery from NOLA.

Bob
 
Note To Self, Buy Mike Dinner Next Time I'm In KC... :)

Thanks Mike. The thing that really blows people away is the fact that I shot all of that footage alone. No assistant on that chase to help me out since everyone said they would not go anywhere near New Orleans with a Cat 5 hurricane in the gulf.

On to the next project. In Chicago today to meet with producers about new ideas.

I don't care but I still like Chicago more then New York City.
 
Mike sums up this video very well. I knew Doug got out ok but I was still stressed through the whole thing. I like the style that this was presented. Not just stuff blowing around, but true before, during and after footage. Good job.
 
It did come out as a good documentary , we enjoyed it... The wait sucked but was made up for with the extra Rita footage thrown into the DVD also.
 
It did come out as a good documentary , we enjoyed it... The wait sucked but was made up for with the extra Rita footage thrown into the DVD also.

Sorry about that, Hurricane Rita kind of got in the way, twice... and got in the way of the final production date.
 
It did come out as a good documentary , we enjoyed it... The wait sucked but was made up for with the extra Rita footage thrown into the DVD also.

Sorry about that, Hurricane Rita kind of got in the way, twice... and got in the way of the final production date.

There was no problem, I knew things where staying busy and I would rather wait for this better result than having a rushed result...
 
Thought I'd throw my 2-cents in on this DVD as I had the pleasure to watch this. Doug has done an excellent job documenting this storm from start to finish! While the in-storm video was excellent, you really get involved with this tragedy as he has very well documented this diaster from start to his escape. Without a doubt, this is one of the best Hurricane Documentaries I have seen not only for its in-storm footage, but because you are fully witnessed to life around the storm. This was an excellent, excellent piece of work!
 
Cutting a check to the red cross

Just an updated about the donations for this. Next week I will be cutting
a check for $2300.00 for the charity part of the profits for the Katrina
DVD to the Red Cross.

Doug
 
Re: Cutting a check to the red cross

Originally posted by Doug_Kiesling
Just an updated about the donations for this. Next week I will be cutting
a check for $2300.00 for the charity part of the profits for the Katrina
DVD to the Red Cross.

Doug

That's cool
 
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