A Matter of Degrees

In early July, I attended my first ever Essex County Business Council (ECBC) Business After Hours (BAH) event. The event was held at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Being my first BAH event and having yet explored the Wild Center, I was looking forward to the occasion. For those of you who are not aware, the BAH program is a monthly event hosted by different Essex County businesses looking to showcase their product to other area business professionals. Held on the second Thursday of each month, the event allows the hosting business the opportunity to showcase their venue while also serving as a networking venue for the business community. Throughout the course of the two hour event I walked the center checking out the exhibits and observing the famous Wild Center Otters. Then came the nights main attraction, as everyone was ushered into the amazing Flammer Panoramas Theater for a special viewing of the Chedd-Angier-Lewis produced film, A Matter of Degrees. Produced exclusively for the Wild Centers Panoramic screen (which merges 3 hi-def projectors) the 20 minute film takes viewers on a visually and intellectually stimulating trip back in time thousands of years to, Ice Age Adirondacks, a setting much different than today. The film is the primary tool in the commitment made by the Wild Center to inform its visitors about climate change and the importance of understanding the relatively new statistical information. Executive Director for the Wild Center, Stephanie Ratcliffe talked about the film that has been 2 years in the making. There is a common misperception that a couple degrees wont make a difference, but what we need to know is that only 9 degrees difference in the earths temperature is what brought on the Ice Age, she said. The Wild Center had a difficult time getting that point across in the exhibit setting so we said to ourselves; a movie would be the perfect mechanism to tell a compelling story. The Adirondacks are something tangible that we love, so merging that personalization with the information we wanted to provide in a unique setting (the Flammer Panoramas Theater) would get peoples attention. Hosted by Sigourney Weaver and filmed on location both in Greenland and right here in Essex County by cinematographer Rick Godin the film juxtaposes the current science of climate change to the Adirondacks. Mr. Godin talked about the importance of shooting in the Adirondacks. Essex County was a very important part of this fil, he said. The highest peaks that first came out from under the ice are here. The film is presenting a climate change story that shows a few degrees cooler has put miles of ice over us before. The Adirondacks is the dramatic background we needed to tell this story. Filmmaker Jill Singer tells us making A Matter of Degrees was a filmmaking dream, It has a built-in story with a compelling and relevant message for today. It has two of the most beautiful locations on Earth the Adirondacks and Greenland. Accompany that with the Wild Centers unique panoramic theater that will let viewers see these places in a new, exciting way. A matter of degrees is showing 7 days a week, every half hour from 10am to 6 pm at the Wild Center inTupper Lake. The movie is free with admission and it is worth it. For all you parents out there an alternative version of the film is also being produced for educational purposes as schools are already planning to use the film as a tool to educate our youth beginning this Fall. If you are interested in being notified about future BAH events you can email Jody Parks at Jody@northcountrychamber.com. Chris Ward is the Communications Manager at the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau and can be reached at chris@lakeplacid.com.

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