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Bureau Published New Promotional Video

SOCORRO, N.M. November 4, 2015 – The Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources has released a new promotional video explaining the Bureau’s history, research and public service.

Director Matt Rhoades, who took the reins in August, said he got the idea for  a 3-minute video after attending his first N.M. Water and Natural Resources Committee meeting.

“There was a handful of people – four or five senators – who know us well,” Rhoades said. “The rest didn’t really know what we do or barely knew where Socorro is.”

The video is featured on the Bureau of Geology homepage at geoinfo.nmt.edu and on Youtube at http://bit.ly/1RzVCAP.

“We send quarterly newsletters, so they hear from us. I wanted them to see us and get a much better feel for who we are and what we do. I felt like we needed to make a video. That’s the genesis for this project.”

A couple weeks later, Rhoades approached the Bureau staff members with the idea of producing the video in-house. An outside company made a pitch to Rhoades to outsource the video production, but the examples presented were not what he wanted.

“We looked at other videos and thought, ‘That’s exactly what we don’t want’,” he said. “Fortunately, we have people in-house with quad-copters who know how to operate them. We set that up as an inside task with no cost to the Bureau or taxpayers.”

Brigitte Felix served as project manager (or film director) and wrote the storyboards, along with Susie Welch and Matt Zimmerer. Other collaborators include Trevor Kludt, Andrew Jochems, Jake Ross and Lewis Land. Kelsey McNamara and Zimmerer took care of the filming, including aerial footage. Rachel Montoya, technology specialist at New Mexico Tech, was the only non-Bureau person to help out. She did the final editing.

Rhoades presented the final version of the video to the Water and Natural Resources Committee in mid-October.

“When we showed it to the legislators in Ruidoso last week, they loved it,” Rhoades said. “They said, ‘Oh, that’s what the building looks like. That’s what Socorro looks like.’ They really appreciated it. It’s adding a different dimension to our communication with legislators. I’m going to carry that video on a flash drive everywhere I go.”

Zimmerer and McNamara used their own quadcopter and cameras for this video; however, Rhoades aims to have the Bureau acquire its own filming equipment. He hopes to have an in-house crew for videography in the next few years. McNamara said she and Zimmerer have experience doing freelance work creating education videos using GoPros and other cameras.

“We just wanted to take still images and videos of people working, kids in the museum, the Publications Office and outside the building,” McNamara said. “Most people have no idea what we do at the Bureau. We covered every group and department and tried to get footage of as many people as we could.”

Zimmerer said the production process was a lot of fun.

“Getting paid to fly a quadcopter is awesome. Plus, anytime you get to exercise the scientific part of your brain and the artistic part … that’s a lot of fun,” he said.  “Once we had the script in mind, we starting thinking of various shots and what would be best to showcase field work, or showcase the Bureau staff interacting in the new building.”

The production team collected hours of footage and hundreds of still photos in order to get the 3-minute video. In addition to footage in and around the Bureau, they shot video in San Lorenzo Canyon, the Quebradas Back Country Byway and Chino Mine near Silver City, N.M.

The new video is the first in a series. Rhoades expects his team to create videos including a virtual tour of the Mineral Museum, the various cutting-edge laboratories at the Bureau and illustrations of field research conducted by Bureau field personnel.

“When we got wind of a slug of water on the Animas River, we could go get aerial footage and get documentation,” he said. “That’s good solid science. That’s where we want to go. We have folks who have that as part of their skill set. This will be really cool.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech