BEHIND THE SCENES with Rusty Prevatt, director of 'The Wetlands: New Way Forwad'

Follow us behind the scenes with Rusty Prevatt, filmmaker of the 'The Wetlands: New Way Forward' 

Rusty Prevatt headshot

The festival is less than one  week away and we're more than excited for you all to watch and experience the eye-opening and life changing films in our program. We want our followers (you) to get a better understanding of the intelligent and proactive filmmakers in our program! 

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     Here we have Rusty Prevatt, the director of ‘The Wetlands: New Way Forward,’ a film that unravels the dire call to action to save the salmon. Discover how farmers, scientists and conservationists are using Northern California’s rice fields to create not only habitat for wild birds but to now help save the salmon. 


'The Wetlands: New Way Forward' is screening with feature film 'The Pollinators'

Saturday, Sept 28 




Who are you?

"I’m a son, brother, husband, dad, dog lover, world traveler, and director. I’m passionate about telling stories – stories that have meaning - stories that move people. The team I’ve assembled at Franklin Pictures includes a talented bunch of creative storytellers and strategists, including my brother Dave, and father Frank, both partners at Franklin.  We work on a variety of commercials, branded content and short films for some of the most notable brands in the world. I currently live in Sacramento with my wife, Jenny, daughter, Camy, and dog Kuzco"


What inspired you to create this film? what was the production process like?

"We were approached by River Garden Farms and a group of conservation groups seeking to tell their story of a unique collaboration that was starting to see some dramatic results. They set out with a goal to give California’s chinook salmon populations a boost by helping to produce food (bugs) on the rice fields. The idea was to educate others to help expand the project and showcase how water can be used to help grow crops in the spring and summer, but provide habitat and food for fish and birds in the fall and winter. 

The preproduction process included a string of interviews with all of the partners involved in the project to understand the problem and the solution they had come up with.  Each partner was interviewed over the phone before the interview in the fields.  A complete shot list of wishes and desires was laid out and then over the course of a year we sought out how to capture the scientist and the wildlife. When you are working in the wild, well – it’s wild.  The birds do not tell you when or where they will be, so there were many days and very early mornings when the fields we needed to shoot in were empty and had to come back several times to capture the shots we needed.

Post production included sifting thru over 20 hours of footage - interviews and scenic broll. Our task was to take that footage and tell the most compelling story possible so that we could properly describe the effort and goals of the group. After a variety of writing revisions and countless hours in the edit bay, we were able to produce what you see today . We felt brevity when dealing with complex water issues was key to ensuring the audience understood the project and why it is important to the survival of wildlife."


What is home to you?

"Home to me is family.  A place where you know you’re loved unconditionally – through the good and the bad.   The Franklin Pictures family is an extension of that and geographically we call Northern California our home. From the San Francisco Bay to the Sierra Nevada, Nor Cal provides unapparelled beauty and is comprised of people setting an example for the rest of the world to follow. From technology to farming to conservation, we are finding solutions to the world’s biggest problems." 



We want people to understand that protecting wildlife is more productive outside of the courtroom. When conservation groups and farmers work together on solutions, the possibilities are endless. River Garden Farms, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, California Trout and Audubon California are proof of this new collaboration effort.