I have been shooting time-lapse video since I got my first Super-8 camera in 7th grade. Clouds are among my favorite subjects. All time-lapse is like magic, as you can never be totally sure of what the finished product will look like. Atmospheric winds and water content of the air, move in unpredictable ways, which makes clouds such wonderful subjects for time-lapse studies.
The Atmospheres series are videos that celebrate the wondrous movements in the sky above us in a way that we don’t see in ‘real time.’ I can sit and watch clouds for hours as they tumble and seep and bundle across the sky. Some of my favorite times to film are during the coming or the going of a storm front. This many times results in multiple layers of clouds that move in different directions, creating a series of moving planes across the sky.
Music is a key element, and my friend and collaborator, James Oliverio, has provided me with samples of his library music that I use as inspiration for the edit. Some Atmosphere videos include the horizon line, others consist entirely of the ‘mountains in the sky.’
ATMOSPHERES videos can be viewed at Vimeo.com/vanderkloot
During the 2020 lock-down and shelter-in-place, I found myself drawn to the outdoors. I always loved to spend time in nature – kayaking, backpacking, mountain biking – but during the pandemic, I felt an increased appreciation for the natural world.
Over the years, I have kayaked on a mountain lake in north Georgia with my trusty GoPro and a curious eye. During the worst of the pandemic, time seemed to stand still. Minutes seemed like hours. The media didn’t help.
Outside, in nature, time marched onward. It flowed. Winter blossomed into Spring, then transformed into the lushness of Summer. As the earth tilted on its axis, the green of Summer dissolved to the earthy colors of Autumn, and then the air got colder and Winter again arrived.
I saw this all happening in real time, and I reveled in the details – the red Maple flowers that precede the emerging leaves; the turtle warming under the sun on a log; water bugs able to skip across the lake’s surface; the movement of constantly-changing clouds, combined with the drifting of my kayak.
The G4N series of short videos brings the viewer into my state of mind, with a focus on the details of nature and a meditation on nature’s value to maintaining our sanity.
The G4N Series can be viewed at Vimeo.com/vanderkloot.
The NEW BIG Plane Trip, the latest episode of The BIG Adventure Series® has been awarded the coveted Kids First! Endorsement.
One juror wrote – “This program is exceptionally well made. It flows well, the scripting is excellent, the editing and story line are both well executed. There are lots of good visuals and the whole film is very easy for kids to understand. The youth voice over is a nice touch.
All the information is very interesting and kids, especially those fond of aviation will learn a lot. Even adults will discover things they never knew before. Children who have never been on a plane before will really get a kick out of this and it may dispel any fears they might have.”
The NEW BIG Plane Trip is a live-action adventure that takes young audiences on a flight from Atlanta to London on Delta Air Lines. They will see the world behind the ticket, including flight attendant training, pilots in the flight simulator, the test kitchens, the giant underground baggage system and more!
The NEW BIG Plane Trip is available on iTunes, Google Play, amazon, and select retailers, including the Little Mammoth website: www.littlemammoth.com
The Kids First! Endorsement is given by Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a national organization, whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media.
Smart Content for Curious Kids. Curious Content for Smart Kids.
VanDerKloot created the Little Mammoth Media children’s series over a decade ago. Today there are eighteen programs in the series, and it is licensed in dozens of countries around the world. Here is some information on the latest episode:
A BIG ADVENTURE ON ICE!
SEE what happens when things FREEZE…
A FROZEN ADVENTURE where artists carve ice and snow into amazing shapes – some are more than 60 feet high! Join skaters on the world’s largest skating rink, and see how they make ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s!
LEARN about glaciers and how they form and grow and melt. Ride on a giant ice explorer, and see why huge icebergs act like the ice cubes in your drink!
TRAVEL around the world, from Sapporo, Japan for the annual Snow Festival, to Canada’s Columbia Ice Fields, to the frozen Great Lakes on a US Coast Guard icebreaker!
Brown Media Archives Museum at the University of Georgia Special Collections Library
The University of Georgia Special Collections Library houses some of the state’s most valuable historical archives – including the Brown Media Archives, the third largest collection of media in the world. The Brown Media Archives includes the famous Peabody Collection as well as historic films, photos, radio shows and TV broadcasts.
VanDerKloot Film & Television designed and created 13 interactive kiosks that allow museum visitors to access hundreds of different media clips from the library’s collection, as well as search through the complete Peabody Awards database. Our creative team worked with Library administration, exhibit designers and technology vendors over a 12-month period to take the interactive kisoks from idea to reality. We designed the user interface, the database software, the attract screens, as well as edited the many hundreds of clips taken from thousands of films housed in the Archives.
William Potter, University Librarian and Associate Provost wrote: “I am writing to commend and thank you for the wonderful job VanDerKloot did on the interactive kiosks in the Walter J. Brown Media Archive and Peabody Awards Collection… I would work with you again anytime on a project like this. You were easy to work with, accessible, and made the process as smooth and easy at it could be with a fantastic product to show for it at the end.”
[This one-hour documentary aired on PBS and is distributed by WGBH-Boston, PBS International, and The National Geographic Channel.]
Flying the Secret Sky tells a story of passionate risk-taking, of young men braving dangerous flights in primitive conditions, in aircraft never built for the job.
These “cowboys of the air” are forgotten heroes of the air war, men who flew without guns and embodied an improvisational spirit that many historians agree was key to Allied victory. In all they delivered over 10,000 planes for the British war effort.
Flying the Secret Sky is told by the flyers themselves, including Air Commadore Taffey Powell, Kirk Kerkorian, and Bill VanDerKloot, the American pilot who flew Winston Churchill during the war. Included is never-before-seen home movie footage of Churchill flying in the American-built B-24 Liberator that safely delivered the him to vital war conferences and secret meetings. Also included is rare footage of Ferry Command aircraft and crews from archives around the world, as well as modern reenactments and CGI. We have also secured footage from aviation museums and archives, including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
Before the U.S. had even entered the War, American pilots comprised over half of the civilian pilots that flew the experimental Ferry Command routes. Theirs is one of the great unknown stories of the war and of aviation history. Their real-life stories remain untold, until now.
Narrated by Carlo Rota, Original Music Score by James Oliverio
Head Researcher and Field Producer, Monique Tobin
Written, Produced and Directed by William VanDerKloot
Here are some reviews of the film:
“This is a smashing documentary. Mesmerizing. The whole concept of pulling planes across the Canadian North Dakota border is stunning. Kerkorian in the ferry command? Who knew? And Americans and Canadians flying Churchill on that secret mission is fascinating. Great footage.
I hope the network will generate the publicity appropriate for a broadcast of this merit. Under any circumstance, the film is obviously a work of great passion and historic celebration. The man behind it has done history a favor.”
vgs (Van Gordon Sauter – Fmr President CBS News)
“I was moved to tears—and got a fair-sized lump-in-the-throat—during a screening of FLYING THE SECRET SKY. What a wonderful achievement! You captured—and I felt lifted by— the spirit of bravery, service and sacrifice those men showed in such difficult times. It’s the sort of film that should be mandatory viewing at home and in schools all across the country.
Besides respect and even adulation for the creative/production team, special kudos to the editor as well. Thank you for a marvelous testament.” – wr
5.0 out of 5 stars
“As a baby-boomer, studying History in grade school was torture. Had I been exposed to films like Flying the Secret Sky, my attitude toward the study of History would have been quite different. Flying the Secret Sky is a testimony to the greatest generation, and America’s willingness in the 1940s to work and sacrifice personal well-being for the common good.” – RHPD
5.0 out of 5 stars
“I found this a moving documentary on how war torn England managed to ferry US airplanes from Canada across the frozen North Atlantic ocean. At the time this trip was so dangerous the RAF refused to provide a pilot for a single test run. The stars were the only means of navigation but they were usually hidden by clouds and storms. The planes were constantly icing over plus radar didn’t exist, yet these (mostly American) civilian pilots managed to deliver over 10,000 planes to England despite the high odds of crashing. There’s nothing to dislike in this film. It’s filled with interviews of surviving pilots who touch your heart with stories of sacrifice and bravery. Like all true heroes they downplay their contributions, but make no mistake. What they did was heroic almost beyond measure, and like all who served in WW2, we owe them our freedom.” – NGU
“I caught the film over the weekend, & thought it utterly superb! You did justice to a great, great subject. Your film took my breath away. On many levels, I was struck by your insight, your vision, and your story.
The fact that you were able to pay tribute to your father — a hero if ever there was one — makes this story an even more special one. And Kerkorian! My jaw dropped when I saw he was one of the ones piloting the planes!” -lt
Director William VanDerKloot discusses the shoot with President and Mrs. Carter on the soundstage at Magick Lantern.
The VanDerKloot team created a series of seven video installations for the renovation of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. The videos highlighted the work of The Carter Center around the world. Highlights of these include interviews with President and Mrs. Carter, as well as a discussion of the Iran Hostage Crisis with President Carter and NBC News anchor, Brian Williams.
Jay Hakes, Director of the Museum wrote:
“The new museum at the Carter Presidential Library has garnered rave reviews from many quarters, and your great films played a big role in this positive response. Your interviews with President Carter, Mrs.Carter, and Brian Williams significantly expanded the amount of content available. The films all have a sharp, attractive look to them. They combine substance and entertainment in a way that grabs visitors. We will be proud to show your films for many years.”
[ This one-hour television special tells the history of a secluded barrier island and how it became a modern day environmental oasis. The project aired in numerous North American and international markets and is now available in DVD and digital download.]
“CUMBERLAND: Island In Time” is an award-wining documentary that tells the rich history of this unique and wild place — from it’s earliest beginnings to its establishment as a National Seashore.
Located just off the East Coast of the United States yet, a million miles away, Cumberland has been a haven for pirates, prisoners, and Presidents. Perhaps best known as the secluded island paradise where John F. Kennedy and Caroline Bessette were married, the island has been home to Nathaniel Greene and the wealthy Carnegie family.
The film features rare never-before-seen footage from Carnegie family home movies and many unpublished archival photographs. It also includes footage shot on the island over a four-year period that shows Cumberland in all its wild and untamed splendor, throughout the four seasons.
Featured in the film are interviews with many people connected with the island, including the writer John McPhee, President Jimmy Carter, writer Robert Coram, artist Gogo Ferguson, historian Mary Miller, Georgia Conservancy founder Hans Neuhauser, and naturalist Carol Ruckdeschel.
Narrated by Grace Zabriskie Edited byAmy Linton
Original Music Score by James Oliverio
Written, Produced, Directed and Photographed by William VanDerKloot
Customer Review: “What a delightful and amazing experience to watch ‘Cumberland.’ I must say I was tickled, engaged and immersed in so many ways! While the cinematography presents a most remarkable perspective to the eye, soul and mind, I appreciate the EFFORT required for manufacturing: the endless bugs, the freezing wind, salt air and it corrosive effects on equipment, sand, vehicles that don’t go.
Bravo, bravo to your tireless intent. I am still jazzed by the energy of it all.” -GF
Afternoon shadows on the Cumberland beach.
Sound recordist David Terry and director Bill VanDerKloot on location in the marsh muck of Cumberland Island.
[This is a 30-minute television documentary about public art and its human impact. The program aired on PBS and was shown at dozens of international film festivals as well as hundreds of group screenings.]
“IRON HORSE”tells the story of a welded-steel sculpture of a horse that was placed on a college campus in 1954 — a first in a planned series of public sculptures. Its first evening on campus, it caused a riot. Over one thousand students defaced the piece and set it on fire.
This riot was an example of peoples’ intolerance to new and different ideas. “IRON HORSE” relates this to similar incidents throughout history where works of art have met with violent public rejection.
The 30-minute documentary program utilizes interviews, archival footage, and a dramatic recreation of the riot (set to Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”), to depict the way people react to the fear of something they cannot, or will not, understand.
“Thank you for your wonderful film on the Iron Horse… Most importantly, and the reason your film is timeless and worth repeated showings, are the clear messages that new concepts are so often feared by many and how crowd mentality can sweep people into hysteria.” -THG
“The film is EXCELLENT. I have long wanted to see this film and have had a love affair with the horse for 50 years. I feel strongly this film should be widely distributed.” -GV
For information regarding viewing copies of IRON HORSE, please contact:
Media Archives Archivist
Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection
300 S. Hull Street, Athens GA 30602
p. 706-542-1971 e.
Director Bill VanDerKloot discusses a shot with AD Toby Murphy, script supervisor Annette Haywood, and sound recordist Jim Hawkins.
Dolly grip John Kelly and Bill VanDerKloot during the recreated riot sequence in IRON HORSE.
Crew sets up for an interview with UGA Art Department Chair Lamar Dodd.
TIME AND DREAMS was created in 1989 for Atlanta’s bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. When completed, it was taken by Billy Payne & Company and shown in movie theaters around the world during the Olympic bidding process.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Billy Payne, Andrew Young, Doug Gatlin, Ginger Watkins and many others, Atlanta was successful in hosting the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. This event literally changed the international face of the City of Atlanta. We were glad to have played a part in this success.
TIME and DREAMS has been recently remastered in high-definition.