The Sagebrush Sea

One of the most overlooked ecosystems on the continent consists of a massive sea of sagebrush that stretches across 11 states in the American West. Often called "the big empty" this wilderness is actually full of life. This spartan yet spectacular landscape supports more than 170 species of hardscrabble birds and mammals. Amoung those that have adapted to survive here are birds found no place else - Greater Sage-Grouse. These grouse lead remarkable lives, mostly hidden in the sage.

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But once each year, males emerge for days on end to strut and display as prospective mates for extraordinarily discriminating females, nearly all which mate with only one or two of them. Females must then raise their own chicks - on their own - with little food, water or shelter to sustain them, while plenty of predators wait for their smallest mistake. Today, they must also contend with wells and pipelines tapping the resources buried deep below. The sagebrush and the grouse carry on, but they're losing ground.

Working with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Allison Argo was co-producer and writer on the film.


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Credits

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Directors
Marc Dantzker
Tom Swartwout

Producer
Marc Dantzker

Writers
Allison Argo
Marc Dantzker

Editor
Tom Swartwout

Narrator
Allison Argo

Co-producers
Gerrit Vyn
Allison Argo

Executive Producer
John Bowman

Cinematography
Gerrit Vyn
Eric Liner

Additional Cinematography
Neil Rettig
Jeff Hogan
Joe Riis
Marc Dantzker

Aerial And Mōvi Cinematography
Skysight Motion Cinema

Timelapse Photography
Joe Riis
Nicolaus Wegner


Music Composition
Matt Hutchinson

Music Supervisor
Cary Logrande

Sound Recordist
Gerrit Vyn

Additional Sound
The Macaulay Library

Production Coordinator
Karen Rodriguez

Assistant Editor
Andrew Johnson

Production Assistants
Jamie Drysdale
Karleen Robinson
Nathaniel Taylor

Eagle Specialists
Joe Atkinson
Cordi Atkinson

Field Biologists
John Dahlke
Matt Holloran
Gregg Shedd

Location Advisors
Mark Thonhoff
Dale Woolwine

Map Animation
Pixelust Studios

Stock Footage
Nature Footage
Pond 5
Shutterstock

Online Editor
Joseph Bridgers

Colorist
Dave Markun

Sound Design & Mix
Dave Hurley
Andrew Bozza

Special Thanks
Barco Rent-A-Truck
Dr. Bryan Bedrosian
Betty Boehm
The Bureau of Land Management
Steve Chindgren
Tom Christiansen
Dean Clause
Annette & Ian Cumming
Stan Harter
Allison Holloran
Tom Kerner
Dr. Alan Krakauer
Ron Laird
Rom Maechtle
Dr. Gail Patricelli
Deborah Richie
Brian Rutledge
Dr. Hall Sawyer
Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
Jennifer Speers
Dr. Andrew Suarez
Chef Wendy Swartz
Wyoming Game & Fish Department