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The making of CAROLINA CAUGHT

Mark Adams filming the "Miss Candace" shrimp boat near McClellanville, South Carolina for CAROLINA CAUGHT

    When it came time to make another documentary for ETV’s CAROLINA STORIES, I wanted to find a subject other than war or the military. Around the station I had become known as ‘The Military Guy’ due to back-to-back shows about World War I and II, and I kept getting suggestions for documentaries ranging from The Vietnam and Korean Wars to the problem with homeless veterans. I also wanted to keep away from historical documentaries. The majority of the footage for THE VANISHING GENERATION and OVER HERE, beyond the interviews, was old photographs and movie film from various archives. I wanted to shoot a documentary where the majority of the footage/B-Roll was shot by me and/or my EFP crew, rather than having to find and use 50 to 100 year old images.

      Amy Shumaker , Executive Producer of CAROLINA STORIES, approached me about a project that ETV’s President Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan wanted to do for a couple of years. Originally the crew at the ETV regional station in Beaufort was going to make a program about the South Carolina Shrimping Industry, but for several reasons never started it. I thought this would be a great opportunity to make a documentary about a current issue/event that I could shoot, and it had nothing to do with the military. It meant a lot of traveling to the coast from Columbia , early mornings and long days on or near boats, and possible sea-sickness, but I was looking forward to the challenge. Arthur Joseph and I became the team to film the documentary in Beaufort, Charleston and McClellanville, South Carolina.

Mark Adams films Craig Browdy with the HD camera at the Waddell Mariculture Center, while Arthur Joseph records the audio

      Once the decision was made that I would make this shrimp documentary, there was one last minute change to the production. Since ETV was making the switch to Digital Television in February of 2009, and would start broadcasting in High Definition (HD) along with the PBS feed, they wanted my documentary to be the first ETV production shot and edited in HD. This would be my first experience working with the new system and equipment, and the 30-minute program I made was CAROLINA CAUGHT (2008).

Mark Adams filming shrimp boats in High Definition from Hunting Island, South Carolina

    Both Amy and I agreed that we wanted to follow one or two families of shrimp boat fishermen, and in telling their stories we would also explore the state of the shrimping industry today and what challenges they are facing. In the documentary we told the story of Errol and Debbie Hattaway of McClellanville, South Carolina, and how today’s shrimp boat fishermen are becoming a dying breed.  

Broadcast Premiere was Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 9:00 p.m. EST on South Carolina ETV

CAROLINA CAUGHT won a Bronze Telly at the 31st Annual Telly Awards for Videography/Cinematography

CAROLINA CAUGHT won a Southeast Emmy Award for Documentary-Topical in Atlanta, Georgia on June 26, 2010

The Emmy that Mark Adams, Arthur Joseph & Amy Shumaker won for CAROLINA CAUGHT at the 36th Annual Southeast Emmy Awards

Click here to see the "CAROLINA CAUGHT" Trailer on Youtube

 

A film by Mark Adams

 

CAROLINA CAUGHT

Opening title by Christine Brouwer over the beautiful sunrise behind the "Betty H" shot by Arthur Joseph

 

Narrated by

Rudy Mancke

 

    The first Saturday of every May is the Annual Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet in McClellanville that marks the beginning of the shrimping season.

Mark Adams filming a couple enjoying locally-caught shrimp at the McClellanville Shrimp Festival

The view from the "Betty H" during the Blessing of the Fleet, approaching the priests and spectators at the docks

A Priest blesses the "Betty H"

      On Saturday, May 3rd, 2008, Arthur Joseph and I videotaped the Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet in McClellanville, South Carolina. I knew we needed two cameras to capture the Blessing of the Fleet properly, and Arthur (everyone calls him AJ) stood by the priests on the dock to film their perspective of the ceremony while I traveled on the "Betty H" with Errol Hattaway. This weekend was the first true test of shooting with the HD cameras, and we were anxious to get back to ETV to watch the footage. (At the time we had no HD field monitors, so we only had the Black & White viewfinders on the cameras themselves to see what we were shooting.) To our relief and amazement the footage we shot at the Blessing of the Fleet looked better than we imagined. Impressed by what these cameras could do, AJ and I were off to a great start shooting the first HD documentary at ETV.

 

Damaged shrimp boats washed ashore in McClellanville, South Carolina after Hurricane Hugo in 1989

     McClellanville is one of the last shrimping villages in South Carolina, located about 30 miles north of Charleston. Nearly destroyed in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo, residents not only survived the storm but rebuilt the town and its shrimping industry.  

Errol Hattaway, Captain of the "Betty H" McClellanville, South Carolina

        Errol Hattaway is one of the most respected shrimp boat fishermen in South Carolina. As a young man, he met his wife, Debbie, while working on her father’s shrimp boat and ended up continuing the tradition.  

A dolphin rides the waves in front of Errol Hattaway's shrimp boat "Betty H"

    Before dawn, Errol prepares the “Betty H” for another day of shrimp boat fishing to see if his 30 years of experience will pay off once again.

The "Betty H" leaves McClellanville at sunrise to begin another day of shrimp fishing in the Atlantic Ocean

Arthur Joseph in front of the "Betty H" filming the dramatic shot of Errol Hattaway's boat at sunrise

 

Arthur Joseph piloting his boat and filming at the same time to capture the "Betty H" leaving McClellanville early in the morning

Mark Adams (in the doorway to the pilot house) filming the sunrise on the "Betty H"

"Betty H" Deck Hand Julius Geathers prepares for another day of shrimp fishing in the early morning light

Mark filming Julius Geathers on the "Betty H" at sunrise

    The most memorable day of shooting was June 20th, 2008 - the day we went fishing on the "Betty H" with Errol Hattaway. (In a strange twist of fate, it was also my wedding anniversary and AJ's birthday.) We were lucky for several reasons...the weather turned out to be perfect for our shoot. Clear skies helped with a beautiful sunrise and sunny day, as well as cooler temperatures meant we weren't exposed to the full force of heat and humidity that usually happens in South Carolina during the summer months. AJ was able to bring his own personal boat, which meant he could follow the "Betty H" and film the dramatic establishing shots at the same time that I was filming on the shrimp boat. I really felt that AJ saved the day by not only bringing his boat, but capturing some of the most beautiful shots of the "Betty H" in the early morning light and incredible footage from his perspective of Errol and Julius working on the rear deck.

Click here to see the footage shot on the Betty "H" on June 20th, 2008 on Youtube

    Another way that we were lucky unfortunately resulted from the fact that Errol wasn't doing so well...According to both my schedule and Errol's availability, there was only one weekend that we could shoot all day on Errol's boat. We set the date for us to come to McClellanville months in advance, and when that date came AJ and I found out that shrimp fishing off the coast of McClellanville (and much of South Carolina) was so poor that many of the boats weren't even leaving the docks - including Errol. But he graciously agreed to take us me for the day, just so we can film for the documentary. Because of this we had a little more control over when we could leave the dock. Normally Errol leaves to go shrimp fishing before dawn, but we asked him to delay it long enough to get the dramatic shots of the sun rising behind the boat as it left McClellanville. Normally Errol has two crew members on board to handle the actual fishing duties, while Errol pilots the boat. He was missing one crew member the day we filmed, which worked better for me to capture Errol not only piloting the boat but going back and working with Julius on the nets and equipment. 

    At the end of the day a major storm was rapidly approaching  McClellanville (there were tornado warnings in Charleston 30 miles south at the same time) and we were racing to get AJ's boat out of the water before the thunderstorm hit. But it also provided some dramatic shots that I was able to grab at the last minute of shrimp boats passing the dock and heading into a really ominous looking storm cloud. We drove away in a downpour, with nearly 36 hours of footage from our two cameras, my sore shoulder from hand-holding the camera from 5:30 in the morning to 5:30 at night, and a cooler of fresh shrimp Errol and Debbie Hattaway gave AJ at a very reduced price. At the end of the day AJ and I were exhausted but excited with the footage we shot, and celebrated my wedding anniversary and his birthday at a steakhouse in Pawley's Island. 

 

    For generations shrimp boat fishermen have left their docks along the coast of South Carolina for the open sea to make their living catching what has become a favorite seafood delicacy.

 

Debbie Hattaway discusses her experiences in the shrimping industry

“These guys are a special breed. You can have the biggest catch of the day, and one of them will call and say they’re in trouble. They’ll all pull up their nets and go to them. You don’t see that in many places. I hate these guys but love them at the same time! (Laughs) They’re very special to me – all of them.” – Debbie Hattaway, Capt. Hatt’s Shrimp Market, McClellanville, South Carolina

 

Mark films a shrimp boat on the Harbor River near Beaufort, South Carolina

Mark filming on the "Betty H" shrimp boat leaving early one morning from McClellanville, South Carolina

 

Lantz Price, Owner of Plums & Saltus Restaurants in Beaufort, SC

“Shrimping has always been such a big part of this community because the shrimpers are a big part of this community…I think if you ever meet a shrimper and his family – they are so wonderful and special. It is so interwoven with the culture of this area that it’s a key aspect as to why we actually live here. Every moment I get I want to be out there.” – Lantz Price, Restaurant Owner, Beaufort, South Carolina

 

Errol prepares the nets on the "Betty H" to be lowered into the water

    Stopping briefly just outside of McClellanville, Errol moves the nets into position. With one man short on his crew today, Errol has to pilot the boat and help deck hand Julius Geathers work the elaborate system of winches and pulleys. Even with decades of experience, it’s a two man job.

 

Errol watches the nets in the water as the "Betty H" begins trawling in the Atlantic Ocean

    Once the nets are dropped into the open sea, they will drag them behind the “Betty H” for several hours hoping to catch some shrimp.

 

Mark films Errol and Julius on the deck of the "Betty H" on the Atlantic Ocean

    As Errol struggles to find shrimp on this particular day, the shrimping industry struggles to survive increasing obstacles from over seas, and here in South Carolina.

 

Steve Kerchner on his shrimp boat "Poor Boy" near Beaufort, South Carolina

“I think there’s a whole lot of people who use to think when you came to the coast you got fresh local shrimp, and they don't most of the time, but hopefully they’re educated now. About 90 percent of shrimp consumed in the United States is imported.” – Steve Kerchner, Captain of the “Poor Boy”, Beaufort, South Carolina.  

The "Ms. Shirley Mae" trawling off the coast of South Carolina

Arthur Joseph prepares for Amber Von Harten's interview

Amber Von Harten discusses the challenges the shrimping industry faces on a dock near Beaufort, South Carolina

“The main change we’re facing in the shrimping industry today is that shrimp is no longer a luxury item, it has become a commodity. More and more people are demanding shrimp – it has become the number one seafood in the country. In 2001 there was a flood of imported shrimp (from countries such as China, Brazil, Vietnam and Thailand) that caused the price of shrimp to drop dramatically, to prices from the 1950’s and 60’s. Less than a dollar a pound for shrimp sometimes. And that makes it very difficult for shrimpers to make a living. The next thing are the skyrocketing fuel prices we’re seeing this summer. With diesel approaching five dollars fishermen are trading shrimp for fuel, and they can’t make a living that way. The last thing is the changing uses of our waterfront property. The Coastline is being developed for residential and commercial use, and a lot of these docks are going away creating a lack of infrastructure.” – Amber Von Harten, Fisheries Specialist with the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, Beaufort, South Carolina

 

Steve Kerchner, Captain of the "Poor Boy", talks about the challenges he faces as a shrimp boat fisherman

“I don’t think you can charge enough for the shrimp to justify burning fuel at the current cost of fuel. The numbers just don’t work out. You can have as good of a year as I ever had in this business at this fuel price, and it would be only average. And in this business, you have to have extremely good years to make up for the below average years. And if you don’t have those extremely good years you’re not going to stay in business.” – Steve Kerchner, Captain of the “Poor Boy”, Beaufort, South Carolina.

Arthur Joseph prepares the cameras for Steve Kerchner's interview on the bow of the "Poor Boy"

 

    With the decline in shrimp boat fishing and an increase in imported shrimp, some people are hoping to revive the local shrimping industry with a new approach. At the Waddell Mariculture Center near Bluffton, research is underway to develop new technologies for seafood production. One of these innovations is a land-based system that is the next generation beyond pond-raised shrimp.

Craig Browdy describes the new aquaculture technologies developed for raising shrimp on farms

The cameras, lights and microphone are in place to record Craig Browdy's interview at the Waddell Mariculture Center

“We’ve been working here at the Waddell Mariculture Center to develop aquaculture technologies for shrimp…Based on the chicken farming industry, we’ve tried to find ways to grow shrimp smarter and better than anywhere else in the world.” – Craig Browdy, Senior Marine Scientist, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and Assistant Director, Marine Resources Research Institute

Craig Browdy explains the prototype greenhouse for the next generation of shrimp farms

Arthur Joseph prepares the cameras to record the interview with Al Stokes at the Waddell Mariculture Center

“One of the benefits of this system is that you’re not locked into being near sea water. You can haul everything inland, make your own salt water and move it closer to your markets. This provides a fresh product year round at a good price because you’re not competing with the frozen import product.” – Al Stokes, Manager of the Waddell Mariculture Center for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

For more information on the Waddell Mariculture Center visit:

http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/mrri/waddell/index.html

 

A bowl of pond-raised shrimp imported from Thailand bought in a local grocery store

Mark prepares to film the shrimp cooked by his wife, Tracy, in her parent's kitchen in Columbia, South Carolina

“Pond-raised shrimp is incredibly successful. The yield is so abundant, so quickly. It is just an inevitable consequence of what’s happening in the world. But if you were to ever take a pond-raised shrimp and eat it next to a locally caught shrimp – it is unbelievable the difference! It is so sweet to get a locally caught shrimp here, it’s like no other shrimp you’ve ever had before.” – Lantz Price, Restaurant Owner, Beaufort, South Carolina

    In order to help combat the loss of business to imported shrimp, South Carolina joined a group of states working to market the wild caught shrimping industry.

A Wild American Shrimp Campaign print ad featuring Steve Kerchner

For more information on The Wild American Shrimp Campaign visit:

http://www.wildamericanshrimp.com/main.html

 

 

Arthur Joseph filming Julius Geathers sorting shrimp on the "Betty H" from his boat near McClellanville, South Carolina

Mark films Julius Geathers and Errol Hattaway sorting the shrimp at the end of the day

Birds follow the "Betty H" as Julius begins to sort the catch of the day

    Errol and Julius begin the task of separating the shrimp before unloading at the dock. It was just an average day, and with higher fuel costs and the lower price of shrimp he’ll receive at the dock, Errol faces an uncertain future.

 

Mark filming the crew of the "Miss Candace" sorting shrimp at the end of the day near McClellanville, South Carolina

    With the ever growing demands of population growth, over seas imports and rising costs of day-to-day operations, the future of the traditional shrimp boat fisherman looks bleak.

The "Betty H" near McClellanville, South Carolina

“The shrimping industry will never go away. What’s it going to turn into? Maybe a boutique industry with only a few shrimpers who will survive through all of this will only be accepted in boutique markets. They’ll sell to customers that only want the highest quality products.” – Lantz Price, Restaurant Owner, Beaufort, South Carolina

 

Mark filming Steve Kerchner, Captain of the "Poor Boy", on a rainy day near Beaufort, South Carolina

  “Right now, I don’t like being pessimistic, but I feel like I’m just about out of a job. With the current prices in fuel, this is not a viable business. There’s no other way to put it. It’s sad to say but it used to be a great way to make a living. I mean, you had to work your butt off, but you had fun working, you really did. And when you did well it’s incredibly satisfying. I’m not saying you won’t see any boats working, you will see a few. But as a viable industry? No, it’s shot. It’s over.” – Steve Kerchner, Captain of the “Poor Boy”, Beaufort, South Carolina.

 

Errol Hattaway, Captain of the "Betty H"

Arthur Joseph talks with Errol Hattaway after his interview in McClellanville, South Carolina

“I think it’s got a good future. I’m hoping the fishing will stay here. It’s been here a long time. Maybe the price of shrimp will get up. That’s one thing we really need. I think fuel is going to be a burden for everybody. Those who want to stay in it will maybe survive. It’s going to be a tough battle to stay in it.” – Errol Hattaway, Captain of the “Betty H”, McClellanville, South Carolina

 

The nets are ready for another day of shrimp fishing on the "Betty H"

Errol Hattaway continues the tradition of shrimp boat fishing in McClellanville, South Carolina

    Errol Hattaway continues to do what he’s always love to do – trawling on the Atlantic Ocean for shrimp as others have done for nearly a hundred years. Yet as important as the shrimping industry seems to be to the character of the region, the shrimp boat fisherman’s days are numbered.

Errol and Julius prepare the nets for another day of fishing for shrimp

Julius and Errol start to haul in the nets on the "Betty H"

 

Mark films Errol & Debbie Hattaway in McClellanville, South Carolina

“I think if the shrimping industry dies you’re going to lose a heritage, a special heritage that you want the future generation to know about. And they’re only going to be able to read about it in books. They’re a dying breed – they’re special. They’re special men. They love what they do. They love their families, but they love the peace and tranquility of being out on that ocean.” – Debbie Hattaway, Capt. Hatt’s Shrimp Market, McClellanville, South Carolina

 

Errol Hattaway piloting the "Betty H"

“I think it’s something worth preserving. We’re trying to sell a good product – something that’s good for you and it’s always been here. But I still think the domestic shrimp industry can survive, and I really think we need it. It’s jobs, on the boats and people making nets, workers at the docks, in the restaurants…right down the line. It’s going to hurt everybody.” – Errol Hattaway, Captain of the “Betty H”, McClellanville, South Carolina  

Shrimp boats at sunset in Port Royal, South Carolina

Mark filming the shrimp boats at sunset for the ending credits of CAROLINA CAUGHT

 

 

Produced, Written, Directed & Edited by

Mark Adams

Mark editing CAROLINA CAUGHT in ETV's new HD editing suite

Mark editing CAROLINA CAUGHT on the HD Avid editing system

 

Narrator

Rudy Mancke

Rudy Mancke, former host of ETV's NATURE SCENE, records his narration for CAROLINA CAUGHT

 

 

Videographers

Mark Adams

Arthur Joseph

Mark Adams behind the wheel of the "Betty H" after taking a break from filming all day on the shrimp boat for CAROLINA CAUGHT

Arthur Joseph filming shrimp boats in High Definition from Hunting Island, South Carolina

 

Production Assistant

Will Joseph

 

1989 Aerial footage of McClellanville after Hurricane Hugo

Allen Sharpe

 

Opening Title

Christine Brouwer

 

On-Line Editor

Danielle Kent  

 

Post-Production Engineer

Ben Wilson

 

Production Manager

Keith Galloway

 

Executive Producer

Amy Shumaker  

Vice President for Content

Kerry Feduk

 

 

Television Commercial and Printed Material provided by

Wild American Shrimp, Inc.

 

 

Special thanks to

 

Jane Webb,

South Carolina Shrimpers Association

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

Amber Von Harten,

South Carolina Sea Grants Consortium

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

Errol, Deborah & Christina Hattaway,

Capt. Hatt’s Shrimp Market

McClellanville, South Carolina

 

Steve Kerchner,

St. Helena, South Carolina

 

Lantz Price,

Plums & Saltus Restaurants

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

Al Stokes, Craig Browdy & Beth Thomas,

The Waddell Mariculture Center

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Bluffton, South Carolina

 

Arthur Joseph

Martha Fowler   

Jim McMahan

South Carolina ETV

Columbia, South Carolina

 

Rob Lewis

South Carolina ETV

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

Hunting Island State Park

Beaufort County, South Carolina

 

Mike & Nancy Strailey

Tracy & Morgan Adams

Columbia, South Carolina

 

Capt. Hatt’s would like to thank

The Crab Pot, McClellanville, South Carolina

Locklears, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Jasmine Porch, Kiawah, South Carolina

for their support

 

Shrimp culture research at the Waddell Mariculture Center has been supported by grants from the USDA CSREES US Marine Shrimp Farming Program, The USDA National Organic Program, The National Institute of Standards and Technology, The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and the NOAA National Marine Aquaculture Initiative.

 

An ETV Station ID using footage of the shrimp boats at sunset shot by Mark Adams for CAROLINA CAUGHT

 

Comments about CAROLINA CAUGHT after the premiere broadcast on February 19, 2009:

 

"Fantastic !! When will it air again? I think it was a wonderful job by all involved and I hope that not only will it be aired again, but that you will also do a follow up." - Johnny Lee Howie, Lowesville, NC

 

"The film was excellent, thanks for all your hard work, I sure appreciate it. The points we had hoped would be made were definitely well made. Lantz was really good, too, I'll have to hunt him up tomorrow to thank him. I've known him a long time, he's a hard working man. Again, thanks for all your work, we enjoyed watching it. My better half, or I should say my better 5/8ths, was laughing about my ragged shirt - that was pretty funny. LOTS of folks have had good things to say about it." - Steve Kerchner, Beaufort, SC

 

"Just wanted to let you know I thought the program turned out great! Beautiful footage and good coverage of all the relevant topics facing the industry. Thanks so much for involving me in the project!" - Amber Von Harten, Beaufort, SC

 

"I have had people calling all day saying how good it was - that it was really honest and from the heart." - Debbie Hattaway, McClellanville, SC

 

"Loved it!!! We have had more people say the same! We really appreciate all that you have done!!!" - Tallulah Trice, Waddell Mariculture Center, Bluffton, SC

 

"We loved the show and commend you on a job very well done! I got a couple of excited phone calls from friends who were watching and were surprised to see me in it. Thank you for my few minutes of fame!" - Jane Webb, Beaufort, SC

 

"I really enjoyed the shows despite the glitches. (An Amber Alert interrupted the broadcast for a couple of minutes.) Congratulations on an excellent job. The HD is just magnificent." - Craig Browdy, Charleston, SC

Arthur Joseph, Debbie Hattaway, & Mark Adams reunite 1 year after filming CAROLINA CAUGHT for a special episode of THE BIG PICTURE on the 20th Anniversary of Hurricane Hugo (6/16/09)

Mark Adams, Errol Hattaway, & Arthur Joseph in front of the "Betty H" 1 year after filming CAROLINA CAUGHT to talk about Hurricane Hugo for THE BIG PICTURE (6/16/09)

Mark Adams showing CAROLINA CAUGHT to Mike Sullivan in the FRONTLINE Viewing Room at WGBH in Boston, MA for the CPB/PBS Producers Workshop 2009 (6/25/09)

 

Rudy Mancke & Mark Adams standing next to the "Betty H" in McClellanville, SC while they were shooting ETV's PROJECT DISCOVERY (10/6/09)

Mark Adams at the 2010 Southeast Emmy Awards (6/26/10)

The Emmy awarded to CAROLINA CAUGHT at the 36th Annual Southeast Emmy Awards (6/26/10)

Amy Shumaker and Mark Adams accepting the Emmy for CAROLINA CAUGHT at the 36th Annual Southeast Emmy Awards (6/26/10)

Amy and Mark with the Emmy for CAROLINA CAUGHT (6/26/10)

Matt Burrows accepting the Emmy Award for his documentary INCIDENT AT MARS BLUFF - ETV won a total of four Emmys at the 2010 Southeast Emmy Awards (2010)

Mark Adams with his Emmy for CAROLINA CAUGHT at the 2010 Southeast Emmy Awards (6/26/10)

Arthur Joseph holding the Emmy for CAROLINA CAUGHT (6/28/10)

Mark Adams and Arthur Joseph with the Emmy for CAROLINA CAUGHT (6/28/10)

    In the Fall of 2010 Arthur Joseph and Mark Adams received a phone call from Debbie Hattaway with some bad news...this resulted in Mark making another documentary as an update to CAROLINA CAUGHT...

Click here for the making of CAROLINA CAUGHT: two years later

 

 

If you have questions or comments, contact Mark@AdamstarPictures.com

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