Shane’s films—which also include A River’s Last Chance and Behind the Emerald Curtain—are centered on loss and/or the imminent threat of it. With a blend of cultural perspectives, historical information and scientific data, his pieces are educational in nature. However, through Shane’s storytelling, cinematography and editing they also serve as works of art. Like a composer or songwriter, Shane creates a cadence that’s easy to follow, guiding viewers through a digestible narrative that’s moved by the scenery—from sweeping aerials with big-picture angles to ethereal-like zoom shots that tune into the small nuances all around: back-lit cedars, slo-mo water slinging from a spey line, gliding salmon on an underwater current.
They complete a picture of what we have to lose in this world. And not just in the literal sense. With Shane’s films, there’s a deep sense of losing something poetic. With nature, we would be losing our souls.
Asked about new regulations on the Olympic Peninsula, which restrict fishing from a boat among other things, Shane thinks they are a great start. “It’s stuff that I’ve been trying to advocate for the past nine years. For many others it’s been over 20. But it took a crisis to get implemented.”
Looking off into the distance for a moment, he continues, “What I think we really need is more adaptive management in being able to call things as they are. If it looks like the season is not even going to support that, then we need to shut it down,” adding it’s going to happen inevitably. “I’m very confident there will be an endangered species listing in the near future, meaning we have just a few years till steelhead get listed and we shut down, something we should have done 15 years ago. We’re just constantly playing catchup because nobody wants to change, everyone wants to bitch and moan about their rights and lost opportunities. But it’s all heading in the same direction. Either we address it now or it just gets shut down and everybody loses.”