Beachwalker: Take Some Time to Shine the Shores

by Cara -

A non-governmental, non-profit organization, Beachwalker is a unique social network popping up on shores all over the world. Beachwalker's primary mission is to protect and clean the planet's beaches and shores, aiming to educate and motivate people to behave voluntarily and proactively in an environmental sound manner. A graphic artist and photographer for the german publishing industry, and avid environmentalist and nature lover, Dirk Rappold started the Beachwalker initiative in 2007 after being struck by the amount of pollution on the shores of his favorite beach in Kenya. One afternoon, he simply asked the many tourists and locals sprinkled along the beach to help him collect the rubbish scattered all over the shore, and with everyone's combined efforts, it took less than one hour to clean up one kilometer of the east african beach. It was that afternoon that Beachwalker was born.

Continuing his mission to clean up our shores, Dirk will soon begin a bicycle journey along the coast of Germany, from the Netherlands to Poland, approximately 3660 km. During his journey, Dirk will be documenting the pollution along the shores through photographs, interviews with locals, marine biologists, coast dwellers, tourism companies, and more, as well as through a regular podcast about the status of his findings via BoinxTV running on a 17" Macbook Pro, two Sony Bloggie Cameras, and Final Cut Pro. He will podcast from the beach as he investigates the status quo of sand/water quality, as well as the general state of the beaches.

I recently caught up with Dirk before he leaves on his Beachwalker expedition to discuss his use of BoinxTV and his hope for the journey...

When did you first hear about BoinxTV?

I remember seeing a boxed version of BoinxTV some time ago in one of the Apple stores in Germany, but it was more recently brought back to my attention thanks to the Mac App Store. When I had a closer look at the software and its capabilities, I thought it might be great for my podcasts.

What benefits do you think BoinxTV has over other video production software? Why do you choose it over other options?

Prior to using BoinxTV, I always used Final Cut Pro and Motion (and even Avid Studio in earlier days) to make my podcasts. However, BoinxTV makes it much easier to set up a toolbox of necessary elements, such as lower thirds, logos, and backgrounds, in advance. Then all you need to do is layer everything together in the appropriate sequence and start/end each element with the push of a button, which is very cool. BoinxTV has a very uncomplicated user interface, which makes it easy to understand and achieve the results you want. The integration of the iSight camera/external camera is also very interesting and useful for me, as it enables me to combine prefabricated footage with live-elements.

Can you walk me through your workflow with BoinxTV a bit?

Absolutely! Before I even leave home, I will create some nice lower thirds, titles, logo animations, and alpha transitions in Motion, and import them into BoinxTV so that my podcasts are nicely branded and ready to go.

The bicycle I will be riding along the coast is equipped with two videocameras - one on the handle bar and one on the luggage-holder in the back which can be moved anywhere on the bike and trailer. There is also a third camera that can be fitted with interchangeable lenses from my DSLR and Leica-m cameras. The plan is to ride the bike along the coast during the daytime, stopping every 5 kilometers to take samples of the sand, measure the water quality, and document polluted stretches of beach. Of course, I will be taking photos and filming as I go. I also want to meet and interview beach-relevant people like biologists, hotel owners, tourists, fishermen, etc. Then, in the evening, I will transfer the resulting files to my laptop and sit in front of the campfire or my tent and bring the prerecorded sequences/images together with some live footage and comments on my findings. This will all be done via BoinxTV and recorded to disk.

From there, I will publish to the warehouse folder of my webserver via my iPhone or, depending on location, public WiFi. From the webserver, the podcast will be integrated into my project's webpage. Finally, I will send out newsletters inviting my audience to have a look at my findings and reports on the status of our shores.

Dirk invites everyone to be a part of the Beachwalker initiative by visiting the website to find out what beaches need cleaning, keep up-to-date on news and data about the quality of the sand and water on any given beach, and keep track of upcoming beach cleaning events in your area. As the organization grows, Dirk hopes to connect with local media to get the word out about the status of our shores, as well as take his findings to schools and museums with hands-on labs and exhibitions. Beachwalker is a global mission to clean up our shores for future generations, and here at Boinx we are incredibly pleased and proud to be a part of such an immense cause. Stay tuned for updates on Dirk's travels and his podcasts via BoinxTV!

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