Peter has made a couple hundred documentaries, educational programs, commercials, music videos and dramas over the past forty years. Some were broadcast nationally on public television. Four of his productions have won awards from the International Association of Visual Communicators.
Along with all the videos Peter researched, wrote, directed, shot and edited for paying clients, there was also a steady stream of movies he originated and produced on his own, purely for the sake of exploring new realities. Some of these...
“The Gray Whale Expedition” is a PBS nature documentary set in San Ignacio Lagoon on the Pacific coast of Baja California. Peter and his wife Suzanne made this program back in the early 1980s, long before wildlife programs became standard fare on PBS and cable TV.
“Gimme Punta Rock” explores the diverse cultures of the Central American nation of Belize through their various forms of music. The film focuses on Punta Rock, the modern version of the traditional music of the Garifuna people of southern Belize, whose language and culture have African and Amerindian roots.
“Mecca” is about a farmworker community near the Salton Sea. Despite their poverty and harsh living conditions, the people of Mecca have a sense of dignity and community that more affluent Americans rarely experience. What are we missing?
“Orange Sunrise” is a lyrical account of inland Southern California's iconic citrus industry, which barely clings to life in the face of relentless unsustainable development.
“Pathogen” shamelessly combines documentary and fiction to explore the similarity between the way the rabies virus influences its host's behavior for the sake of its own propagation, and the way ideas do the same thing when they infect our brains. Peter shot some scenes for “Pathogen” in Frio Cave in West Texas hill country, home to several million freetail bats, many infected with rabies. The movie was inspired by Susan Blackmore's book “The Meme Machine.”
“Site / Light” is a profile of Ed Carpenter, an architectural sculptor whose monumental works adorn public spaces all over the world.
“Midland” and “Midland Stories” were made over a period of three years, about the small rustic boarding school Peter attended back in the early 1960s. Peter writes, “Midland School is the microcosm, the metaphor, the paradigm, the embodiment of what I find beautiful, sane, healthy, worthwhile and the direction I'd like to see humanity move.”
And now there's “Between The Tides.”
Bud came to Moss Landing from San Francisco State University to do his master’s work on “The reproductive cycle and juvenile growth rates of the Gaper clam, Tresus nuttallii.” Upon graduation, he took a job with Cal Fish and Game at the Monterey office, working for 10 years as project leader of intertidal and subtidal surveys of a proposed nuclear power plant site in Pt. Arena in Mendocino County, and then at Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County.
Some may also know him as the co-author, with Dan Gotshall, of a 1980 book entitled “Pacific Coast Subtidal Marine Invertebrates” – one of the first high quality photographic guides utilizing in-situ subtidal photographs.
When the Marine Resources unit manager position in Morro Bay opened up in 1980, Bud happily transferred from Diablo Canyon to oversee the Central Coast Marine Region which extended from Yankee Point in Monterey County to Pt. Conception in Santa Barbara County. Bud spent the next 10 years there, and in his view, it was the best job in DFG. He was able to dedicate a large portion of his time to doing some of the early work on and in the Morro Bay estuary which eventually led to its designation first as a State Estuary, then as a National Estuary.
Having nursed a long interest in civic engagement as an elected member of a K-12 school district and then as a trustee at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, in 1990 Bud ran for County Supervisor in SLO County, made the mistake of winning by beating the incumbent, and had to resign his post with DFG.
During his eight years in that office, Bud’s record includes a number of lasting accomplishments that matter to Central Coast residents. He worked with Leon Panetta and Karin Strasser-Kaufmann to secure the preservation of Sur-Sur Ranch on the southern Big Sur Coast. He provided active political and personal support on the southern edge of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary during the nomination process so that its boundaries would extend into San Luis Obispo County, just offshore of Cambria. His first legislative act after taking office was reversing an earlier zoning decision to develop the coastal bench north of Cayucos, his action leading to the preservation of the Estero Bluffs, an important breeding area for Harbor seals, and also to the creation of the Cayucos Land Conservancy. Finally, without Bud’s intervention in a mid-90s CalTrans project at San Simeon, there probably would not be one of the most successful coastal public access points in California – the Elephant seal viewing area just south of the lighthouse.
While he may have left the ocean as a marine biologist for another calling, the ocean has never left him.