Welcome to VideoTakes, my site for the work I do as an independent filmmaker. My most recent project, in partnership with writer Tom Horton and photographer Dave Harp, is Water’s Way: Thinking Like a Watershed. 

Millions of beaver ponds and dams once sponsored a lush mosaic of wetlands throughout the Chesapeake region. These slowed and spread and retained water flowing to the Bay from every creek and river, letting it soak in and percolate through the ground. Because beavers have been gone so long. — they were trapped them out of the Chesapeake watershed by 1750 — there is almost an ecological amnesia as to the benefits they conferred, the world they created; how the watershed ‘thought’ for thousands of years.

HerbertHerbert the Beaver stars in Water’s Way.  This film and other recent documentaries about the Chesapeake Bay watershed can be viewed at bayjournal.com/films.

Water’s Way had its world premiere at the Chesapeake Film Festival in 2021 and its DC premiere at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) in 2022.  It will air on Maryland Public television and be screened and discussed at numerous festivals and events.  If you would like to host a screening, contact me at scbrown@videotakes.com.

In 2020, we released our film Saving San Domingo. The half-hour documentary is a tribute to one of the nation’s oldest, surviving African-American communities, San Domingo, MD.  To view, go to
https://vimeo.com/513108513 or bayjournal.com/films.

Newell Quinton making scrapple in San Domingo, MD. The Quintons and others in this 200-year-old community are working to keep the culture and values alive.                                                                                     

What began as a chance discovery of the community by writer Tom Horton on a bike ride evolved into an intriguing, unique story about the descendants of Haitians who came to Maryland soon after the slave rebellion that freed slaves in Santo Domingo, the old name for the island that nows includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  For more, visit our film website: sandomingo.org.

In 2019, we completed two films that screened in the Chesapeake Film Festival in October and were included in the DC Environmental Film Festival’s virtual festival. Both films (A Voice for the Rivers and Nassawango Legacy), along with our film about Smith Island (An Island Out of Time) aired on Maryland Public Television during Chesapeake Bay Week and will air on MPT again this year.  All our films, and many of my previous films, are accessible via my Portfolio page.

To learn more about me and my work, please peruse this site. 

Sandy Cannon-Brown