About the Documentary
The largest bay in the United States is dying. But the Chesapeake Bay, once brimming with life and commerce, is not dying alone. It's taking with it a way of life for the thousands of watermen whose families have made their living on the bay for generations.
It’s not too late to save them both.
The Last Boat Out documentary weaves two tales: The inspiring story of a family of watermen tirelessly trying to preserve their life working the waters of the bay. It is also the story of a bay battered by development and pollution yet struggling to stay alive.
It is a story of neglect, mistakes, diminishing harvests, and development run amok, but it is also a story of hope and human determination:
About The Production Team
Sam Waterston, an Academy-award winning actor and activist, is the Narrator of The Last Boat Out. Waterston is perhaps best known for his portrayal of District Attorney Jack McCoy on the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, as well as for his Academy-award nominated portrayal of New York Times journalist Sydney Schanberg in "The Killing Fields".
Laura Seltzer is the Producer, Director and Writer of The Last Boat Out, which is currently airing on PBS stations throughout the country. The film tells the story of a family of watermen who are trying to continue harvesting the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Their livelihoods are threatened by diminishing harvests and relentless development.
As a native of Newport News, Virginia, Seltzer was inspired to give voice to the few remaining working watermen in her hometown.
Laura Seltzer has been producing, directing and managing the production of award-winning documentaries and educational programs since 1993. She founded Seltzer Film & Video in 1995 for the purpose of producing social action videos that inspire change.
Bob Kanner is the Editor of The Last Boat Out. He has been producing and editing projects for domestic and international clients for over twenty-five years. He has extensive experience editing in all formats including documentary, series and feature films. Kanner is also proficient in High Definition editing.
Kanner is Vice President and Senior Editor of Team Sound and Vision, the premiere Washington, D.C. based production house. He co-produces and edits award-winning programs for several documentary and entertainment clients. Kanner’s recent projects include Made in Spain for PBS, American Occupation for the History Channel, Eco Hotspots for the Voom Network and Animal Rescues: Hurricane Katrina for Animal Planet.
As Staff Editor for CBS News, Kanner was responsible for cutting feature news programming for the network. He edited the lead stories for the prime time news shows; Nightwatch, the CBS Morning News, the CBS Evening News and Face The
Kanner has received five Emmy Awards and numerous TELLY Awards for excellence in programming. His work has been recognized by NATAS and he edited the national Emmy Award-winning special Life On Mars for Cronkite Ward Television.
Documentary Credit List
Produced, Directed & Written by:
David Kenneth Waldman
Kristine Carney at Yellow Dog Design
Helicopter Pilot for Aerials:
Neil S. Kaye, MD
“When the Watermen Are Gone” by Selma Peterson
“Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel
Fiscal Sponsoring Organization:
Video Action Fund
Additional footage courtesy of:
Martha Ann Ashberry
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Family of Snooks and Bill Burroughs
Maryland Public Television
The Nature Conservancy
Newport News Television
The following have contributed to the making of this film:
Bonnie M. Atkins
J. Calvin Boyd
John M. DeMaria
Ruth Melzer DeMaria
Walter Gotlieb, Final Cut Productions
William P. Parker
Sally M. Seltzer
Steven Seltzer, DPM
Billy E. Withrow, Jr.