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The making of the documentary about bonsai and the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, Oakland, California, by Cole Mitchek.

Cole Mitchek is a director and cinematographer with a passion for inspiring others through movies. Originally from Colorado, Cole believed he could inspire others through movies in the same manner that movies have always inspire him. Apparently as a baby, Cole was always looking through the viewfinder of his grandfather’s VHS camcorder, and that that curiosity for movie making led him all the way up until the present.

Cole is mostly a music video director making videos for bands like Bombadil, Matthew and The Arrogant Sea, and Midnight Generation. However, he recently felt inspired to shoot documentaries on subjects that fascinated him but didn’t know much about. That way, as he was shooting the documentary, he was learning alongside the audience while they watched the edited final version. He shot a documentary that made it in to a couple of film festivals called “He” about my buddy who is transgender (female to male) and about his story of moving from Germany to the USA. “It’s an inspiring process, shooting documentaries, because it’s all about the journey and never knowing for sure what the end product is going to be.”

This all led in to a very special short documentary called ‘bonsai (tree in a pot).’ “I’d been visiting the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt for years and felt inspired listening to the volunteers there that had such dedication and love for their trees.” Cole found them to kind, generous with their time and sweet people. There was also a peaceful feeling he received that comes with the bonsai garden that he really wanted to capture. “The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt is located in the heart of the busy City of Oakland which is inside of the hustling and bustling San Francisco/Bay Area. But the second you walk inside the bonsai garden, it’s like finding a piece of heaven where the word Zen is personified.” Cole kept returning to the bonsai garden, speaking to, recording and learning from the bonsai volunteers, cultivators and master artists like Kathy Shaner, Bob Gould and John Boyce. Joe Byrd, Dr. John Nackley and Janice Engel also really helped to turn his short documentary in to what it is now with all their guidance and wisdom. “It was also amazing to have gotten the opportunity to use a few of Redding Hunter, aka Peter and the Wolf’s songs in the documentary. It was just a real honor to have gone on this journey and to have learned so much about the beauty and history of the art of bonsai.”

 bonsai (tree in a pot)’   Click the link here to see the video in its entirety.

To learn more about Cole Mitchek, visit his website at colemitchek.wixsite.com/movies.

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