Producer Yvonne Drebert and Director/Cinematographer Zach Melnick are the founders of Inspired Planet Productions. From their home on the beautiful Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula in Ontario, Canada, the husband-and-wife team have created more than 40 hours of nature and history documentary spanning two decades, including the 2021 Canadian Screen Award nominated series, Striking Balance. Driven by a profound concern for the global decline of freshwater ecosystems, Drebert and Melnick have embarked on a dedicated mission into the underwater world. Using cutting-edge ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles), they immerse themselves in rarely seen aquatic environments, capturing extraordinary wildlife behaviours, and even discovering the occasional shipwreck. Their mission is threefold: to inspire the public, deepen scientific understanding, and enlighten decision-makers about the freshwater ecosystems we all depend on.
All Too Clear: Using ROVs to Explore the Great Lakes
Documentary filmmakers, Yvonne Drebert and Zach Melnick, are using cutting-edge underwater drones to explore how quadrillions of tiny invasive mussels are re-engineering the ecosystem of the Great Lakes, at a scale not seen since the glaciers. While shooting for their latest film, All Too Clear, the team made an unexpected discovery – the wreck of the Africa. The ship was lost during an early season snowstorm in 1895, with eleven sailors aboard. In the summer of 2023 Melnick and Drebert found the wreck off the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula – to solve the 128-year-old mystery of what became of the Africa.