What We Do

We produce motion pictures that explore the human relationship to the ocean and the outdoors.  Our post-production staff of 8 builds on an active network of outdoor field production personnel in 55 countries worldwide.  We have been ranked among the Global Top 100 Production Companies by Realscreen and nominated for Emmy awards for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Science and Technology Program.  

We are constantly driven to visually re-articulate experience through story, and to adopt new formats and tools as they appear.  In 2003, we created and developed “Experiential” or "Slow TV," born from our SUNRISE EARTH series (Discovery Communications). In 2007, we co-founded BLUEMARVEL, a distributor of Slow TV nature programming. Beginning in 2011, we've developed video installations for gallery exhibition and museums (Auschwitz Memorial Museum in Poland).  In 2015, we produced our first Ultra High Definition 4K on-demand video-streaming series, titled BIG PICTURE EARTH (CuriosityStream). Between 2012 and 2019, we developed a streamlined worldwide production workflow. During this period, on behalf of clients seeking web videos 3 to 10 minutes in length, we produced or licensed over 2,200 programs, at an average rate of 1.2 productions per day.  Our 2018-20 launches include the REELEARTH COLLECTION (61 films commissioned by Overseas Adventure Travel), our feature documentary BEHOLD THE EARTH, and a video art installation titled SHELLS.  Two longform films are in post-production for 2020/21:  THE MORTAL SEA and an ocean memoir with the working title of CURTIS ISLAND. Our most recent initiative for 2021-26 is the ArcticEarth Project.

In February of 2014, Compass Light Founder and Director David Conover launched the CONSERVATION MEDIA GROUP, a non-profit initiative working to support filmmakers, activists, and organizations who are providing sanctuary for marine life, reducing ocean plastic at source, and transitioning societies to a low-carbon and just economy. 

Compass Light Team

Production at Scale

  • A fully worldwide roster of over 55 shooters and field producers with whom we regularly work, with both local and english language capacities.

  • A custom-built "operations" proprietary database that integrates and tracks storyboards & creative briefs, schedules, shipping, contacts, crew assignments & hours, crew assessments, legal agreements, edit suite assignments, production status, music & stock footage assets, equipment inventory, human resource data, and media.  

  • A secure 3-tier media backup system (high speed online/nearline/LTO) for all media assets, including the LTO tier which is physically located off-site in a climate-controlled secure environment.

  • Can scale to as many as 7 onsite Adobe Premiere 4k edit suites, with 8 off-site edit suites

  • 100mb/s Fibre-Optic connectivity for same-day electronic media delivery

  • An onsite Voice-Over recording booth and audio engineering station, with onsite talent.

  • A network of translators for over 20 languages.

  • A Frame.IO online work platform for worldwide client reviews, collaborations, & approvals


Big Picture Earth

2015-16, 20 x 30 minutes, CuriosityStream Originals

Inspired by the Walt Whitman poem "There Was A Child Went Forth," this 20 x 30 minute series takes viewers on a visual exploration of the most majestic spaces on the planet, and allows them to engage both the detail and the big picture frame of these places.  The series is exclusively available to domestic and international audiences on CuriosityStream's on-demand streaming platform, in 4k resolution (twice that of HD television). The editorial style and pacing is slow and relaxed, constantly moving like a child, like a bird, like a bee.  There are no actors, no narration, no spoken words at all.   Because each episode in the series is on-demand, viewers can choose a version with natural sound OR a version with natural sound and music.

Canyons of the Ancient Ones, OkefenokeeThe Young Earth of the Reykjanes Peninsula, StonehengeThe Oracle at Delphi, Moods of Venice, Nabataean Lost Kingdom of PetraAlewives Eternal Return, Canyons of Time, The Acropolis of Athens, Terminal Basin of Mono LakeKatahdin Woods and Water, Fountains AbbeyShooters Island of New York City, Iceland Glacier LagoonCentral Park New York, Slot Canyons, Greatest Hits with Roman Coliseum, Cumberland Island, The Desert of Wadi Rum


America’s Land Trust Movement

Smart conservation of land, water, and habitat is extremely critical for a healthy future.  Much work towards this goal has been done since the 1980’s and 90’s when the American land trust movement was full-ahead and expanding rapidly.  But more work remains for the movement today -and into the future.  Arguably, the urgency is greater.  How to best communicate with the rising generations?  Digital Media is an indispensable storytelling tool, with a proven track record of engaging millennials and of re-engaging experienced members who have carried the torch thus far.  We offer an innovative and affordable 6-element media package to augment what trusts are already doing all across the country, called Expanding the Trust.  Demo below of clips from 4 BASIC elements:  "Our Trust" "Our Land" "Our Campaign" and "Social Media Clips," from packages produced for Northern Virginia Conservation Trust or Coastal Mountains Land Trust. 

Our Clients and Collaborators


In 2011, when unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) were developed in Europe to capture bird’s-eye perspectives, we began to commission the best pilots and aerial DPs we could find to develop this camera platform. We applied for -and received- the first FAA exemption in Maine for commercial operation of drones for film. Our pilots are established in the aviation community; with certifications that range from full-sized 747s and helicopters to small fixed-wing private planes. At a minimum, we fly in teams of two: one pilot and one aerial DP. Our safety and creative record speaks for itself. We have successfully filmed UHD 4K aerial footage at sensitive World Heritage Sites like Auschwitz (Poland), Stonehenge (UK) and Petra (Jordan), and have captured the isolated quiet of a vessel off the Canary Islands and steaming volcanism of the Reykjanes Peninsula.  

Our primary aircraft consists of a CineStar-X8 MK Heavy Lift RTFs, with MOVI-10 stabilization. We also have Phantom small craft. The 11 pound payloads of the Cinestar-X8 4K range from our RED Epic Dragon to a PANASONIC GH4.

We have established active relationships with multiple UAV teams overseas who have helped us set our standards of safety and quality in aerial cinematography. Our three most active are: Dave Halton and Stephen Draper of AerialVue, Radek Matus and Pawel Nazaruk of HeliDog, and Marko Butrakovic and Robert Godrijan of Craft.  Each flies with their own aircraft.  All of our crews can breakdown, rebuild, and maintain their own equipment.

Contact Us

Interested in hearing more about our work, commissioning us for projects or learning about job opportunities at Compass Light?


(207) 236-2078

PO Box 1203
Camden, ME 04843