Seeing Willapa: Local filmmaker creates vision of Willapa Bay in new documentary

Student filmaker Justin Campbell focues on "The Oystermen of Willapa Bay" in a documentary that will shown locally this week. DAMIAN MULINIX photo

OCEAN PARK - As the TV screen goes from fuzzy to blue you begin to see the aerial vistas and smooth waters of Willapa Bay. A figure silhouetted against a reflection of pink and purple skies as he digs oysters in tidewaters. These are the openings scenes of "The Oystermen of Willapa Bay."

The new documentary, to be screened at the Oysterville schoolhouse on Friday at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., brings to life the people and places that make up the local oyster industry. It is the efforts of local student filmmaker Justin Campbell. The 39-year-old Campbell has worked on his film for over a year, which began as a short for a class at Evergreen State College. Campbell has lived on the Peninsula on-and-off for the past 20 years, most of that time spent in Seattle, where he worked for five years as a buyer for a natural foods store and another two years as a sales and distribution representative for Odwalla juices. This was until the E. coli crisis at Odwalla in late 1996. It was after the fallout at his job that Campbell decided to come back to the coast to help his mother, who had been both working and trying to care for her ailing mother. "I really felt like I needed to come back," said Campbell, "Mother really needed my help."

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