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The River Runs Through This


How it all began…

Caroline and I have all of Ian Coristine’s books. We hadn't met Ian but I was always envious when his Challenger ultralight flew ‘low and slow’ over our part (The Lake Fleet Group) of the River.  My Island-photography efforts have always been from ground level and I simply loved what he was able to do.

Interestingly, it was a photo I took of the sky, Ian’s usual domain, that introduced us and sent us off on this most fascinating adventure into new-age storytelling.

With all the River people involved, we now refer to all this as “The River Runs Through This”.

Susie Smith, editor of TI Life, got us together last fall. She had asked her readers for a suitable picture as part of an end-of-year poster for TI Life. I sent her a picture of a River night sky and before long I got a call from Ian. He liked my picture, called it “Starry, starry night” and importantly saw my website url alongside it.

I was unaware that Ian had written his memoir and was looking for an e-book publisher. He was familiar with “Our Choice”, written by Al Gore which at the time was the most advanced eBook available. It had been created by a group of ex-Apple engineers in a company they called Push Pop Press. When Mark Zukerberg at Facebook bought Push Pop for Facebook’s exclusive use, Ian saw his hopes evaporate.

Ian called and said, “Your website says you tell stories.  I’ve been searching for a digital publisher and I think I may have just found what I need, right here on the River!” He sent his manuscript, co-authored with Donna Walsh Inglehart. It was a great read and told us of his discovery of the Islands and passion for the area. Donna, an accomplished writer with two published titles set in the Thousand Islands (Breaking the Ring & Grindstone), had spent many summers on Wellesley Island.

Ian also told us about “Great Lake Swimmers” (a.k.a. the Swimmers or GLS), an award-winning Canadian band. In 2009, Ian had invited GLS to the Thousand Islands. They fell in love with the River and recorded much of their album Lost Channels at Singer Castle, St. Brendan’s Church, and the Brockville Arts Center. Ian also introduced the band to Brockville’s Simon Fuller and the Maritime Discovery Centre. Simon most kindly offered his tall ship, Fair Jeanne, for use as the setting for their video Palmistry. GLS recorded 18 instrumental tracks for One in a Thousand’ which are included with Palmistry and a second music video in the eBook.

If you know Ian, nothing deters him from the pursuit of perfection. The call I took from Ian, in December, started a process that has been full-on in pursuit of digital perfection.

Pretty quickly we had a full crew of River Lovers participating in making it happen. That’s why we now say ... “The River Runs Through This”!

Much has been written about the evolution of reading and The Economist of 30 Nov, 2011 says that with devices like the Apple iPad, and with the interactivity and variety of media offered, tablets represent the “Rebirth of Reading”.

The promise of the eReading experience is fantastic but the challenges in creating worthwhile experiences can be enormous. Initially, there was no software application that allowed great design, animation, video, audio, and interactive content, in one solution and in a unique way. For months we’ve had our team working, non-stop, to develop an application that integrates all the parts. Hopefully, our readers will feel that it is completely intuitive to use and fun to play with.

One in a Thousand has nearly 300 pages, with about 450 images, 20 minutes of video, an interactive map and 18 music tracks. We created the application to work flawlessly on the iPAD 1 and 2 and optimized the text in preparation for the eye-popping promise of Apple’s new iPad with the Retina display.

We hope you all agree that this ‘content-jammed’ application will provide hours of enjoyment (with feet up by the fire or lying in the hammock) and that it will take its place on the (digital) bookshelves, and laps, of all River lovers, as did Ian’s previous books.

By Doug McLellan and Caroline Yung

Doug McLellan – Founder & CEO, McLellan Group.  A bundle of joy from day one, Doug was born in northern Ontario in a small house with 6 siblings. Negotiation and cooperation skills were learned early. By age 18, his summer jobs had seen him develop diverse skills like swamp draining and underground hard rock mining. After attending University of Toronto, but being enamoured with the photo/film business, Doug joined CTV news and a few years later was traveling the country & the world for news and documentaries including CBC’s The Journal, PBS, CBS, National Geographic and others. One production, “Lives – Mohammed Ali”, was nominated for an International Emmy. Others like “A Million to One”, a documentary about Trivial Pursuit, kept him off the streets, having fun and learning more about storytelling. He earned his Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC) designation, formed McLellan Group in 1987 and now refuses to leave.
Caroline Yung – Partner & Vice President, Account Services McLellan Group.  Caroline was born in Northern Ireland and always thought it would be cool to be a Eurasian with an Irish accent. Unfortunately, that didn‘t happen as her family emigrated to Canada in ’67. A Ryerson University (Toronto)  graduate with a “there’s nothing I can’t do” attitude, Caroline enjoys growing plants where they shouldn’t and training her Chocolate Lab, Calli to deliver the mail at the office and fetch firewood. Vacuuming is next on her list for Calli. Having worked in London England handling global projects, Caroline brings enormous experience in account and budget management. Caroline is the McLellan Group lead in spearheading our pro bono work for The George Hull Centre for Children and Families, is a member of the Thousand Islands Association, a Soulpepper and 1000 Island Playhouse patron and mother to McLellan Group.

Editor’s note:  In February 2009 Doug McLellan shared Photographs in the Lake Fleet with TI Life.

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