Waking the Mammoth

‘Waking the Mammoth’ documents and honors the mammoths and ancient peoples that roamed North America tens of thousands of years ago. When we filmed the 2012 winter solstice burning of a wooden mammoth built in Bluff, Utah by local artist Joe Pachak and other community members, Cloudy Ridge Productions knew that documenting the event was historically important. ‘Waking the Mammoth’ takes that winter solstice burning ritual many steps further, weaving it into the intricate fabric of significant archaeological discoveries in the region and the evolving debate surrounding a local rock art depiction of a mammoth that could date back 13,000 years.

New light is just beginning to be shed on the deep past of North American as scientists and researchers discover clues that reveal older and older occupations on this continent. Cloudy Ridge productions has brought together some of the foremost archaeologists, earth scientists, artists, and authors, (including award winning author Craig Childs), to share their knowledge and thoughts on this exciting field of research. Woven within the story, the subjects’ responses are augmented with stunning time-lapse photography and aerial footage of the beautiful Four Corners area of the United States.

  • Larry Ruiz
    Director "Death of Place" documentary
  • DavD Valentine
    Director of Cinematography
  • Larry Ruiz
    "Death of Place" documntary
  • Larry Ruiz
    Producer "Death of Place"
  • Craig Childs
    Key Cast
    "Death of Place"
  • Rich Friedman
    Key Cast
    "The Mystery of Chaco Canyon", "Death of Place"
  • Winston Hurst
    Key Cast
    "Death of Place"
  • Ray Kenny
    Key Cast
  • Joe Pachak
    Key Cast
    "Death of Place"
  • Don Simonis
    Key Cast
  • Scott Thybony
    Key Cast
  • Jonathan Till
    Key Cast
    "Death of Place"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Climate Change, archaeology, extinction, mammoths, global warming, pleistocene
  • Runtime:
    35 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    11,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Trindie Film Festival, (Waking the Mammoth)
    Trinidad, Colorado
    September 26, 2015
    Film Festival Premiere
    Best in Show, Gold Award Best Documentary
  • Depth of Field Independent Film Festival
    Web Based
    September 30, 2015
    Merit Award for Outstanding Cinematography
  • Durango Arts Center (Death of Place)
    Durango, Colorado
    March 20, 2013
    U.S. Premiere
  • Friends of Cedar Mesa 2015 Gathering (Waking the Mammoth)
    Bluff, Utah
    March 6, 2015
    U.S. Premiere
  • Durango, Colorado Premiere Screening With Craig Childs
    Durango Arts Center
    November 6, 2015
    Durango Colorado Premiere
Director Biography - Larry Ruiz, DavD Valentine

Over the last 37 years, the producer and director, Larry Ruiz, of Cloudy Ridge productions has established relationships with some of the most knowledgeable persons that are working to discover and preserve archeological remnants of the ancient civilizations throughout the southwestern United States. Through his previous film experience as a volunteer in the “The Mystery of Chaco Canyon” and his directorial debut in "Death of Place", Mr. Ruiz has also befriended talented professionals in the film industry who are dedicated to the production of this film. However, Cloudy Ridge Production’s strongest qualification for creating documentaries is the thirty-six year love affair with this part of the country; walking among the piñon trees and gamble oak, exploring faint remnants of prehistoric dwellings, hearing the whispering of ancient voices yearning to not be forgotten.

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Director Statement

Cloudy Ridge Production believes we have a deep preservation responsibility for this planet that extends far beyond the boundaries of our county lines. The films that we create help to extend that responsibility globally.