Under the Radar

In the frontier days of the digital revolution, a team of Canadian engineers raced against NASA to be the first to design a computer processor that could transform satellite radar data into images of the earth’s surface.

Creative team

Writers: Erin Cumming, Catharine Parke, David Ozier
Director/producer: Erin Cumming

Filmmaker’s statement

Making Under the Radar was challenging on a couple of fronts. First, the process of distilling a highly technical and complicated story down to a 10-minute film that non-engineers can understand was tricky. Second, I had the added pressure of making a film about a close family member – my dad!

In the end, my dad loves the film (phew!) and we think it’s a great piece of Canadian history that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.

About Erin Cumming

Erin Cumming

I studied documentary film production and post-production at Capilano College from 2001 to 2003. I worked for several years at EyeSteelFilm in Montreal.

Since moving back to Vancouver in 2005, I have worked as an editor on several large budget factual TV series like Ice Pilot and Highway Thru Hell with Vancouver’s finest production companies like Omni Films, Great Pacific Media and Paperny Films. My work has garnered me a best editing award from the Canadian Cinema Editors.

I recently made the leap from the edit suite into the field by directing two documentary shorts. At first I was nervous about the shift in roles from editor to director, but once on set I realized my editing experience provided a bedrock of knowledge, and instinct took over immediately.

As a result I have two projects under my belt that I am extremely proud of. Under the Radar is about some groundbreaking work my father did in the seventies that pitted his engineering team against NASA.

The Apprenticeship of Raffael Cocco is about the quirky and emotional relationship between a father-son duo of bespoke tailors in Burnaby, BC.

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