Instructor directs big orange giants


Story and photos by David Avis

“Rise of the Giants” is one serious pumpkin documentary. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will learn how to both pollinate and ride (pumpkin-pun) a pumpkin.

Clackamas Community College held a public viewing of the movie on Oct. 20 in the McLoughlin Auditorium.

Co-sponsored by the college’s Digital Media Communications and Horticulture departments, this film is directed by Emmy award winners Mark Devendorf and Daria Matza. Devendorf recently joined CCC as an instructor in the Digital Multimedia Communications department.This viewing also included complimentary pumpkin pie. That pie was said to have been delicious.

ROTG was a great example of a documentary film done right. The cinematography was diversified, yet simple. Nothing appeared over-manipulated or unnecessary. The overall atmosphere was quite emotional.

The best aspect of this film was its ability to continuously maintain the viewers’ attention. This was accomplished through the use of deeply personal interviews and footage from families and individuals as well as both dramatic and entertaining action to break up any slow points.

The film takes audience members into the home life of professional, family and even prison inmate pumpkin growers. It revealed how all of these people are actually connected in profound ways.

Viewers were not expecting to meet underground pumpkin growing communities who greet trespassers with loaded shotguns and guard the pumpkin patches with security cameras. They were expecting to see jack-o’-lanterns, pumpkin catapults, and 1,000-pound giant pumpkins. All of these things were delivered.

The audience laughed as they were educated in the field of pumpkin pollination. That laugh intensified when the soundtrack kicked on. The crash-course lessons in pumpkin transportation were also quite enjoyable.

There were a few tissue scenes and some moments of sadness as the movie reminded everyone that there are still many among us who are less fortunate and others who are misguided. But the positive side was seeing that nearly everyone from the physically impaired to the physically incarcerated can share one common connection to both the planet as well as each other, and that is the pumpkin.

Ultimately, the film left most with feelings of joy and amusement. It was educating, entertaining and enlightening. The movie is available on iTunes. For more information,



Clackamas Print