Documentary Treatment

I Am A Water Taxi Pilot 

In Indie Alaska, the only way to get places is by boat or plane. I Am a Water Taxi Pilot tells the story of Mako Hagerty, who loves what he does, but endures the sometimes treacherous waters to get the job done.  Go inside the life of Mako to learn the struggles and rewards of life on Kachemak Bay. 

The film will give some back story on Mako and how he got into the water taxi business. He was always a mariner but started as a commercial fisherman. When he came to Alaska, he dabbled in being a taxi pilot. Over time he grew to love the boat life and decided to do it full time. The camera will mostly be on Mako during the interview but there will also be a few voiceover moments. 

In the beginning of the film, Mako explains what it takes to do what he does. Through his explanation, it’s apparent that being responsible for the transportation of a community takes grit, love of people and love of the water. This is an interesting concept to viewers because most people don’t live in Alaska and have no idea what life is like in that environment, much less the jobs it requires. 

He goes on to explain the importance of water taxis and the challenges he faces day to day. Water taxis are vital to the community because people who can’t fly or have a fear of flying don’t have another choice. Also, planes in that region are limited to where they can land. The documentary would display scenic photos of  the Alaskan mountain range and ocean. 

Mako explains that rocky days are fun and excite him. The challenge of the job is what he loves. He loves the job because not one day is like the next. It’s not a typical nine to five, that’s why he loves it and why others don’t. 

The film will show internal conflict about recurring fears Mako has. The fear of drowning is the most notable fear he talks about. Viewers will want to keep watching and know more because of how common that fear is among people. For him though, drowning is a real fear in his everyday life. “I spend my whole life on water, so that’s probably natural,” Mako said. Although this fear is in the back of his mind, it’s not something mariners focus on. He does it to help his community and he has done just that. 

Mako is the only person that was interviewed since it is all about his own personal experience. At each scene and location, stills and video of rough waters, calm waters, the water taxi, and the mountains. The visuals would show viewers how monstrous the waters can be. 

The beginning section including introduction is about a minute long. After that, Mako talks about the what it’s like on the water, what’s fun, and what’s challenging for about a minute. For the next couple minutes he discusses the importance of his job and some personal fears.

In the end viewers can tell that Mako is fulfilled by giving back to his community. The beauty of Alaska helps him realize that despite the danger and chaos of the water, there is nowhere he would rather be. I chose to do the documentary on Mako because I love telling the stories of people who otherwise would never have their story told. Stories like these broaden our horizons and help us understand people different from us. After watching this documentary, people will have an appreciation for Mako and people like him even though they cannot relate to him in many ways. That is just what documentaries should do.

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