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Nick talks about his new film Know GMO, drought resistant crops, weed management and rational optimism versus irrational pessimism.


A 90-minute science-based documentary that shows the public what the words “Genetically Modified Organism” really mean; Know GMO examines the real world challenges of Organic food production globally. We want to know: has biotechnology contributed to global food security? Are new agriculture technologies actually decreasing disease? Are they conserving land? Can it all really be done in a sustainable manner? We’ve set out to improve the public understanding of sustainable agricultural tools spanning Organic and Genetically Modified food production all across the globe.

Know GMO is a film about different points of view. This film is really three films in one. It’s a story about Genetically Modified Food, and how it’s been setup as the antithesis of Organic Food. It’s a story about fathers and sons, how Director Nick Saik and his father, Rob Saik have taken on this project together, and must resolve their differing views on the world and its food supply. It’s also a story about truth versus belief. In today’s world, the speed of a conversation, and the desire to contribute to it, has taken priority over actively listening to an alternate view and understanding it. We’ve seen a general retraction from the knowledge that science has given us, and this film aims to examine and understand that retraction.

In all the story lines of the film the objective is to find truth and seek the understanding that comes when two perspectives can be reconciled into a common view. In Know GMO, we are trying to see if the values that lead to Organic methods of production have anything to do with the values that allow Bio-Technology (GMO) to exist as a tool in the food supply chain. This endeavour will take Nick, and Rob, to various agricultural centres around the world. They will gain depth in their understanding of the world ’s requirement for food. Agriculture in Hawaii, Kenya, Uganda, Argentina, all have specific needs and concerns to address, and they all have different views on the use of GMO technologies to help solve problems.

The film uncovers the definition of quality in food as it’s seen by different individuals, organizations, and countries. Understanding what quality means from different perspectives will allow Nick to reconcile the values of GMO supporters and Organic supporters. During this production it becomes extremely evident that there are positive attributes to support various viewpoints. GMO and Organic do not end up being mutually exclusive, neither do Rob’s or Nick’s ideas, and neither does truth and belief.

Belief, tempered with truth ends up showing Nick that his Dad’s ideas about quality in food are valid, and that conservative ideals cause quality to be seen in a certain way. It also shows Rob that Nick has an understanding of this GMO/Organic debate that came from a young liberal curiosity of the world’s food needs. A father and a son have found some common ground that not only they can comfortably share, but it might just have enough space in it for the rest of the world too. Know GMO aims to help Organic supporters and GMO supporters find enough understanding to contribute to solving the world’s food problems without so much fear in the discussion.

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Born in Alberta, Canada and raised in an agricultural household, Nick fostered an appreciation for the stories found in the Ag industry and began working with his father Rob Saik in the early 2000’s to tell the story of Agriculture through film.

After graduating in 2009 with an applied degree in Cinematography from Red Deer College Motion Picture Arts program, Nick co-directed and photographed a feature length documentary shot in Sudan called The Ladder of my Life, produced by Unveil Studios Inc.  Nick learned a great deal about capturing extraordinary stories with the smallest possible crew and dealing with less than ideal shooting situations – an experience that proved invaluable during the production of KNOW GMO.

By 2012, after much time working with small cameras mounted in interesting places, Nick developed an innovative shooting technique using GoPro Cameras mounted to hula hoops.  This technique gained Nick significant recognition in the GoPro filming community, and started a worldwide shooting trend.  Nick has licensed this shot for several different productions around the world, such as Adult Swim’s Off the Air – Body.

In 2013, Nick and his wife Toni moved to Vancouver to experience another facet of filmmaking. Nick completed IATSE 669’s Camera Trainee Program and spent time working on major productions in the Vancouver area as a Camera Trainee.  Having experienced the smallest and largest scales of filmmaking, Nick now had the perspective to choose a scale of production that best suited him and launched Nick Saik Productions. KNOW GMO is the company’s first feature-length film.

Today, Nick is once again based in Red Deer Alberta.  HIs experiences lead to the conclusion that his place is in the Prairies, and his passion lies in capturing and relating the rich and diverse nature of his home province, and specifically the Agriculture industry.