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The Power of Film in the Fight for Conservation... IT'S TIME TO FOCUS!
If we can raise the funds, the Wildeye Conservation Film Festival will be holding it's inaugural event at the University of East Anglia from 28-31 July 2016.
The vision for the annual Wildeye Conservation Film Festival is to not only provide an empowering forum for film-makers, web/broadcasters and conservation organisations to discuss better practices for conservation-related productions, but also to celebrate, and bring larger audiences to, those films which make a difference. Explore the site here: wildeyefestival.org
The Festival Directors are Piers Warren, founder of Wildeye and Wildlife-film.com & Jason Peters, editor of this newsletter! See what we have to say in our video below:
We really hope that past students, members and subscribers/followers and all will get behind us and the festival aims. We really need your support. Please.
We have some great perks too, including some Wildlife Watching Supplies camo scrim, exclusive ringtones from patron Chris Watson and Jez riley French and some sound equipment from Telinga and Rycote... We are also offering discounted membership of Wildlife-film.com and lots and lots of THANK YOUS!! :)
Our Patrons are: Stephen Fry, Michaela Strachan, Joanna Lumley OBE, Steve Backshall, Bill Bailey, Mark Carwardine, Virginia McKenna OBE, Lee Durrell MBE, Chris Watson, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Ian Redmond OBE and Richard Brock – Click here to read more about them.
Michael Rosenberg R.I.P. By Alan Miller
25 October 2015
Sometimes, you are blessed to meet extraordinary people whose force of personality and creative talent have the effect of changing the course of your own life. Michael Rosenberg, who founded Partridge Films in 1974, was certainly one of those people. A true maverick with a creative independence that inspired a great many in the business, Michael blazed a trail with astounding natural history films that won award after award. I believe Michael is still the record holder when it comes to Wildscreen Golden Panda wins.
I was lucky enough to be taken under Michael’s wing during Partridge’s golden age and became one of many recipients of his willingness to support and encourage. I joined Partridge as an assistant sound editor and left nine years later, a writer/director/editor. And that career trajectory is all down to Michael’s talent, support and friendship. Michael was also fiercely independent and showed enormous indifference to those who sought to creatively control him. I remember a FAX machine spewing out pages and pages of notes from American executives, changes to be made to a film still in the edit. Michael’s response to this long, intrusive document was to slide a wastebasket to catch the pages as they chugged out of the machine. I was also lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Michael outside work as we shared a flat in London and Bristol. The oft-quoted cliché about this arrangement was that I once said that he was the perfect flat-mate as he was either absent or unconscious. This glib but diverting line was not strictly true as we had many conversations over the finest wines known to humanity.
When Partridge outgrew its London base, Michael the maverick became Michael the mogul. He was the figurehead of a much larger ship sailing in much more expansive waters. In the early 90s based at HTV TV Centre in Bristol, a Queen’s Award for Export followed and both once competitive companies Partridge and Survival combined and became United Media. Michael’s retirement party in 2001 was a fine affair and it was striking to see just how many people there had been inspired and supported by this giant of the wildlife world. Unique is a word often overused. It’s a perfect word for Michael.
Michael Rosenberg died on the 21st October 2015 after developing cancer and suffering complications from pain relief surgery. Sincere condolences to Jenny and Cathy, his immediate family.
Shuklaphanta - Wildlife and People film By Fabien Lemaire
12 October 2015
Participate in the production of our film and finance the long search of the Tiger of Nepal... Shuklaphanta, Wildlife and People is a wildlife documentary of Fabien Lemaire. The shooting will begin in January 2016 in Nepal...
We leave to the discovery of a small paradise in the west of the country, despite human pressure, managed to resist. Over the seasons, we will discover the territory of tigers, leopards and rhinos. But our aim is also to meet the people of the region, understand the cohabitation between these saved wildlife and local people!
This area is exceptional on account of its many landscapes and its 600 species of animals, 22 of which are critically endangered (like the Asian elephant and the marsh crocodile). It may look like Africa and yet we are well and truly in Asia!
The Shuklaphanta Reserve is symbolic because it was the first national park created in Nepal in 1973... Without this decree, the forest would have simply disappeared along with its amazing wealth! Today, surrounded by villages and rice crops, it is protected by the army which is established inside the park itself to combat all kinds of trafficking! Human pressure is colossal and anything can still switch...
Shannon, Will, and Sam will each receive $3,000. Details about the Center’s annual Challenge Prize are on the attached flier.
A condition of the award is that all winners give an inspirational five-minute presentation in the Doyle/Forman Theater at a Center for Environmental Filmmaking event reflecting on how they will use media to change the world. Winners will have the opportunity to work with me to develop their presentation. Each one will be videotaped and posted on the Center’s website. The goal is to practice effective public speaking and inspire other students.
Shannon Lawrence is a MFA candidate in Film and Electronic Media at AU. With a background in biology and a passion for music, she is combining her interests in the development of her Master’s thesis documentary, Musecology. The film explores the intersection of environmentalism and music by through wood sustainability in the violin-making industry. By bringing awareness to these issues in this fascinating industry, Shannon hopes to enlighten general audiences of their cultural connection to the environment and the importance of environmental sustainability to human life.
Will Reid is a third-year MFA Candidate in AU's film program. He holds a BFA in Studio Art and has a background working in libraries, including briefly interning within Democracy Now!’s archives department. Will is interested in both the social and environmental issues that surround global inequality and sees the spread of both written and visual information as one avenue for challenging structural injustices. He is actively involved with Food Not Bombs, an organization that provides vegan food to people in need. For his thesis film, Will plans to explore the intersection of food waste, social disenfranchisement, and environmental degradation.
Sam Sheline is a second-year MFA Candidate in AU's film program. He comes to filmmaking as an avid environmentalist, outdoorsperson, and film lover. Sam's goal is to create beautiful films that inspire and engage a wide audience on important environmental issues, especially the loss of biodiversity around the world. For his thesis film, Sam hopes to canoe the Clinch River in southwest Virginia with his father, an accomplished canoeist, and use the trip as a lens through which to understand the area's rich freshwater biodiversity and the forces threatening to destroy it.
A 2015 World Tourism Award will be presented to Wildscreen on 2 November 2015, the opening day of the World Travel Market at the ExCel Centre, London. The annual award ceremony is sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, The New York Times, United Airlines and Reed Travel Exhibitions. Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor and world renowned travel expert, will host the Award presentation.
The distinguished 2015 Honorees, Wildscreen, Tusk Trust and the TreadRight Foundation, have been recognised for their commitment to conservation, sustainable tourism development, creating unique initiatives to bring the travel experience to people with special needs as well as assisting local communities in overcoming challenging times.
Wildscreen has won this award: "in recognition of its mission to encourage everyone to experience the natural world and help to protect it. Wildscreen convenes the world's best photographers and filmmakers with conservationists, creating the most compelling stories about the natural world."
The Award itself, Inspire, was specially designed and handcrafted on the Mediterranean Island of Malta by Mdina Glass, and celebrates the qualities of leadership and vision that inspire others to reach new heights. The Award will be accepted by Wildscreen patron, zoologist and broadcaster, Dr. George McGavin and the ceremony will be attended by the Wildscreen team and VIP guests.
About the World Tourism Awards
The World Tourism Awards, celebrating its 18th Anniversary, are presented annually at World Travel Market and sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, New York Times, United Airlines and Reed Travel Exhibitions. It was inaugurated to "recognize individuals, companies, organisations, destinations and attractions for outstanding initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry, and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to local communities" - Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor and host of the 2015 World Tourism Awards Ceremony.
Emmy award for Gwent composer after work on nature documentary...
A SELF-TAUGHT musician and composer who specialises in music for wildlife and children’s television programmes has won an Emmy award for his work on a BBC Wildlife documentary.
‘Brollyman’, as he is known in the music world and who would not divulge his real name to the Argus, was nominated for the US TV award and won the Emmy for Outstanding Music and Sound.
The 52 year-old, of Risca, said he was in ‘complete disbelief’ to learn he had won the award for his originally composed score for the BBC Natural History Unit for ‘Natural World – Animal Misfits’ a programme about creatures that have not followed the typical evolutionary route.
Directed by Gavin Boyland and narrated by comedian Bill Bailey, the show was well received in the UK before being sold to PBS in the US. It was the US version that attracted the Emmy.
“Receiving the nomination was one thing, but I honestly thought I had little chance of winning, so decided to put it to the back of my mind,” explained the father-of-two.
“I was busy focusing on my latest project, a pitch for Disney, and had forgotten about the award ceremony.
“One morning I was eating breakfast with my two sons when my wife put her iPad in front of me. I couldn’t see without my glasses so she pointed out the words: ‘Emmy’, ‘winners’ and ‘Brollyman’ I was in complete disbelief.”
A little later the confirmation email came in from the States.
“I still can’t quite believe it’s happened," he said.
"I am, however, incredibly proud to have brought the Emmy back to Wales.”
The ecological state of Ukraine is getting worse every year. Accordingly, health of the nation worsens too. What will happen if no action is taken? If we leave such a trace on our planet, there will be nobody to leave traces soon.
A little boy goes fishing and a beautiful day becomes a nightmare. I tried to use two themes to bring the topic to light. In one of them was a fishing boy symbolizing hope and the future, and the other was the hopeless surface of arid earth. I tried to imagine a sea consisting of mere lifeless images. So emerged “The Barb”.
Conservation Film-making: How to make films that make a difference A new book by Madelaine Westwood and Piers Warren with a Foreword by Jane Goodall
Never has the time been more critical for film-making
to help make a difference to the natural world From Wildeye
23 September 2015
‘For all of us who care about the environment and wildlife – and want to make a difference – this is an important book.’ Jane Goodall PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
A complete ‘how to’ guide, aimed at both film-makers and conservationists who want to use film as a tool for conservation
Covers all pre-production activities including how to raise funds
How to choose and use the filming equipment you need, plus a guide to post-production
Explores reaching audiences, organising screenings, using social media, monitoring effectiveness and ethical considerations
Features case studies from leading conservation film-makers including Mike Pandey, Rob Stewart (Sharkwater and Revolution), Will Anderson (Hugh’s Fish Fight) and Shekar Dattatri
Describes how organisations use film effectively in conservation; including Greenpeace, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI)
‘This book is of enormous value to everyone involved in conservation’ Lee Durrell MBE, PhD, Honorary Director, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
‘Conservation Film-making is a richly nourishing book, a professional tour de force, and a compelling argument that films, when made according to the best practices contained in this book, can make a huge and positive difference to the world in which we live.’ Professor Chris Palmer, Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking
‘This terrific book will become the bible for everyone determined to fly in the face of everything-is-wonderful-and-happy natural history programmes and show, instead, that conservation can be awe-inspiring and watchable, too.’ Mark Carwardine, Conservationist
‘Conservation Film-making is a detailed and well-researched 'how to' guide, but it is more than that – it's a good read! It should be read by everyone involved in conservation, to understand better how film could – indeed should – be used.’ Ian Redmond OBE, Chairman of Ape Alliance
To celebrate the launch of the book, for a limited time, we are offering FREE UK postage and reduced postage rates overseas.
Realscreen presents its report from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, where barriers to access for wildlife programs in Africa and a social responsibility contract for conservation-focused programming were hot topics among delegates. (Pictured: Jago: A Life Underwater)
It wasn’t all that long ago when the word “conservation” provoked an immediate negative response from most broadcasters, particularly during a pitch. But that was not true at the 2015 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival (JHWFF) – which ran from September 28 to October 2 – where conservation was a central theme, particularly during the three-day Elephant Summit.
The pachyderm-themed program – which took place from September 27 to 29 – was almost entirely dedicated to elephant conservation challenges centering on poaching, the ivory trade, the key role of eco-tourism and the twin impacts of the human population explosion and poverty on elephant habitats, ecology and behavior.
Blood Lions in association with the Born Free Foundation present the London premiere in November.
Tickets to the London Premiere of the film that blows the lid off all the claims made by the predator breeding and canned hunting industries. Followed by a Q&A session. 27th November 2015 at 7.00pm
- Doors at 6.00pm - £20 per ticket -
The Royal Geographical Society, London.
- See more at: bornfree.org.uk/blood-lions
Currently, almost 8 000 predators are being held in cages or confined areas, and none of this has anything to do with conservation. If we don’t act now, that number could well be over 12 000 within the next few years.
Facing the Wind's principal theme is a Kestrel that I repeatedly observed while driving across a stretch of Common land.
Mindful of the poem "Windhover", written by Gerard Manley Hopkins in May 1877, I drew comparisons betweens Hopkins words and the restraints and liberations of both his composition and the framing of a camera.
With almost serendipitous timing of John Cale's Sunday Service broadcast on Radio Six Music being aired the elements and structure for the film fell into place. John Cale's voice brings the film into the now whilst he car journey stitches these elements together.
Our last visit to St. Kilda was certainly without incident. After 'losing' our boat (too stormy for it to stay moored in Home Bay on Hirta) and thinking all the filming around the outlying stacs would be in jeopardy, on our first clear day, the Faroese lifeboat happened to be on a visit and hearing of our plight (there was a degree of diplomacy deployed - a distant Danish connection) kindly took us out to allow us to complete our filming. Travelling at 46 knots, what would have taken several hours of sailing was reduced to a mere 14 minutes and with GPS positioning holding the boat 'still' enabled us to achieve a difficult sequence of shots. With seats that essentially float, you never feel the hull of the boat bottoming out on the waves - remarkable and great for filming!
Simon Beer, Production Gear co-founder and gadget-loving nerd gets hands on with Osmo...
"I'm a big fan of technology and love technology that works. I've had gadgets in the past that on paper look great but in practice are total rubbish. I'm a long time fan of Apple products and still have my first gen blue imac at home. For me Apple gear works, it's simple and I don't need to fiddle around or tinker with settings to get it to do what I need - it's idiot proof and as I approach my 40th birthday I feel I need as much help as I can get!
DJI remind me alot of Apple products. I started my affair with DJI by building my own hexacopter, the F550. When the Phantom 1 was released I immediately bought one. The Phantom 1 wasn't perfect but it was simple, hassle free. Now two generations later DJI have nailed it, the Phantom 3 in my opinion is perfect. From the simple battery charging system to the ipad control it's the drone for the rest of us.
In the same vein the Osmo handheld gimbal is born. The first thing you'll notice is the build quality, the Osmo is very well made. It's not heavy but it has enough heft so as you know you are holding something well made and of quality. The camera that ships with Osmo is a newer version of the X3 found on the Inspire, the difference? The Osmo camera can shoot 120fps at 1080. This is big news in itself, imagine the Osmo camera on the Inspire drone, 120fps filming action sports. The Osmo gimbal will accept other DJI cameras like the X5 and the X5 RAW. You probably know most of this already though as the internet is awash with Osmo this morning.
Lets get down to the question you really want answered is it any good? In short, yes. The Osmo uses DJI's proven gimbal technology that is found on it's series of drones and larger Ronin gimbals. Devices that are used for broadcast and film work around the world on a daily basis. The real new is the handle, it's a way of controlling the now familiar Inspire camera/gimbal and it works very well. The front of the handle has a trigger that you double click to change modes. The rear of the handle has buttons for photo and video capture. Buttons aside the Osmo has a plethora of modes and functions, check these out on our website. As expected from DJI the Osmo is slick, it works and works very well. A silky smooth handheld gimbal, shooting up to 4K video. Should you buy one? If you want a lightweight, high quality, easy to use gimbal that works without fiddling about and balancing then definitely."
Sir David Attenborough is back on The Hunt for natural wonders
Sir David Attenborough has said he still never fails to get excited about working on new natural history programmes and has admitted he sometimes misses being on the ground during filming.
The veteran wildlife film-maker and TV legend is back narrating the BBC’s new landmark documentary series The Hunt, where he teams up once again with executive producer Alastair Fothergill.
As the title suggests, The Hunt is about predator, prey and the strategies both employ to survive, but it’s not about the kill.
“Every show you’ve seen about predators in the past, they’re always the baddies, they’re the villains, and it’s simply not true, they usually fail,” Alastair explained.
He added that viewers shouldn’t expect scenes of bloody violence and graphic bone crunching. “It’s not a sensational show about predators at all. David would never touch a show like that.”
Winners and Losers... How to turn Losers into Winners!
"The natural world is changing very quickly now. The clock is ticking faster and faster. Some species are winning, some are losing. Many people are trying to help – in some exciting cases wildlife is helping itself. My series “Winners and Losers” looks carefully with well-documented evidence at these changes – past, present and particularly the future. Using previously unseen footage from the recent past we bring the story right up to date and try to look forward as to the winners and the losers we might expect – and why. As far as I know, no one has done this so deliberately around the world with so many species and places. In the 50 shortish films recently finished we find many examples of winners, or, at least those trying not to be losers!" Richard Brock
New Book: The Shark and the Albatross - Travels with a Camera to the Ends of the Earth by John Aitchison
For 20 years John Aitchison has been travelling the world to film wildlife for the BBC and other broadcasters, taking him to far-away places on every continent. The Shark and the Albatross is the story of these journeys of discovery, of his encounters with animals and occasional enterprising individuals in remote and sometimes dangerous places.
His destinations include the far north and the far south, expeditions to film for Frozen Planet and other natural history series, in Svalbard, Alaska, the remote Atlantic island of South Georgia, and the Antarctic. They also encompass wild places in India, China and the United States. In all he finds and describes key moments in the lives of animals, among them polar bears and penguins, seals and whales, sharks and birds, and wolves and lynxes.
He reveals what happens behind the scenes and beyond the camera. He explains the practicalities and challenges of the filming process, and the problems of survival in perilous places. He records touching moments and dramatic incidents, some ending in success, others desperately sad. There are times when a hunted animal triumphs against the odds, and others when, in spite of preparation for every outcome, disaster strikes. And, as the author shows in several incidents that combine nail-biting tension with hair-raising hilarity, disaster can strike for film-makers too.
John Aitchison is a wildlife film-maker. His many awards include a joint BAFTA and a joint Primetime Creative Emmy, both for cinematography of the BBC series Frozen Planet.
'This is a lovely book, vividly written, giving us a fascinating insight into the world of wild life photography. It is a must for all those who enjoy insights into the natural world.'
- Alexander McCall Smith
'In a word, beautiful. John shares the experience of patiently waiting, then the euphoria of capturing the action; capturing the art in nature.'
- Bill Oddie
'These evocative stories are from the heart of the keenest observer, a skilled cameraman and a superb naturalist'
- Chris Packham
Ludo Brockway - A Cinematographer and Steadicam Operator for over 10 years and he has traveled the globe filming some of the Earths most wondrous moments; from earthlings to spacelings and everything in-between.
Lydia Marie Hicks - Cinematographer, Editor, Researcher. Portfolio: youtu.be/R3_e1ipS_Cc Camera Kits On Hand: Sony FS700, Canon 60D,
GoPro Hero 3 and 4, Nikon 300s (with underwater housing).
Rachelle Keeling - A creative and energetic Film Producer with 20 hours of programming and 7 years experience on various International High Definition documentaries for the likes of National Geographic. She specialises in blue-chip natural history, science and interview based documentaries.
Gabriella Kountourides - With a background in Zoology and now studying for her masters in Human evolution and Primatology at UCL in London, she is professional, enthusiastic and excited to develop her presenter skills in front of camera.
Dylan McAdam - New Hampshire-based but looking internationally for research or camera positions with natural history production teams.
Kori Price - Past Festival & Design Director for Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival which allowed her to hone skills and efficiency in graphic/web design, content creation, event/volunteer coordination, professional social networking, office supervision and more. No amount of chaos, deadlines or stress could inhibit her ability to excel with optimism, good humor and organization.
Gaelin Rosenwaks - An explorer, marine scientist, photographer, and filmmaker who seeks to share her passion for the ocean, fishing and the natural world through powerful imagery, words and adventure.
Gary Smith - Experienced at all stages of the production process, from storyboarding and writing treatments to filming, recording sound and editing.
Jorge Camilo Valenzuela - Director & Wildlife Filmmaker with 12 years experience in wildlife photography and a rainforest speciality.
Luisa Velez - Texas-based PA/Logistics extraordinaire. If you need a well versed Biologist to accompany you on a shoot, she's the one for you!
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Opinions expressed on Wildlife-film.com are not necessarily those of the producer.