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Happy 90th Birthday Sir David Attenborough!
David Attenborough turns ninety this month, on the 8th of May. He has been a huge inspiration to us and we expect to all of you too and so we wish him a very happy birthday and will look forward to seeing his continued great work as he enters his tenth decade! Thank you for all you've given to us Sir David!!
Wonders will never cease - The BBC celebrates Sir David Attenborough on his 90th birthday:
A celebration of Sir David Attenborough's extraordinary career in natural history: 7 May 2016 - 17 May 2016
In celebration of his ninetieth birthday, Sir David Attenborough shares extraordinary highlights of his life and career with broadcaster Kirsty Young, including the inspiring people he has met, the extraordinary journeys he has made and the remarkable animal encounters he has had across the globe.
Joined by colleagues and friends, including Michael Palin and Chris Packham, Sir David shares some of the unforgettable moments from his unparalleled career, from capturing unique animal behaviour for the first time to the fast-paced advances in wildlife filming technology, as well as stories of the wonder and fragility of the natural world - stories that Sir David has spent his life exploring and championing.
Attenborough at 90 will be broadcast on BBC One at 7pm on Sunday the 8th of May. Don't miss it!!
39th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival Award Winners Announced by IWFF
23 April 2016
Congratulations to the IWFF 39 award winning films.
We are pleased to announce the Award Winners for the 2016 International Wildlife FIlm Festival. The 2016 IWFF Awards took place on Friday, April 22 at Missoula's Wilma Theater.
Islands of Creation – Nathan Dappen - USA - 2015 - 48 minutes
In the jungles of a remote archipelago in the South Pacific, a biologist is attempting to do something Charles Darwin and Ernst Mayr never accomplished: catch evolution in the act of creating new species. Albert Uy is on the verge of an amazing discovery in the Solomon Islands, but there’s a threat looming on the horizon. The islands’ resources are being exploited, putting all local wildlife at risk. It’s a race against time to gather the evidence necessary to prove the existence of a new species before it’s lost forever.
Medieval Monsters – Oliver Mueller – United Kingdom – 2015 – 10 Minutes
The New Forest of England has remained unchanged for centuries and while many of the country’s ancient beasts have long since vanished, here the creatures of old can still be found. This film captures their lives using macro, slow-motion and time-lapse techniques to reveal behaviours beyond the capabilities of the human eye. Duelling dragonflies, acid-firing ants and jousting stag beetles take centre stage in this world of medieval monsters.
MOOSE: A Year in the Life of a Twig Eater – Susan Fleming – Canada – 2015 – 60 Minutes
This stunningly intimate nature documentary takes viewers deep inside the world of moose to experience a calf’s first year of life up close and personal.
Theatrical Feature Award
The Messenger – Su Rynard – Canada – 2015 – 90 Minutes
Broadcast Feature Award
Yellowstone– Oliver Goetzl (Gulo Film Productions) – Germany – 2015 – 55 Minutes
Few places are as special and unique as Yellowstone National Park – America’s first national park. A wilderness jewel of vast forests and wide-open valleys, home to large bison herds, wolf packs and grizzly bears. It sits atop one of the world’s largest active super volcanoes, giving rise to such iconic geothermal features as Old Faithful Geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring. As part of the landmark wildlife series AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS, “Yellowstone” was filmed over three years by award-winning filmmakers Oliver Goetzl and Ivo Nörenberg. Using the latest in cinematographic techniques, this film showcases Yellowstone’s extraordinary wildlife and spectacular landscapes like never before!
Broadcast Series Award
Animal Homes – Ann Johnson Prum – USA – 2015 – 55 Minutes
Animals, like humans, need a place they can call home to provide a safe and stable place to raise a family, whether it’s a bird nest, a bear den, a beaver lodge or spider web. This three-part series features a blend of animation and signature “architectural blueprints” that highlight engineering principles inside the structures and demonstrate just how animals around the globe build their remarkable homes. Ecologist Chris Morgan (Siberian Tiger Quest, Bears of the Last Frontier) serves as our guide to the materials, locations, neighborhoods, and aesthetics of these animal homes, as well as the intriguing behaviors and social interactions that take place in and around them.
Human Wildlife Interaction Award
Muerte es Vida (Death is Life) – Ali Alvarez – 2015 – United Kingdom – 70 Minutes
MUERTE ES VIDA is documentary about the connection between death and nature. The film’s central Mexican character, Sabino, believes the millions of Monarch butterflies that arrive every year are the souls of departed family coming back to visit as they arrive in time for Day of the Dead after an epic journey from Canada and the Northern United States. On their migration south they have touched people at their darkest hour of losing a loved one. We meet seven people, from Canada to Mexico, and see how each have dealt with their loss. This film is an honest and human view of loss and shows how Mexican culture deals with death.
The wings of cliff swallows in Nebraska are getting shorter while turtles in Chesapeake Bay are getting larger. On the Galapagos Islands, different species are collapsing back into one. What has happened to evolution? The answer is very simple: us. Humans have transformed the planet beyond recognition – turning grasslands and forests into fields and cities and polluting air and water. And all of these changes have altered the course of evolution, often in surprising ways.
Red Wolf Revival – Roshan Patel – USA – 2015 – 24 Minutes
Short film about the last remaining wild population of red wolves. Centered on the historic recovery effort in Eastern North Carolina and the state’s declared intent to drive the species to extinction, we document the multifaceted struggle to reintroduce one of the rarest animals on earth in the face of cultural, economic, and biological challenges in North Carolina.
Children & Young Adults Award
A Life in a Day – Colin Scott – 2015 – USA – 5 Minutes
The life of a mayfly is an allegory of our own — you’re born, you struggle, mate, reproduce, and die — except it all happens over the course of a single day. A LIFE IN THE DAY is a four-minute animated short that reminds us that life is brief, beautiful, and meant to be enjoyed.
Best Cinematography Award
Soul of the Elephant – Dereck Joubert, Beverly Joubert – USA – 2015 – 53 Minutes
Ironically, every dead elephant with its ivory intact is a reason to celebrate. It means an elephant died of natural causes, not bullets, snares or poison, and a soul was allowed to be celebrated and mourned by its herd. Award-winning filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert start with the remains of two bull elephants and through a series of key flashbacks, look at the lives they would have led, the dramas they may have seen, their great migrations for water with their families, and their encounters with lions and hyenas. This film, shot over two years, is an intimate look at elephants through the lens of perhaps the greatest storytellers of natural history.
Best Editing Award
Gardeners of the Forest – Ceylan Carhoglu, Nicole Jordan Webber – USA – 2015 – 15 Minutes
For generations, Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants but, as of 2016, there are fewer than 600 elephants left in the wild.
Best Short Film Award
Red Wolf Revival – Roshan Patel – USA – 2015 – 24 Minutes
Best of Fest Award
The Messenger – Su Rynard – Canada – 2015 – 90 Minutes
An artful investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion and the compassionate people who are working to turn the tide. The film takes viewers on a visually stunning journey revealing how the problems facing birds also pose daunting implications for our planet and ourselves.
A big congratulations to all winners, with special back slaps to our members in bold above!
Wildscreen widens its reach by hosting insider’s guide to wildlife film event in Scotland By Pam Beddard - Wildscreen
5 April 2016
Diary date: 9.30am – 1.30pm Thursday 12 May
Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA
Get insider insight into what it takes to become a wildlife filmmaker from star cameraman and TV presenter Gordon Buchanan and other industry experts when the world’s biggest festival of natural world storytelling WILDSCREEN, brings the first of a new series of outreach events to Scotland.
Wildscreen – the world’s biggest and leading celebration of storytelling about the natural world– will be launching a new series of outreach events on May 12 when it presents an insider’s guide to breaking into the industry at the Glasgow Science Centre, Scotland.
TV presenters Gordon Buchanan and Ben Garrod and the makers of the BBC’s new four-part documentary HIGHLANDS will be among the industry experts leading discussions about the many steps involved in making nature films and the entry opportunities for new and emerging talentThe event is the first to be hosted in Scotland by Wildscreen in its 30+ year history and marks the start of a new approach to outreach.
Wildscreen CEO Lucie Muir explains: “As part Wildscreen’s new strategy, we plan to curate a series of year-round events in and beyond our home base in Bristol, to celebrate, showcase and inspire natural world storytelling talent in different cities and countries. One aim of this will be to encourage and nurture fresh talent. The reason for starting in Scotland is partly that contains a rich treasury of spectacularly film-worthy wildernesses, wildlife and scenery but also that it already has the beginnings of a bright and bubbling natural history film and TV sector that is keen to engage with and develop home-grown talent.”
Scottish cameraman and presenter Gordon Buchanan best known to viewers for his work on BIG CAT DIARY, AUTUMNWATCH, SPRINGWATCH, the LOST LAND series and his ‘...AND ME’ documentaries about wildlife families , added: “When I was trying to get my foot in the door of wildlife filmmaking, attending Wildscreen was essential. Not only did I make contacts that lead to me getting both feet in the door but the whole atmosphere of the festival encouraged me to work as hard as I could be part of this incredible industry. Some of the very best wildlife in the UK can be found in Scotland so it is wonderful that Wildscreen is coming to Glasgow. I am certain the event will inspire all those who attend.”
Wendy Darke, the BBC's first female Natural History Unit (NHU) boss is to leave the BBC after 25 years.
After joining the broadcaster in 1991, Darke was appointed head of the NHU in 2012 and was responsible for over 150 hours of programming, including Africa, Life Story, Frozen Planet and Planet Earth Live.
Director of Television, Mark Linsey said; “Wendy has brought a wealth of experience, creativity and leadership to the BBC over the years. She has taken the NHU from strength to strength and the portfolio of programmes she leaves behind is outstanding. We will be sorry to see her leave but wish her all the best.”
Read: Marine biologist Dr Wendy Darke, the first woman to head the BBC NHU in its 56-year history, was a break from tradition – and not just for reaching such a senior level in what remains a male-dominated genre. More: www.theguardian.com
Wendy is leaving to set up her own production company according to The Telegraph.
Who's heading to the top next we wonder!?
Top BBC executives run up more than £25,000 in expenses before leaving.
Outgoing head of natural history unit, Wendy Darke, files biggest bill of £11,000 in six months as union chiefs criticise new deal for corporation staff. More: www.theguardian.com
Wildeye have several course places available this year... Be sure to check them out!!
The next Wildlife Camera Operator Course, 17-19 June 2016 has places available... Whether you are hoping for a career as a professional wildlife camera operator or want to film wildlife as a fascinating hobby, this course will arm you with the knowledge and techniques to create stunning shots and sequences. As camera technology advances apace it can be difficult to know what equipment to use (and then how to use it!), with a high tutor to student ratio, this course is unique in content and value for money. More here!
Last years' first Introduction to Conservation Film-making was a big sucess with very positive feedback from attendees... The nest dates 15-17 July 2016 have spaces, so join us if you want to make films that make a difference! There are many conservation and environmental issues that could be tackled effectively if only the people involved were informed or educated about the causes and solutions that could make a difference.
Films and the Media are some of the most powerful communication tools we have, but we need to make the right films and distribute them to the audience \ decision makers \ community \ corporation \ law enforcers \ government bodies who can create that change.
So how do you go about this? More here! Just £295, including all tuition, accommodation and meals!
There's places available on the ever popular Introduction to Wildlife Film-making, 2–4 September 2016 - These weekends, in the heart of Norfolk, provide a unique hands-on introduction to wildlife film-making. The sessions cover all aspects of wildlife film-making with opportunities for practical filming work as well as advice about how to get started and what equipment to use. This course is the perfect start for those wishing to work in the wildlife film-making industry, whether as a camera operator, producer, researcher, script-writer, presenter and so on. It is also suitable for those wishing to pursue wildlife film-making as a fascinating hobby. More here!
Again, last years' first Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Uganda trip went very well, so this it will undoubtably will again this year, 14-25 November 2016 – There are 3 Places Available! Join the Great Ape Adventure (A Wildeye /GAFI Project) - Trek to see/film wild mountian gorillas and chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda, whilst learning about and participating in conservation projects to protect our close relatives. A unique itinerary is planned to give participants an incredible opportunity to see wild great apes and engage in their conservation... More here!
The second Audio Post Production Course wirh Pip Norton & Chris Watson, 16-18 December 2016 has availabilty too... This two-day course explores techniques of editing audio files on a computer and mixing soundtracks. Through demonstration and working on practical tasks you will learn how to create, edit, manipulate and improve sound recordings, and also how they can be effectively combined and mixed together to produce a soundtrack. This could be for a television or radio programme, for installations, movies, video games, CD/audio-file releases or for your own enjoyment. The course includes the creation and production of Foley sound and sound effects, how to record the perfect voice over/narration, and covers the growing area of multi-channel mixing. It is suitable for those who have already taken our Introduction to Wildlife Sound Recording course, or those who already have some experience of audio work. It will also be invaluable for video editors and producers who oversee the post production process. More here!
Wildscreen picks former BBC Worldwide director to be new Chair of Board By Pam Beddard - Wildscreen
22 April 2016
Former BBC Worldwide Director Peter Phippen is to be the new chairman of the Bristol- based charity behind Wildscreen, the world’s biggest festival of natural history film, television and photography, and Arkive, the internet’s best-used online encyclopaedia of endangered species.
He brings with him 30 years of media industry experience, including as a Board Director of BBC Worldwide Ltd, Managing Director of BBC Magazines and President/CEO of BBC Worldwide Americas Inc, for whom he launched a number of TV channels and chaired a joint venture with Discovery Inc.
Peter succeeds TV industry veteran Dick Emery who is stepping down after nearly nine years in post.
Commenting on his appointment, Peter Phippen said: “I’m immensely proud to take over the Chair at Wildscreen, given its fantastic heritage and its vital mission - even more important today than when it was founded 30 years ago. I’ve had a long career in all areas of the media, but my most cherished moments have been those I’ve spent in the company of the talented people who provide us with insights into the natural world and those who work to protect it.”
The Pray will immerse you into the forested world of the dead leaf mantis. This action packed film boasts incredibly unique and dynamic shots. Fly through the forest with flies, witness the cunning behavior between the mantis and the hawk and experience a hunt like you’ve never seen before. Using stunning cinematography we divulge the truth of a catch and behold the incredible way a mantis devours its prey. It’s everything a fantasy movie would have except this time, it’s real. This is an action adventure popcorn movie for wildlife films.
BWPA 2016 - Wildlife in HD Video Category Deadline 22nd May!
The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2016 photo call for entries closed on the 30th of April, but the HD Video Category is still open, until the 22nd of May! So, there's still time to get out there and capture some award-winning shots of British Wildlife!! :)
The awards recognise the talents of photographers and film-makers practising in Britain whilst also highlighting the great wealth and diversity of British natural history. A celebration of British wildlife as well as a showcase for photographers and videographers, both amateur and professional.
There are fifteen separate categories including animal behaviour, urban wildlife, habitat, animal portraits, marine life, the hidden secret world that lies in the undergrowth and a special award for Wildlife in HD Video. Also two junior categories - to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.
Thanks to Sky and Canon there's amazing prizes; a Sky TV package for a year, a HD TV and a Canon XA-30 Professional Camcorder.
CALL FOR ENTRY NOW OPEN! AWARDS FOR VISIONARY SCIENCE STORYTELLING!!
From the infinitesimal to the infinite, science plays a profound role in our daily lives in ways we can scarcely imagine! In the fall of 2016, we will celebrate outstanding media that best conveys the wonders of science to public audiences, at the Science Media Awards & Symposium (SMASH16), presented in partnership with WGBH in Boston, September 20-22, 2016.
The Grand Helix Award
This award goes to the single film or media project that best exemplifies excellence in the art of inspired scientific storytelling. Each film entered into competition will be considered for this prestigious recognition.
Call for Entry Opened March 1 | Call for Entry Closes June 1 | Extended Deadline June 15 | Finalists Announced August 1 | Winners announced September 21
"Discover the Wilderness of the UAE" is a 3 film Natural History Documentary mini-series about the UAE's wildlife and conservation, featuring mountain, desert and marine life. The production is supported by Emirates Airline, and I will compose the music for the series. Here is a short promo clip. Enjoy!
Produced by Wild Planet Productions
MUSIC by Morten Gildberg.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the Born Free Film, this story presented by Virginia McKenna looks at human-lion conflict in Meru National Park. We see how the Kenya Wildlife service and working tirelessly with the BF Foundation to give local people the conservation tools to be able to help all wildlife. Will Travers, preseiden of BF will be supporting the biggest ivory Burn in Africa's history in Kenya's capital; a symbol of the country's strength in combating the illegal wildlife trade. Lions have decline by 90% since the film was made... Will there be a next generation of lion guardians? Is there hope for Kenya's lions and its wildlife?
The registrations to our Professional Film Contest are still open!
You are a film-maker and you have directed a film about Nature (in a large sense)? Your film has a minimum duration of 5'? Don't hesitate and participate in our Professional Film Constest. If your movie is selected, it will be screened during the International Nature Namur Festival which will take place from 14 to 23 Octobre at the Acinapolis Cinema Complex and you will possibly win one of our 5 prestigious awards during the Gala Evening.
We are pleased to announce that Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam has extended the deadline for this years entries untill June 1st!
The Netherlands’ main wildlife film festival is held in the city center of Rotterdam from 27-30 October 2016. We screen movies with a central focus on the natural world, but also critical and informative documentaries on raising awareness, the environment and sustainability.
Around August 1st the selected finalists will be informed if their film have been selected to be screened at the festival. The award winning ceremony will take place October 30th during the closing ceremony of the festival.
The competition offers awards in a wide range of categories:
WFFR Awareness Award
Best Film Professional
Best Film Non-Professional
WFFR Sustainability Award
WFFR Environmental Award
WFFR Underwater Award
In addition to the awards attributed by the jury, an audience award will also be awarded to the most popular film chosen by the general public in the professional and the non-professional category.
We hope to hear from you soon you! You can find the submission form here and for any questions you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Two man crews on a budget - Filming BBC 4 Britain’s Treasure Islands By Simon Vacher
22 April 2016
I never imagined quite what a casual conversation could lead to, until I had an e-mail from the naturalist Stewart McPherson asking would I like to travel to around the globe filming a documentary on the fourteen UK Overseas Territories (sixteen if you separate Ascension and St Helena). Such a journey would take us to every corner of the globe, from the far reaches of the icy wilds and rich wildlife havens of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falklands, to the luxurious climates of the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the searing heat of the mid-Atlantic, then the ancient island of Pitcairn in the South Pacific and finally the home UK Territories in Europe. The resounding answer was a Yes!
Initially, Stewart has imagined the project to take one year to film. In the end it took us nearly four years spread over six separate filming blocks to complete the film project, and when complete Stewart then began to write to Britain’s Treasure Islands book, the same title as the BBC 4 broadcast series.
In the early stages of the project, we didn't clearly identify that this project could potentially make it to broadcast, but shortly after some discussions between myself and Stewart, we decided it would be worth investing in a camera that would allow us to record 50mbps 4:2:2 broadcast-quality footage, on a budget. In early 2012, I found the
most budget way of acquiring this quality was by purchasing a Sony EX1 along with a nanoFLASH data recorder. In the early stages of the project, we didn't clearly identify that this project could potentially make it to broadcast, but shortly after some discussions between myself and Stewart, we decided it would be worth investing in a camera that would allow us to record 50mbps 4:2:2 broadcast-quality footage, on a budget.
In early 2012, I found the
most budget way of acquiring this quality was by purchasing a Sony EX1 along with a nanoFLASH data recorder. The whole recorder would balance rather badly on top of the camera, and was a real pain to operate with! Every so often, the SDI cable connecting the camera to the nanoFLASH would cause a dropout, so we sometimes missed a take but soon learnt to keep an eye on the nanoFLASH record status. It served us well though, and acquired the footage we needed. By early 2013 for our Antarctic trip, we had brought the Sony PMW-200, a really compact yet broadcast-quality camera that allowed us to be fast on our feet while still recording the quality we wanted. It was a game changer for me! Light, portable and no cables to go wrong. Now, we see cameras like this flooding the market and it’s hard to imagine anything
During the first few filming trips, Stewart was working in between trips to try find a producer to get the series to broadcast. He would tell me “Oh, I’ve spent hours meeting with a production company, or meeting this person or that person”, and a potential lead would suddenly seem very real and solid, until they would tell him they had no money or simply wanted all the rights with giving nothing in return. Finally, coming close to the mid-way in our project, Stewart found producer Steve Nicholls, then part of the Warehouse51 team. Steve understood Stewart’s vision, then took the idea up and proposed it to the Warehouse51 team, and before we knew it there was fuel in the engine!
The winner of our 200th Edition Freelancer membership competition was: Gidi Shinaar - A photographer and videographer from Tel Aviv, Israel, currently working in Vietnam on a 3 month project.
Peter Baker - A former BBC Bristol TV Newsreader and documentary narrator, now a freelance full-time voiceover with his own broadcast quality recording studio.
Tania Rose Esteban - A Zoologist currently studying for her MA Wildlife Filmmaking affiliated with the BBC NHU, Bristol. A camerawoman and researcher with a passion for storytelling and science, she is using her creative talents to produce wildlife documentaries that make a difference.
Tara Pirie - A presenter, researcher, biologist/expert with experience at WildEarth.TV
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