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Chris Palmer - Author of Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King By Jason Peters
31 March 2015
An interview with member Chris Palmer, author of Shooting in the Wild: An Insider’s Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom and a new book, Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King.
What inspired you to write this second book, following on from your controversial first book Shooting in the Wild?
The quality of wildlife programming is in decline. In 2010 (when I wrote my first book, Shooting in the Wild) only a handful of shows committed the offenses of animal abuse, audience deception and disinterest in (or harm to) conservation.
Today in 2015 there are dozens of these productions exploiting nature in the pursuit of profits. Something has to be done about it. My new book, Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King, is an effort to raise awareness of the problem.
As we enter the sixth major extinction event in the earth’s history, broadcasters like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, and National Geographic should be leading the way in calling attention to humanity’s impact on the planet, not exacerbating the problem. Confessions is an indictment of the networks and a call for them to produce better programming.
PHANA MACAQUE PROJECT is looking for a videographer to help us make a film about the social behaviour of the long-tailed macaques in Don Chao Poo Forest, Phana, Amnat Charoen Forest, in North-east Thailand.
We cannot offer a salary, but accommodation will be provided and food can be found easily and cheaply in the small town/village. Airfare not included. Starting date: any time after 1st September 2015. Duration to be discussed.
The monkeys in our forest are habituated to provisioning by us, the local council and visitors, as well as foraging for themselves. They are not aggressive towards humans and at present do not range much outside the forest. In both these respects they differ from others of the same species elsewhere in Thailand.
Full credit will be accorded and it may be that the resulting video will be of interest to TV companies, for instance.
Phana Macaque Project wishes to use the video for local educational purposes and on our website but the footage and film rights would be maintained by the volunteer.
A Wild Life: My Adventures Around the World Filming Wildlife by Martin Hughes-Games - Out Now!
A Wild Life is Martin Hughes-Games's account of his astonishing adventures around the world, both as a presenter for the BBC and producer of nature documentaries. We all know Martin as the face of Springwatch and Autumnwatch, but before his presenting days he spent thirty years behind the camera producing up-close-and-personal wildlife documentaries on location with man and beast - and really has seen it all! With a host of successful television series under his belt, it's hard to believe that one man could have done so much: from jumping out of a hot air balloon at 10,000 feet to see how fast a chasing peregrine falcon could fly, to the frozen and treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean, not to mention accidentally finding himself face-to-face with a furious lioness, there's almost nothing Martin hasn't experienced of the world, and in this no-holds-barred memoir he shares it with us in candid and entertaining detail. Tales of deadly piranhas, vampire bats, fighting pandas and feral camels are told in Martin's warmly witty, inimitable style - in what has the potential to be the natural history book of the year.
Chris Packham says, "These adventures are a repository of joy, despair and cunning success candidly peppered with lovely nuggets of natural history – an absolutely irresistible read."
Wildscreen celebrates the launch of latest initiative – Wildscreen Exchange - by curating a free conservation photography exhibition, FRAGILE, showcasing the work of some of the world’s best wildlife conservation photographers.
To celebrate the launch of their newest initiative, the Wildscreen Exchange, Bristol-based charity Wildscreen are curating a free conservation photography exhibition from 9-30th May 2015 at the Grant Bradley Gallery, Bedminster Parade, Bristol. The Wildscreen Exchange is a unique online photo and video library which will empower the world’s conservation organisations with free and affordable digital media to enable the most inspiring and impactful campaigning, educating and storytelling about our fragile natural world.
Wildscreen’s conservation photography exhibition, FRAGILE, will showcase a selection of the imagery that has been donated to Wildscreen by some of the world’s best wildlife photographers. This exhibition will be the first opportunity for the public to see these amazing images and discover the incredible stories that they tell, as well as finding out how they can make a difference. Visitors will also be offered the opportunity to purchase any of the images in the exhibition, with proceeds going towards the further development of this dynamic conservation project.
At the end of June 2015 the prestigious Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University will begin its first two-week Wildlife Filmmaking Workshop. Course Leader Nick Wright has this to say:
I can teach you to play the piano in less than a minute. Lift the lid, press the notes – deep notes to the left, higher notes to the right, and a loud and a soft peddle below. The rest, as they say, is practice.
The importance of practice is the basic concept we have adopted for the Wildlife Filmmaking Course. Practice and experience are particular opportunities we aim to build here which can never be accessed by theoretical means alone.
Inevitably, theory and background and knowledge have an important role to play, and these areas are well covered by the Course. Integral sessions cover wildlife law, fieldcraft, macro and long-lens work, specialized techniques, sound production and design, wildlife identification, ethics, screenings, storytelling, editing, history, commentary writing, logistics, navigation, personal safety – all the preparations necessary for wildlife film production.
Beyond Borders Wildlife Film School, situated on the Garden Route and in the Kruger National Park of South Africa just had another very successful 30 day course with four students. From different origins such as Belgium, Germany, Nigeria and UK, all four of them produced, filmed and edited 4 great short documentaries, two of them being in 3D!
Love and understanding between a matriarch elephant and her handler.
Sally, a matriarch elephant, has been with her handler Jeffrey for the past 20 years since Sally was rescued from a culling at Kruger National Park. Their relationship is one that has developed into love.
Ina from Germany concentrated on Rock Monitors and produced "African Dragon"
Carine from Belgium concentrated on snakes in 3D and produced "Bridging The Gap"
Shola from Nigeria concentrated on a guesthouse in Plettenberg Bay and produced a 3D promo video called "La Vista Lodge".
Beyond Borders is very proud of what their students have achieved after learning script writing, camera technology, camera techniques (in 2D and 3D) and video editing (2D and 3).
Widely considered the most prestigious honor in natural history media, the Festival culminates in a Gala Celebration to recognize the coveted Teton Awards. More than 900 entries competed for 23 awards in 2013! View the 2015 competition categories.
Over 150 preliminary judges will screen more than 3,500 hours to select this year's finalists. Finalists will be showcased throughout the week of the Festival, and winning films will be announced at a Gala Celebration on October 1st.
See the Call for Entry trailer featuring images from 2013 finalists & winners!
We already received many beautiful films and documentaries, but are still looking to receive many more! The festival is open for entries untill May 1st.
The Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam (WFFR) screens documentaries with a central focus on the natural world. We would like to invite professional and amateur filmmakers from anywhere in the world to participate. The competition is free of fees. Please visit our website www.wffr.nl for the submission form.
In both categories, (amateur and professional) movies will be awarded by a Jury as well as by the public!
The Festival will be held in the city centre of Rotterdam from 29 October - 1 November 2015.
Film entries are now open for:
Sondrio Festival 2015 – International Documentary Film Festival on Parks
(XXIX edition, Sondrio, Italy, 2 – 8 November 2015).
The film festival and competition focus on documentaries featuring aspects of National Parks, Nature Reserves and Protected Areas, with an extra category, for documentaries made in natural areas and dealing with the environment, its conservation, human activities, and agriculture, relating to the theme of EXPO Milan 2015: “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.
Films selected for the Festival will be considered for the First Prize “Town of Sondrio" (4,000 Euros), the “Stelvio National Park” Award (3,000 Euros), the “Lombardy Region” Award (3,000 Euros), for films shot in the European Union, and “Expo Milano 2015” Special Award, prize to be specified.
Entry forms and films on DVD should be sent not later than 30 April 2015.
There is no entry fee.
Dear Friends of WILD,
What a wildly successful festival!
We had a sellout crowd and speakers coming from Australia, Mexico,
the UK and China. Thank you all for coming! We hope you enjoyed the films, speakers, parties, as well as meeting new people, and you are even more inspired to protect the planet!
For some festival follow up:
If you didn't see the New Yorker article you can read it here: The Bat Man Cometh
If you want to learn more about what you saw at NY WILD and how you can get involved, click HERE.
Check out some fun photos HERE.
Did you take a selfie with a mask? Post your photos on our Facebook Page and identify yourself.
Please take our survey and share your feedback about the festival HERE to help us get ready for 2016.
Many thanks to our generous sponsors who helped make NY WILD possible!
Stay tuned for other special events coming throughout the year.
Founder & Executive Director
NY WILD FILM FESTIVAL
Check out Friends of Flora with music from composer member Vivi Tobies
Friends of Flora is a community conservation initiative setup to restore a healthy ecosystem to the Flora river catchment of Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand.
Fourteen years after the group was established they have successfully reintroduced two of New Zealand’s most endangered bird species into the area and succeeded in controlling predators to an extent that enables the native biota to breed in relative safety.
The film seeks to build support for the work of Friends of Flora and also to illustrate the critical role that individuals and communities must play in conservation. fof.org.nz
The film is available for broadcast and educational use. Please email: email@example.com Director/Camera/Edit: Owen Kilgour
Script/Narration: Peter Hayden
Composer: Vivi Tobies
Field assistant Peter Alspach
Human-elephant conflict is a major conservation challenge in Botswana. BBC Wildlife meets Makata Baitseng from the Ecoexist Project. In the April 2015 issue of BBC Wildlife you can read all about a project to protect elephants and people in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. This film by Richard Hughes highlights some of the key problems.
Since the late 1990s Wildlife-film.com has been the leading source of information for the wildlife filmmaking industry worldwide. For over fifteen years the site has been Google's number one ranking site for 'wildlife film' and related searches. Our site is viewed in over 175 countries. Our newsletter, Wildlife Film News, is read every month by thousands of people involved in wildlife filmmaking - from broadcasters and producers, to cameramen - we encourage readers to submit their news. We also serve as an online resource for industry professionals and services. Find producers, editors, presenters and more in our Freelancer section, and find out about festivals, training and conservation in Organisations. We encourage amateur and professional freelancers to join our network and welcome all wildlife-film related organisations to join our team.
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The producer does not recommend or endorse any particular method, institution, product, treatment, or theory.
Opinions expressed on Wildlife-film.com are not necessarily those of the producer.