Wildlife-film.com Newsletter 1
July 1999

Welcome to the first wildlife-film.com newsletter!

First of all we would like to say a big thank you to all who have supported the site so far, and for all the encouraging comments.  It's been a great start – on the first day the site had 200 visits from 30 different countries. The response from the industry has been very positive with many wildlife film-makers telling us that a site like this was much needed, and a great way of keeping people in the industry together – especially as they are scattered all over the world.  The number of people subscribing to this newsletter grows daily! 

Remember to look at the site regularly - www.wildlife-film.com - every week there are new news items and new members joining!

Membership Changes - two important changes:
1. The first month of your entry is free from whenever you join (not just the first live month of the site), as before there is no obligation to continue beyond your free month.
2. We have decided to waive the £50 set-up fee for full membership, so the cost after your first free month is just £99 per year.

Now onto the Wildlife Film News.  Most of the news articles will also have appeared on the website news page but in a shortened form - so now you can read the more detailed articles.  You may wish to print out this email to read at your leisure and pass on to other colleagues.  Don't forget to keep me posted on any news you would like us to pass on to the rest of the wildlife film-making community and any events for the calendar. 

Piers Warren

News Contents:

1. Al Giddings to Sell Stock Footage Library
2. Alexandria Productions in Development on Large-Format Shipwreck
3. International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula Montana hosts a five day kids video making course
4. Wildscreen Festival Creates Over £400,000 trade for Bristol
5. Wolf's World is Shifting into High Gear
6. Visitors to wildlife-film.com

1. Al Giddings to Sell Stock Footage Library

Jackson Hole, WY - Al Giddings, who for three decades has been widely recognized as the world's premiere underwater cinematographer and film producer, announced today that his classic stock footage library is on the market.  The library, which contains approximately 1400 hours of material, is being represented by Safari Network. 

"When it comes to programming, this library is an untapped resource," said Kent Noble of Safari Network.  "For years Al has been pouring footage into his library, but he has never cut any shows from it.  Even more amazing is the fact that with virtually no marketing, the Giddings library is generating seven figure revenues from stock footage sales every three or
four years."

Featured in the library is footage from dozens of Giddings' television productions, including specials on the North Pole, Truk Lagoon, deep-sea volcanoes, the Titanic, great white sharks, and the great whales.  The library also contains footage from "Blue Whale: Largest Animal on Earth," "Shark Chronicles," and "Mysteries of the Sea," each of which earned him an
Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography.

The planned library sale will free up most of the ground floor of Giddings' recently constructed studio in Montana providing him with space needed to support his new high-definition production facility.

"Al's career has been nothing short of remarkable," continued Noble.  "Not only is he one of the world's finest natural history filmmakers, but his incredible cinematic skills and innovative filming techniques have also made him a mainstay in Hollywood."

Giddings' theatrical assignments include the underwater directing and shooting of highly acclaimed films such as "The Deep" and the James Bond classics "For Your Eyes Only" and "Never Say Never Again."  His groundbreaking filming techniques and implementation of state-of-the-art technology earned Giddings an Academy Award nomination for his work as director of underwater photography for "The Abyss," 20th Century Fox's blockbuster.  Recently he served as a  producer and director of underwater photography on Jim Cameron's Academy Award winning "Titanic."  Giddings
also directed and filmed the under ice sequences in "Damien: Omen II" and Disney's "Never Cry Wolf." 

Giddings, who has an engineering facility adjacent to his Montana-based studio, is known for developing innovative film and video systems in order to achieve spectacular results.  

"I've never been one to settle for off-the-shelf technology," said Giddings.  "I'm constantly designing better camera, lighting, and optical systems for all film and video formats from IMAX to high definition.  It's a never ending process, but the image quality we're able to capture makes it all worth while."  

Giddings is currently working on Mandalay Media Arts' 3D IMAX spectacular, "Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage" and a live 2-hour extravaganza from Bikini for Discovery Communications.    

For more information on Al Giddings' library please contact Kent Noble at 307-733-8423, fax 307-733-1422, or by e-mail at knoble@wyomng.com.

2. Alexandria Productions in Development on Large-Format Shipwreck

Jackson Hole, WY - Alexandria Productions, the IOTA Group, and Safari Network have announced that they are developing a large-format project based on the spectacular shipwreck of the Santa Margarita, a 17th-century Spanish sailing vessel carrying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of treasure.

At the beginning of the 17th-century, the Santa Margarita was one of the largest sailing vessels in the world, working a trade route from Southeast Asia to New Spain in Mexico.  In 1601 she was lost enroute from Manila to Acapulco carrying a payload of exquisite Ming dynasty porcelain, gold jewelry, fine silks, and spices.  It's also reputed that there was a large
amount of the King's gold aboard the ship for the 1599 Royal Taxes.
"This is a tale of adventure on the high seas," said Joel Westbrook, president of Alexandria Productions.  "The story of the Santa Margarita includes a tyrannical Captain, slave labor, unhealthy conditions, and poor seamanship which caused the ship to be nearly a thousand miles off course at the time of her wreck -- And this is also a story of a contemporary expedition for sunken treasure -- a group of modern-day adventurers, who've located the remains of the Santa Margarita, will now attempt to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of treasure lying off the reefs in the Pacific. "

"This is a fascinating project that involves a real-life expedition, adventure, exploration, and discovery--stuff that really gets the adrenaline pumping," said Kent Noble of Safari Network.  "We're currently looking for coproduction partners and hope to start production within the next couple of months."  

Alexandria Productions is based on an alliance of key production personnel from NBC's Prime Time Emmy Award winning series, Lost Civilizations. Alexandria Productions' partners have been in charge of such popular productions as National Geographic Explorer, Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World, Audubon's World of Adventure, and Trials of Life.  Their writing credits include six original feature film scripts, as well as documentaries, series, and specials for ABC, NBC, PBS, Discovery, The Learning Channel, National Geographic, and Turner Broadcasting.  

The Seattle-based IOTA Group is responsible for having located the Santa Margarita shipwreck near the island of Rota in the Northern Marianas island chain.  They have also struck a deal with the Rota government to share in the spoils.

Safari Network is a collaborative venture of the world's finest non-fiction filmmakers, allied for the development and production of blue-chip programming for the high-end marketplace.

3. International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula Montana hosts a five day kids video making course.

In association with the Montana Natural History Center, the IWFF will teach a short course to 11 - 13 year olds August 15 - 19.  Using Missoula Community Access Television cameras and editing suites, the expertise of Kate Davis and her raptor rehab center birds of prey, the resources of the Montana Natural History Center and the Education Outreach staff of the
IWFF, young people will produce a 10 minute video.  Particpants will write scripts, draw story boards, shoot live footage and edit their own work. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. daily.  Tuition: $100  For more information call 406-327-0405 or 406-728-9380


 More than £400,000 was pumped into Bristol’s hotels, restaurants, shops, attractions and taxi firms by the visitors from 46 countries who were drawn to the city at the end of last year for the week-long Wildscreen festival of moving images from the natural world.

The spending figure emerged from the first economic impact survey to be carried out by the Bristol-based organisers of Wildscreen - the world’s biggest celebration of wildlife and environment film and television.

The survey involved questioning 870 delegates at WILDSCREEN 98 in October about their local spending on accommodation, food, transport, entertainment and souvenirs. Their answers showed attenders spent an average £515 a head, giving a total for the week of over £450,000.

Spokeswoman, Pam Beddard said: ‘It’s an impressive amount, especially as it represents only half the picture. The festival itself has a ‘buy local’ policy which means we also spend large sums locally - on hiring venues, leasing equipment, arranging catering, producing publicity materials and so on.

The result has been welcomed by Andrew Kelly, the head of Bristol’s Cultural Development Partnership. He said: "We always knew that WILDSCREEN contributed considerable sums of money to the Bristol economy. These figures, based on detailed research, show not just the extent of that contribution but also the value of festivals and the arts generally."

WILDSCREEN takes place in Bristol every two years and is now internationally recognised as the leading festival of its type in the world.

Wildlife film and television professionals travel from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas to take part in a week-long programme of screenings, seminars, workshops and exhibitions and to hear the winners of the prestigious Panda Awards. There is also an extensive programme of free public screenings.

Festival events take place at a number of city centre venues. WILDSCREEN 98 used more than a dozen locations including Watershed Media Centre, Arnolfini, Bristol Old Vic, Ashton Court Mansion, Colston Hall and the Council House. Additionally, many companies attending the Festival hired local restaurants for delegate entertaining.

Pam Beddard said: "Bristol has always worked hard to make our delegates feel welcome. Hopefully, the economic impact figure will demonstrate that the effort brings direct and indirect benefits to many people in the city, and that international festivals like WILDSCREEN are well worth encouraging."

Plans are now being made for the city to host WILDSCREEN 2000 - the first to be headquartered at the new Wildscreen at-Bristol visitor attraction being built at Harbourside. It will be the 10th festival in a series begun in 1982 and is expected to attract even more attenders than in 1998.

FURTHER INFO:Pam Beddard, Tel: 0117 987 0442 Mobile: 0476 621207, e-mail: pam@beddardcoll.freeserve.co.uk

5. Wolf's World is Shifting into High Gear

Jackson Hole, WY - The next phase of production is getting underway for Wolfgang Bayer's $2.7 million high-definition extravaganza, Wolf's World.

"This is by far the most ambitious project I've ever taken on," said Bayer, one of the world's premiere wildlife filmmakers.  "For the past two years we've been traveling around the world shooting our wildlife sequences.  Now
we are returning to many of those locations with a nine-person crew in order to complete the behind-the-scenes elements."

The 90-minute production, which is originating in Super-35mm and already has 200,000 feet of film in the can, chronicles the behind-the-scenes adventures of a filmmaker and his family as they travel the planet documenting the wonders of nature.   

"Wolf's World is really a love story," added Bayer.  "It's a story about the love I have for my family and the love I have for the natural world. For 30 years I've had a career that has allowed me to pursue my passion.  I now feel compelled to share with my family the extraordinary places and animals that have been such a major part of my life."

Traveling with Bayer on this project and working as part of the nine-person crew are his wife, Candy; their 22 year old son, Tristan (an aspiring filmmaker); and their 20 year old daughter, Malaika who has taken time off from college to join her family in the field. 

Locations and subject matter for Wolf's World include orangutans in Borneo; flamingoes in Kenya; army ants in Panama; polar bears in the Arctic; icebergs, glaciers, and the midnight sun in Greenland; jellyfish in Palau; manta rays in Yap; sperm whales in the Azores; and monarch butterflies in Mexico.  

"This is such an amazing project," said Kent Noble of Safari Network, the agency representing Wolfgang Bayer and his film.  "Throughout his career, Wolf has been obsessed with capturing breathtaking images and delivering them to a global audience.  Now, as a filmmaker at the pinnacle of his career, I really feel that this will be his most spectacular effort.  In a sense, it's his gift to himself, his family, and the world."

The project, which is entering its third year of production, is being produced with widescreen and high-definition television in mind, but will also be available in standard NTSC and PAL formats for more traditional television transmissions.  A theatrical release in Cinemascope is also being considered.

"At this point we have made no commitments," said Noble when asked about financial partners.  "Within the next few months we'll produce a demo so that we can introduce Wolf's World at this September's Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival."

For more information regarding Wolf's World please contact Kent Noble at 307-733-8423, fax 307-733-1422, or by e-mail at knoble@wyomng.com.

 6. Visitors to wildlife-film.com

In the first week wildlife-film.com was visited by people from the following countries (in order of the most visits):



The most popular browsers used by visitors are as follows:

Internet Explorer 4.x   (38%)
Netscape 4.x   (25%)
Internet Explorer 3.x   (15%)
Internet Explorer 5.x   (11%)
Netscape 3.x   (6%)
Unknown Netscape compatible   (1%)
Unknown   (0%)
Internet Explorer 2.x   (0%)
Opera x.x   (0%)
Netscape 2.x   (0%)

That's it!  Send me me YOUR news for the next issue and for the site.